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October 1, 2011

Should You Use Mouthwash?

Dr. Pate often recommends the use of mouthwash, as does the American Dental Association, but mouthwash is really a matter of preference. Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and attending regularly scheduled checkups and cleanings are tasks you should count as mandatory for your oral health.  Mouthwash isn’t a must, but it does help control oral bacteria. It also makes your breath minty fresh, and some varieties reduce the risk for gum disease and cavities.

Here are a few interesting facts on the use of mouthwash:

  • A recent study suggests that using alcohol-free mouthwash could help prevent pre-term births. Learn more.
  • Some studies suggest that regular, prolonged use of mouthwash with alcohol may increase the risk for oral and oropharyngeal cancer. Learn more.
  • Prescription strength chlorhexidine mouthwash reduces plaque by 55% and gingivitis by 30 to 45%. Learn more.
  • Listerine, an antimicrobial mouth rinse made with essential oils, is the most effective over-the-counter mouthwash to fight plaque. Learn more.
  • Scope and Cepacol contain cetylpyridinium, while other brands contain stannous fluoride. Both of these ingredients have some antimicrobial effects, particularly if used an hour after brushing teeth. Learn more.
  • Fluoride-enriched mouthwash, like ACT, may reduce the risk for cavities. Learn more.

If you tend to have excessive plaque buildup, if you’re prone to tooth decay, or if you suffer from chronic bad breath, mouthwash won’t end your problems. Talk with Dr. Peter Pate, your Atlanta general dentist in Buckhead, about your concerns. He can assess your mouth’s condition and recommend products targeted to address your issues. To schedule a visit with Dr. Pate, call 404-266-9424.