Word of Mouth: How to know your mouth — and your mouthwash needs

NOT ALL MOUTHS are created equal, and not all oral concerns are the same. It’s the reason why there are so many different types of mouthwash available on the market.

Mouthwash helps you maintain good oral health. However, it is not a substitute for daily oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing. It’s also not a substitute for seeing your dentist on a regular basis. Most oral health issues — from bad breath to sensitivity to whitening — can be best addressed by your dentist.

Explore the different types below to understand which mouthwash will best meet your oral needs.


Antiseptic mouthwash: This mouthwash is best at treating bad breath and oral infection. Containing chlorhexidine gluconate, these mouthwashes are good at killing the bacteria that cause bad breath and tooth decay. These mouthwashes will, however, discolor teeth if overused.

Fluoride mouthwash: Most people have access to fluoridated water and toothpaste, but not all do. Since fluoride is important in making teeth stronger and fighting tooth decay, fluoride mouthwash is a good choice for those without fluoridated water. Due to the high amounts of fluoride, this mouthwash is not always recommended for young children under age six. Your dentist can help with this decision.

Cosmetic mouthwash: This mouthwash is a good choice for those who are looking to freshen their breath and nothing more.

Dry-mouth mouthwash: Some people suffer from dry mouth due to medications or medical conditions. Since saliva is an important part of oral health, maintaining oral moistness is important. However, it is important to uncover the underlying causes of dry mouth.

Whitening mouthwash: Mouthwash is not the best method for whitening your teeth, though most whitening mouthwashes offer other benefits, too. Speak to your dentist about all your whitening options.

This column is sponsored by Midtown Dental.



BIO: Dr. William Nerestant received his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the University of Detroit/ Mercy School of Dentistry in Michigan. After serving and being recognized for his meritorious service in the U.S. Air Force as an officer in the Dental Corps, he currently serves patients at Midtown Dental in Lakeland. For more information, visit mymidtowndental.com or call (863) 226-0987.

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