Choosing a mouthwash isn't as easy as you think. There are a lot of products to choose from that claim to do different things.
Your choice basically comes down to two factors. Some mouthwashes are cosmetic, and some are therapeutic. What's the difference, and how does it affect your product choice?
What Is a Cosmetic Mouthwash?
A cosmetic mouthwash freshens up the breath and makes it smell nicer. However, this kind of mouthwash generally just masks bad smells in the mouth.
When you use a cosmetic mouthwash, the smell of your breath improves because it is hidden behind a nicer and stronger smell. However, the mouthwash won't do anything to stop bad breath from happening; this is a temporary fix.
What Is a Therapeutic Mouthwash?
Therapeutic mouthwashes fix specific oral problems, and in doing so, make your breath smell fresher. On a general level, this kind of mouthwash can be a supplement to your daily oral hygiene routine.
For example, a mouthwash that targets plaque bacteria maintains good teeth and gum hygiene by controlling bacteria levels in the mouth. A fluoride mouthwash strengthens your teeth by exposing them to more fluoride.
Some mouthwashes target specific problems rather than general oral health. For example, if you have bleeding gums, then mouthwashes that contain antiseptics like chlorhexidine may help. They have some disinfectant properties that reduce swelling and tenderness.
Which Mouthwash Should You Choose?
The key thing to consider here is what you want the mouthwash for. If your teeth and gums are healthy, then a cosmetic mouthwash may be enough to give you a mouth-freshening boost when you need it.
For example, if you're going out after work and your mouth has that end-of-the-day smell and taste, then a mouthwash that masks that smell is probably good enough. You just need a short-term solution here.
However, if you're looking to supplement your brushing and flossing routine, then an anti-bacterial therapeutic mouthwash may be a better bet. Regular use of these mouthwashes helps control the bacteria that make your breath a bit stinky so that it smells better naturally.
If you have a specific problem, like issues with your gums, then you may get some relief from a targeted therapeutic mouthwash. However, you should remember that mouthwashes aren't a replacement for dental treatment.
If you have problems with your teeth or gums, or if your breath suddenly smells really bad all the time, then you should have a checkup with your dentist. They can also recommend suitable mouthwashes for you.
As a mum, I know how essential sport can be to children's development. Through team sports like soccer, kids learn persistence, sportsmanship and the value of supporting their team members. However, all that learning carries some risk as well, and a stray elbow or a ball to the face can result in oral injuries. I have been the mum rushing to the emergency room with a precious permanent tooth sitting in a cup of milk. Admittedly, at the time, I wasn't even sure if the cup of milk was the right solution. As a parent, you will face those situations, and I'm here to make sure you know what to do when they pop up. With this blog, let's explore children's dentistry and sports injuries together... I want you to have the info you need to stay cool, calm and collected, regardless of how many teeth are on the pitch.