Mouthrinses

Mouthwash.Numerous studies have shown that using an appropriate mouthrinse, in conjunction with regular brushing and flossing, is an easy and effective way for you to improve your overall oral health. As part of a regular program of oral hygiene, mouthrinses (which are sometimes called mouthwashes) can be effective at reducing plaque, controlling bad breath, and helping to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. There are a myriad of mouthrinses lining the drugstore shelves, and they are available in both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) formulations. Which one is best for you? That depends on what benefit you expect to get from using it.

It's important to keep in mind that many off-the-shelf mouthrinses are primarily cosmetic: That means, they may (temporarily) make your mouth taste or smell good, but they don't offer any lasting benefit to your oral health. There's nothing wrong with that — as long as you weren't expecting anything more. But if you've been told that you are at risk for tooth decay or gum disease, you'll want to use a mouthrinse that has proven clinical benefits.

Therapeutic Mouthrinses

Mouthrinses that offer oral-health benefits are considered therapeutic. These fall into two general categories: anti-cariogenic rinses, which are designed to prevent tooth decay (and thus dental caries, or “cavities”); and anti-bacterial rinses, which help control the buildup of plaque bacteria in your mouth. Some products may even offer both types of protection.

To help prevent tooth decay, anti-cariogenic mouthrinses use an ingredient you're probably already familiar with: fluoride. This is often in the form of a .05% sodium fluoride solution. Because it's a liquid, the rinse can get all around your teeth — even into spaces the smallest brush can't reach.

Fluoride has been consistently proven to strengthen tooth enamel, which protects against decay; it can even reduce tiny lesions on teeth where a cavity may form. There's hardly anyone who couldn't use some extra help in the fight against cavities — but if you've been told you may be at a higher risk for tooth decay, or if you have difficulty brushing and flossing, then an anti-cariogenic rinse is a good choice for you.

Anti-bacterial mouthrinses generally contain ingredients (like triclosan, essential oils, or the prescription medication chlorhexidine) that help to control the microorganisms found in plaque. Plaque, a sticky, bacteria-laden biofilm, occurs not only on the surfaces of the teeth, but also in other parts of the mouth. Rinsing with an anti-bacterial solution has been shown to provide a greater reduction in plaque than brushing and flossing alone. As tools in the fight against gum disease (gingivitis) and tooth decay, anti-bacterial mouthrinses may be a good step toward improving your oral hygiene.

Choosing A Mouthrinse

If you're shopping for an over-the-counter therapeutic mouthrinse, look for the ADA (American Dental Association) seal on the label; it means that the product has been evaluated and proven effective by an independent panel of dental experts. If a mouthrinse has been prescribed for you, you should carefully follow the usage instructions. (Note, however, that due to labeling rules, prescription mouthrinses may not be eligible for the ADA seal.) Mouthrinses can benefit most people, but they generally aren't recommended for children under the age of six, who may swallow them.

Related Articles

Mouthrinses - Dear Doctor Magazine

Mouthrinses Walk into any drugstore and you'll see a staggering number of mouthrinses on the shelves. Which one is right for you? It all depends on what you hope to accomplish by using it... Read Article

Our Location

Find us on the map

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

Primary Location

Monday:

8:30 am-5:30 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-5:30 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-12:30 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-5:30 pm

Friday:

7:30 am-12:30 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

  • "Dr. Nasr and the whole team at Creekside Dentistry are wonderful. Most folks are not at all fans of dental offices or procedures, myself included, but when he has the ability to use his 20 years experiences and make a root canal close to painless? I'd say that's a win. Five stars are a must!"
    Austin C
  • "Absolutely outstanding professional dental services. I have extreme dental anxiety and was treated with understanding and given detailed explanations of my options and the work being performed. I was able to schedule an appointment on …"
    Anything O
  • "Dr.Nazr is a phenomenal doctor! He is patient, listens to your concerns, asks questions, is thorough, kind and a perfectionist. He doesn't let you leave unless everything is perfect. The staff is all very friendly, welcoming and makes you …"
    Makenzie S
  • "I cant remember the last time I took the time to write a review for anyone, but the wonderful staff at Creekside Dentistry definitely deserves some credit for the awesome work they do. I hadnt been to the dentist in almost 10 years and was …"
    Shelley M
  • "Dr. Nazr and staff are awesome. I've been going to Creekside Dentistry for two years. When I first went in I was having pain and hold / cold sensitivity. Dr. Nazr put me on an advanced cleaning routine every 3 months and provided fluoride …"
    Dustin S
  • "The staff and dentist here are fabulous! Friendly and efficient and they take my insurance! Fair prices too. Reception staff is very nice and welcome you with a smile. Dr. Nazr is wonderful and explains everything in plain English. Think I found my dentist for life...at least while I live in Folsom!"
    Allie W
  • "Dr. Nasr is an extremely kind and patient man.
    He sat down with me physically and energetically and wholeheartedly listened to all of my concerns. He spent an ample amount of time explaining every detail of my treatment plan, and even spent …"
    Nikki D
  • "Dr. Nasr and his staff are phenomenal! They continually go the extra mile to ensure you are thoroughly taken care of and answer any questions you may have. If you’re looking for an excellent dentist you can trust, along with a team that puts you first, I highly recommend Creekside Dentistry!"
    Simon H
  • "I just had a six-month deep cleaning from Ana. My teeth feel incredibly clean and my gums are reinvigorated. Ana is very personable and professional. She puts you at complete ease and makes the appointment actually enjoyable."
    Maryellen T