The Benefits and Disadvantages of Using Mouthwash
Using mouthwash is known to keep breath fresh and avoid the build-up of various bacteria in between the corners of the teeth. There are different types of mouthwashes available in the market such as everyday-care formulas, alcohol-free variants, and herbal blends, all of which are designed to promote oral health, good hygiene and fresh breath.
But just like most things, using mouthwash can have advantages and drawbacks. Let’s look at each of them.
- Mouthwash promotes oral health and good hygiene. Some mouthwashes are packed with fluoride to help combat cavities and periodontal diseases. Antiseptic mouthwashes, on the other hand, contains chlorhexidine gluconate, which prevents bacterial growth in the mouth and deals with halitosis and infections.
- Mouthwash aids in post-surgery treatment. There are certain mouthwashes prescribed by dentists that assist in curing inflammation and sores after dental surgery. This type of mouthwash is usually recommended for patients who were advised not to brush their teeth for an extended period of time after surgical procedures.
- Mouthwash can help heal canker sores. Canker sores are ulcers in the mouth, and mouthwash can help deal with the infection.
- Mouthwash can help avoid complications in pregnancy. Mouthwash can prevent periodontal disease, which can lead to premature labors among pregnant women. When bacteria enter the mother’s bloodstream, it would increase inflammatory markers and stimulate contractions. Gargling with mouthwash can help prevent that from happening, because it keeps oral bacteria away.
- Mouthwash can be dangerous for children when ingested. Children are prone to accidentally ingesting mouthwash, and it can have serious health hazards for them. It can result to convulsions and in more serious cases, it can lead to comatose.Children between the ages of six and 12 should be under adult supervision when mouthwashing. Meanwhile, those who are below five years old should only use mouthwash when prescribed by a dentist.
- Mouthwash can damage some parts of the mouth. Mouthwashes with high alcohol content can burn the delicate mucus membranes in the mouth.
- Mouthwash can stain and darken teeth. When chlorhexidine gluconate, an ingredient present in some mouthwashes, comes in contact with food additives left in the mouth, it can result to staining or darkening of the teeth.
- Mouthwash can irritate canker sores. Mouth washing can help heal canker sores, but when you use a type of mouthwash that has a high alcohol content, it can further aggravate the condition.
- Mouthwash can simply mask bad breath. And not for a long time. Mouthwashing will never be a substitute for toothbrushing. Using mouthwash is just one of the many areas of proper oral health. While it can conceal problems by giving temporary fresh breath, it will not be able to address oral issues on its own.
Mouthwashes can be helpful or harmful, depending on how you use it. Generally, mouthwashes are geared towards promoting oral health and fresh breath. But oral health and needs varies from person to person. Some people have sensitive gums, others are recovering from surgery, while some simply need a mouthwash for everyday use. In order to make it work to your advantage, consult your doctor and find out which type of mouthwash is suitable for you.
img c/o pixabay