Mouth wash is also known as mouth rinse or oral rinse. The traditional purpose of mouth wash is to eliminate the bad breath but now there are therapeutic mouth washes available that help in reducing the bacteria in the mouth. Mouth wash is not meant to be a substitute for proper oral hygiene techniques. If you are interest in using mouth wash as a part of your oral hygiene routine, ask your dentist which type of mouth wash is right for you.
Mouth washes now come in a variety of flavors such as mint flavor, citrus flavor and formulations include ingredients for tartar control and tooth whitening
What is the composition of mouth wash?
Each commercial brand of mouth wash has different ingredients.
The active ingredients are usually alcohol, chlorhexidine gluconate, cityl pyridinium chloride, hexetidine, benzoic acid, methyl salicylate, triclosan, methyl paraben, hydrogen peroxide and sometimes fluorides, enzymes and calcium. They can also include water, essential oil constituents that have some antibacterial properties like phenol, thymol, eugenol, eucalyptol, menthol, and sweeteners such as sorbitol, sucralose, sodium saccharin and xylitol, preservatives like sodium benzoate. Odor eliminating agents such as oxidizers, as well as odor preventing agents such as zinc ion may added to some mouth washes
What are the uses of mouth wash?
- A mouth wash with fluoride will help reduce cavities
- It can make your teeth feel fresh and smell better
- It can decrease the quality and quantity of dental plaque and bacteria in your mouth
- It can help reduce the periodontal diseases
- Usually mouth wash is also recommended after dental surgeries because brushing and flossing cannot be done at that time due to pain
- It can also help patients who have bleeding gums
- Mouth wash may also be recommended for geriatric or disabled patients who might have dexterity problems or trouble in managing dental products
- Recommended after non-surgical scaling of deep gum pockets
- Mouth wash can be beneficial for those who are prone to oral problems
- Antibacterial mouthy rinse can help those who are extremely susceptible to tooth decay or gingivitis
How to use the mouth wash?
Mouth wash should contain directions for usage. Follow the directions and use only proper amount indicated on the label to decrease the side effects. It should be swished or gargled around the oral cavity for 30 seconds and spit out. Gargling is where the head is tilted back, allowing the mout6h wash to sit in the back of the mouth while exhaling, causing the liquid to bubble. After using mouth wash you should not eat or drink anything for at least 15 minutes as to not diminish its effectiveness. Mouth wash should not be used immediately after brushing the teeth so as not to wash away the beneficial fluoride residue left from the tooth paste. Similarly, the mouth should not be rinsed out with water after brushing. So remember to spit the water and don’t rinse after brushing.
What are the types of mouth washes?
Mainly two types of mouth washes are present
- Cosmetic mouth wash:-cosmetic mouth wash is used to give fresh breath. It only masks the bad breath, it doesn’t cure the halitosis and its effect only lasts up to 3 hours. The underlying cause for bad breath should be treated. So consult your dentist after you identify the bad breath instead of masking by using mouth wash
- Therapeutic mouth wash:- therapeutic mouth washes are 2 types. These mouth washes reduce the bacteria and remove debris
- Essential oil as an active ingredient
- Chlorhexidine as an active ingredient.
What are the side effects of mouth washes?
- Taste disturbance
- Tooth staining
- Sensation of a dry mouth
- Soreness, redness, ulceration may sometimes occur
- Alcohol containing mouth washes dries out the mouth and make halitosis worse
- Some people find the ingredients in mouth wash irritating especially people who have sensitive gums
- rinsing with alcohol based mouth wash is not good for children under the age of 6, who are likely to swallow the liquid
- if you swallow the mouth wash, the ingredients may upset your stomach
- there is also some controversy over whether or not alcohol containing mouth wash causes oral cancer
Mouth wash should never be used as a substitute for brushing your teeth because it can’t force food particles out like brushing and flossing can. Your dentist can advise you whether you need a mouth wash and what kind of mouth wash to use depending upon your oral health