Walking down the dental aisle of any store can leave you a bit overwhelmed. There are many choices for toothpaste, toothbrushes, and even dental accessories (floss threader, anyone?). Mouthwash, however, should be an easy one; pick a bottle and go, right? Not so fast. Not all mouthwashes are created equal; some are mouth rinses and knowing the difference between the two is just as important as picking the flavor you like best.
Marvelous Mouth Rinse
Though mouth rinse is similar to mouthwash in looks, taste, and mouth-feel, it serves a very different purpose. Mouth rinse is used before you brush your teeth. Its purpose is to prevent plaque buildup and to help freshen your breath. Most of these rinses contain some kind of an anti-bacterial agent that kills germs and helps protect the teeth. Most mouth rinses are sold over-the-counter, but those with stronger germ-killing ingredients can be prescribed by your dentist.
Mouthwashes are used after brushing and flossing your teeth. They are used to kill any bacteria that remain in your mouth after your dental routine, and they keep the regrowth down to a minimum. Most mouthwashes contain a high percentage of alcohol for killing the bacteria and often include fluoride, flavoring, and other ingredients to control bacterial growth. For those who are leery about using an alcohol-based product, there are several alcohol-free types of mouthwash and rinses available today.
The Perfect Dental Plan
Using both a mouth rinse before you brush, and a mouthwash after can be part of a healthy dental care regimen. Seeing your dentist regularly to maintain your good dental health should also be an important part of your plan. If you’re looking for a dentist in the Thousand Oaks area, you can call, email, or just stop by. And if you have any further questions about the mouth rinse/mouthwash difference, we’ll be happy to help.