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General Practice 2023

Mouth rinse: how to choose the best one (and how to use it)

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Mouth rinse: how to choose the best one (and how to use it)
Mouth rinse: how to choose the best one (and how to use it)

The use of mouthwash is very important to maintain the he alth of the mouth, as it prevents problems such as cavities, plaque, gingivitis and bad breath, favoring a refreshing breath and more beautiful teeth.

These products usually have different compositions, with or without alcohol, fluoride or without fluoride, which suit the needs of each person's mouth and, therefore, should, whenever possible, be guided by the dentist, so that get the most benefit.

The mouthwash should always be used after brushing, flossing and scraping the tongue, as the mouth must be free of plaque and impurities for the product to act. In addition, as there are numerous brands of this product, it is important to check if the brand has ANVISA approval and check the label for the active ingredients contained in the composition.

How to choose the best type

There are several options for mouthwashes, with different active principles and modes of action and effectiveness. To know how to choose the best rinse, it is important to know what each of the main ingredients is for:

  • With alcohol: alcohol is a component used to dilute mouthwash products and must be safe for consumption. However, it is preferable that this type of mouthwash is avoided, as it causes aggression to the oral mucosa and wear of the dental enamel, in addition to being able to unbalance the oral pH, which can leave the teeth yellow and dry the tongue;
  • Alcohol free: alcohol-free mouthwash options use other types of products to dilute the active ingredients, which do not burn or harm the mouth, and can be used with greater security;
  • With fluoride: fluoride products are ideal for people with cavities, and should be used once a day to combat the proliferation of bacteria, and are also useful to reduce sensitivity in the teeth of people with this problem;
  • Antiseptic, such as Chlorhexidine Gluconate: the antiseptic mouthwash is the most suitable for those who have bad breath, as it is able to eliminate the bacteria that cause the unpleasant smell in the mouth. They are also ideal for those who have had or will have surgery, as they reduce the risk of contracting an infection. However, this type of antiseptic should only be used for 1 week, as indicated by the dentist, because as it is potent, it can cause damage and stains on the teeth.

The best way to ensure that you choose the best mouthwash is to consult your dentist, who will be able to advise you on the best type, the amount of daily use and for how long it can be used.

How to use mouthwash correctly

To use the mouthwash correctly, oral hygiene must be performed as follows:

  1. Flossing between all the teeth. People with very close teeth can use dental tape because it is thinner and doesn't hurt;
  2. Brush your teeth with a toothbrush andwith fluoride toothpaste for at least 2 minutes;
  3. Rinse your mouth with water only to completely remove the toothpaste;
  4. Place the mouthwash directly into the mouth and rinse for a few seconds, making sure the product reaches all areas of the mouth, then spit it out.

Mouthwash should not be swallowed because it is not suitable for ingesting, and it can carry microorganisms that were in the mouth, which could harm the stomach.

Do I need to use mouthwash every day?

Mouthwash does not need to be used every day, as the people who benefit the most are those who have undergone an oral surgical procedure or who have periodontal disease, such as cavities, gingivitis or sensitive teeth.

That's because, despite the effect of potentiating the cleaning of the mouth, its excessive use can attack the enamel of the teeth, facilitating the formation of stains and drying of the oral mucosa.

Care for best effect

Some tips for making mouthwash work well and not cause unwanted effects include:

  • Use at night, preferably after oral hygiene with a brush and dental floss, for a longer lasting effect. Although some people use it twice a day, using only once a day is enough for proper oral hygiene;
  • Flossing and brushing your teeth correctly, as the use of mouthwash alone is not enough to eliminate bacteria and impurities. Check out the steps to brush your teeth correctly;
  • Do not dilute the product with water, because despite being a strategy used by some people to reduce the sting of the rinse, it alters and reduces the effect of the active ingredients;
  • People who have had their teeth whitened should prefer clear rinses and without dyes, preventing stains from appearing;
  • For children, mouthwash should be alcohol-free and fluoride-free, but any type is contraindicated before age 3.

People who have diabetes should use mouthwash only once a day, before going to sleep, because using it in larger quantities can lead to dry mouth, a common symptom in these people but which can get worse due to use of the mouthwash. The use of mouthwash is particularly indicated if you have cavities, plaque, gingivitis or if you have had a dental procedure such as tooth extraction or mouth surgery, as it can accelerate healing and complete recovery.

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