When And How To Use Mouthwashes

Brushing your teeth is essential! But should we also resort to mouthwashes? Antiseptic, protective, purifying formulas. There are products adapted to everyone’s needs. Which pure mouthwash? What precautions? How to use it well?

Mouthwash optimizes toothbrushing and completes the action of toothpaste: since it is usually rinsed out, the active ingredients (fluoride, remineralizing agents, antiseptics, etc.) are eliminated!

When To Do A Mouthwash?

There are several types of mouthwash, which are used in addition, after the “toothbrush sequence.” Instead, they are intended for people with particular problems with their teeth or gums.

“Mouthwashes are only really useful when the risk of cavities or gingivitis is increased,” underlines Dr. Vianney Descroix, a dental surgeon in the dentistry department of the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital group (Paris ). For example, in case:

  • Imperfect brushing;
  • Wearing an orthodontic appliance;
  • Taking certain medications (long-term corticosteroids, antidepressants which induce a decrease in saliva);
  • Bad eating habits (snacking, excessive consumption of sodas, or acidic foods can cause dental hypersensitivity).

Using a mouthwash then makes it possible to reach difficult areas with a toothbrush, dental floss, or brush heads. “People suffering from bad breath of oral origin also benefit from using a suitable mouthwash,” says Dr. Descroix.

The latter, however, advises against the use of mouthwashes supposed to help you preserve the whiteness of your teeth: “only concentrated products applied directly to the tooth can claim a lightning action”.

Also Read: Dental Assistants And Their Functions

Antiseptic Formulas: To Treat Infections

Antiseptic mouthwashes contain highly dosed active ingredients against germs, among which we find especially chlorhexidine and hexetidine.

  • Main products: Alodont, Eludril, Givalex, Hextril, Paroex, Prexidine…
  • In which cases to use them? These products treat infections and inflammations of the oral mucosa. They are also recommended after dental surgery to prevent the development of “bad germs.”
  • What exactly can you expect from it? Relief of swelling of the gums or soothing pain in case of an abscess. However, mouthwashes alone cannot cure a natural infection. They are combined, where appropriate, with oral antibiotic treatment.
  • Directions for use: two to three mouthwashes per day for a maximum of two weeks.
  • Precautions: do not continue treatment beyond two weeks without medical advice. You risk disturbing the balance of oral flora and causing yeast infection. Note: chlorhexidine can induce staining of the teeth, but don’t worry, this staining is reversible!

Protective Formulas: Against Cavities

Their mission is to strengthen tooth enamel and make it more resistant to acid attacks.

  • Main products: Bioxtra, Elgydium Sensitive teeth, Elmex Caries protection, Fluocaril.
  • In which cases to use them? The products are intended for people prone to cavities. They are also helpful for teens who wear rings and whose brushing (often) leaves much to be desired.
  • What exactly can you expect from it? The interest is preventive. But in any case, mouthwash can not cure cavities.
  • Directions for use: perform mouthwash systematically after each meal, in the cure of one month to begin.
  • Precautions: do not rinse your mouth after use at the risk of eliminating fluoride.

The “Special Gum” Formulas In Case Of Bleeding

The active ingredients have been chosen to tone the gums and reduce dental plaque. There are low-dose antiseptics, fluoride, and anti-inflammatory drugs (such as enoxolone).

  • Main products: Arthrodont, Meridol, Parodontax, Parogencyl.
  • In which cases to use them? These mouthwashes are suitable for people whose gums bleed when brushing.
  • What exactly can you expect from it? There is a decrease in bleeding and an improvement in the appearance of the gums after ten to fifteen days, in addition to gentle and careful brushing.
  • Directions for use: one to two types of mouthwash per day for at least two weeks.

Purifying Formulas: Against Lousy Breath

They contain natural “disinfectants,” and more precisely, essential oils.

  • Main products: Eau de Boot, Gum Gingidex, Listerine Coolmint, Listerine protection Teeth, and Gums.
  • In which cases to use them? If you suffer from a bad breath problem or if you want to prolong the benefits of your brushing and keep your gums healthy.
  • What exactly can you expect from it? The refreshing effect is immediately felt and lasts for a few hours.
  • Instructions for use: to be used after each brushing.
  • Dentists are unanimous: as much a mouthwash with a whitening effect is useless, as those targeting bad breath are effective (CB12, Meridol Halitosis…). In all cases, they are preferred without alcohol because, over time, the latter can irritate and dry out the oral mucosa.

Also Read: Aloe Vera: A Plant That Helps Our Gums

Anti-Canker Sore Formulas, A New Generation Of Mouthwashes

This is the new generation of mouthwashes that contain a healing activator: high molecular weight hyaluronic acid, a molecule found in the tissues of the oral mucosa. As a bonus, they form a protective and adhesive film.

  • Main products: Bloxaphte, Gum Aftamed.
  • In which cases to use them? In the presence of canker sores, and more particularly in the event of multiple ulcerations (in addition to conventional treatments). They can also be taken for prevention.
  • What exactly can you expect from it? Pain relief appears immediately, and healing is accelerated by a few days.
  • Directions for use: To be used pure, three times a day, and more if necessary until symptoms disappear.
  • Precautions: none, the products are sugar and alcohol-free.

How To Do A Good Mouthwash? What General Precautions?

Mouthwash is usually done 2 to 3 times a day after brushing your teeth.

  • We keep the product for 30 seconds in the mouth (by repeating it several times if necessary)
  • And we spit it out without rinsing our mouth afterward.

How Long Should I Use It?

Unless the dentist recommends otherwise, a mouthwash is generally used for one to two weeks, to be repeated if the oral problems return.

What Precautions?

  • If the mouthwash is intended for daily use, it is better to choose it without alcohol and antiseptic. This is because alcohol can dry out your mouth, and you can suffer from bad breath or irritation of the oral tissues. The antiseptic, even at low concentration, can indeed destabilize the oral flora.
  • Some mouthwashes can be used in children from 6 or 7 years old… after making sure that they know how to spit out!
  • In the event of pregnancy, the absence of essential oils is checked. The latter is also to be avoided when there is a history of seizures.

Also Read: Teeth Brushing Mistakes You Make Every Day

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