Oral hygiene is a strict regime. Everybody knows that they should brush their teeth twice a day, and floss 2 to 3 times a week, but there is a side to oral care that is overlooked by most people, and that is mouthwash, which is why we attempted to form a list of the best therapeutic mouthwash types and brands on the market today.
First things first, you should know that mouthwashes are adjuncts to your oral hygiene program, similar to toothpaste, which means they are not absolutely essential as brushing and flossing, but using them on a regular basis would certainly be
helpful. You should also know that not all mouthwashes are safe, meaning that while most can be used every day for a long period of time without any side effects, some are intended to be used only until a condition is treated and then they should be stopped, or else risk some serious adverse effects as we will explain later on. So in short, do not self-prescribe mouthwash for yourself, and rely on the instructions from your dentist or hygienist.
Selecting the best therapeutic mouthwash
Mouthwashes contain a variety of active ingredients, and each is directed towards curing a certain condition. They can be used to treat gum disease, teeth sensitivity, decreasing the chances of cavity formation, decreasing plaque build-up and of course, to kill certain types of bacteria, and therefore decrease the chances of infection.
To select the best mouthwash for your particular case, you should first know what you suffer from with the help of your dentist, who will then prescribe the most suitable mouthwash to help you through your ordeal, but until you have the time for a check-up, here is a list of the most common conditions that need mouthwash for their treatment, and some of the best mouthwash brands on the market today for each:
Best mouthwash for gum disease:
Perhaps the most common condition needing mouthwash is gum disease. Gum disease arises due to plaque build-up on and between the teeth due to lack of oral care, where the bacteria inside the plaque release toxins that cause inflammation and bleeding of the gums, among other symptoms.
Of course it goes without saying that the first thing you should do is take better care of your teeth and mouth cleanliness by regular brushing and flossing, and then consider using mouthwash.
For gum disease, the needed therapeutic ingredient is an antibacterial agent to control the bacteria, and the most common antibacterial agent is Chlorhexidine. So basically, any mouthwash with chlorhexidine as an active ingredient is your correct choice. But beware, Chlorhexidine is not intended for prolonged use. It should be used twice daily for a period between 7 and 10 days, with a maximum of 2 weeks, as prolonged use of chlorhexidine causes staining of the teeth and tongue, and it also disrupts the balance of micro-organisms in your mouth and you could end up with a fungal infection called Candida as an end result, so extreme care is advised.
Examples of chlorhexidine mouthwashes on the market include:
Best mouthwash for teeth sensitivity:
Teeth sensitivity is a result of exposure of the sensitive part of the tooth (called the dentine) to the oral environment. This happens for 2 main reasons:
First is gum recession due to age or improper brushing, and second is enamel chipping and weakening either due to decay or teeth grinding.
Mouth washes would certainly help remedy that, and the active ingredient to do so is Fluoride. Fluoride is a very common ingredient present in almost every therapeutic toothpaste, and most mouthwashes as well.
It creates a protective layer on the dentine so as to shield it from further harm from hot and cold food and drinks, as well as acidic compounds as citrus fruits and fizzy drinks.
Fluoride is also not dangerous if used on the long run, but if used with children, extreme caution should be exercised not to swallow it, as it can cause toxicity as well as bone deformation if taken in high enough doses.
Examples of Fluoridated mouthwashes include:
- Listerine Fluoride defense
- Colgate Phos-flur
- Oral B Prohealth clinical Mouthwash
Best mouthwash for cavities reduction:
Cavities originate from acids that are formed by bacteria that is present in the plaque and food remnants (particularly between the teeth), which could dissolve the outer protective enamel layer, paving the way for the bacteria to reach the inner surfaces of the teeth.
So in order for the mouthwash to protect you against cavities, it needs to do 2 things:
- Kill the bacteria that produce the acids that weaken the tooth.
- Strengthen the surface of the tooth
Again it is important to point out that the first line of defense against cavities is brushing and flossing, and using a therapeutic mouthwash is just an aid. As mentioned before, Chlorhexidine could kill bacteria, and Fluoride coast the teeth with a protective layer and ultimately increases their strength, so an anticavity mouthwash should have both; however, as you remember, chlorhexidine is not intended for prolonged use, and there are very few brands on the market that combine both ingredients in one mouthwash, so it is best to just stick to a fluoridated mouthwash which should be enough to do the trick.Examples of anticavity mouthwashes include:
- Colgate Enamel Health
- Listerine Total Care anticavity Mouthwash
- ACT anticavity fluoride mouth rinse
Best mouthwash for bad breath:
Bad breath is a fairly common problem. It almost always arises from fermentation of food that is not properly cleaned, and that happens in 2 main areas, that is between the teeth, and the tongue.
A correct oral hygiene regimen should include proper cleaning between the teeth through flossing, as well as tongue brushing and scraping, but if all that fails to remove bad breath, then it is advisable to use a strongly flavored mouthwash, no active ingredient needed.
Examples of mouthwashes to fight bad breath include:
- Fresh breath oral rinse
So as you can probably deduce from the above list, selecting the best therapeutic mouthwash is a long and grueling process, but it all comes down to what your problem is , and to know that, we advise you to go for a quick check-up.