Mouth Rinses

Mouth rinses are used for a varied number of reasons like, to reduce plaque, to freshen breath, to reduce the speed that tartar (hardened plaque) forms on the teeth, to help prevent or control tooth decay, to prevent or reduce gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease), or to produce a combination of these effects.

Cosmetic vs. therapeutic mouth rinses

Cosmetic mouth rinses leave the mouth with a pleasant taste. They may temporarily control or reduce bad breath. But they don’t deal with the causes of bad breath,none of the cosmetic mouth rinses helps reduce plaque, gingivitis or cavities. They don’t kill the bacteria that cause bad breath or chemically inactivate odor causing compounds.
Therapeutic mouth rinses, on the other hand, can help reduce plaque, gingivitis, cavities and bad breath fight the bacteria present in plaque, a sticky film that forms on teeth and gums. Plaque bacteria create toxins that can damage the gums which don’t go with daily brushing and flossing and can cause gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. Plaque can also turn into tartar (or calculus), a hard substance that can only be removed during a professional cleaning. Some therapeutic mouthwashes contain agents that either fight bad breath bacteria or that chemically inactivate odor causing compounds. Therapeutic mouth rinses that contain fluoride help prevent or reduce tooth decay.

Different mouthwashes and their use:

  • Mouth rinses for regular use(Colgate Plax, Listerine)
  • Rinsing with a cosmetic mouthwash will loosen bits of food from your teeth, lessen bacteria in your mouth, temporarily reduce bad breath and leave a refreshing taste in your mouth. These mouthwashes may temporarily curtail stinky breath stinky, but it’s not a permanent fix.

  • Therapeutic mouth rinses
  • Chlorhexidine mouth rinses (Peridex, chlohex, hexidine, Periogard) Chlorhexidine is active against various bacteria, viruses, bacteria spores and fungi. It kills the micro-organisms associated with various mouth and throat infections, and other common conditions in the mouth. Chlorhexidine has also been shown to prevent the formation and build up of plaque on teeth, which helps prevent inflammation of the gums. Aid for preventing build-up of plaque on the teeth and maintaining oral hygiene. Apart it is used for various other conditions like:

    • -Promoting gum healing after dental surgery.
    • -Management of mouth ulcers
    • -Management of oral thrush
    • -Management of inflammation of the lining of the mouth due to irritation from dentures.

    5ml of the mouthwash should be used to thoroughly rinse the mouth for about one minute twice a day The Chlorhexidine mouthwashes have a residual effect, so use it for 2 weeks and then stop for 3 months
    Chlorhexidine mouthwash if used in excess can leads to non-permanent staining of the tongue and Brown staining of the teeth. This is not permanent and can largely be avoided by brushing the teeth before using the mouthwash or in the case of dentures, using a conventional denture cleaner. Where normal brushing is not possible, or if any staining remains, your teeth may need scaling and polishing by your dentist after you have finished using the mouthwash

  • Fluoride mouth rinses (Phosflor, s-flow, fluritop)
  • Fluoride is a natural mineral that safely strengthens teeth to help prevent tooth decay and permanent tooth loss. When a tooth’s surface is weakened by decay, fluoride can be absorbed into the weakened tooth surface to rebuild the enamel. Amazingly, the new tooth material created by this rebuilding process is even more durable than the original. Fluoride has been shown to be a safe, inexpensive and extremely effective in preventing tooth decay. When acid from plaque bacteria begin taking minerals out of the tooth enamel, fluoride can put minerals back in, and therefore prevent tooth decay! The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the 0.2% weekly sodium fluoride mouth rinse as a safe and effective means of preventing tooth decay.
    The use of fluoride mouth rinses is not recommended for children six and younger because they may swallow the rinse.
    The only mouthwash recommended for everyday use is the one with fluoride

  • Desensitizing mouth rinses (Colgate sensitive desensitizing mouth rinse, Senquel -AD)
  • The mechanism for desensitizing teeth can be a blockage of nerve response in the pulp, a reduction in dentinal tubule flow, or both. Blockage of nerve activity and the transmission of pain have been reported with the use of potassium nitrate or potassium chloride. For their antisensitive effect this mouthwash needs to be used for long term along with antisensitive toothpaste for better result.

    Desensitizing toothpastes should be used for a period of one month and discontinued. If symptoms persist consult your dentist

  • Hydrogen peroxide based mouth rinses (PEROXYL -COLGATE)
  • It works by releasing oxygen when it is applied to the affected area. The release of oxygen causes foaming, which helps to remove mucus and clean the area. It can be used in following conditions:
    • -Professional tooth whitening gel
    • -Antiseptic mouth and throat rinse,
    • -As a disinfectant to irrigate or rinse the inside of the tooth during a root canal, Added to toothpaste and other over-the-counter whitening products as a bleaching agent ,
    • -For treating canker sore (painful mouth ulcers)

    Usage instructions:

    Rinse with 10 ml (half a capful) for approximately one minute, and then spit out. Use 3 times daily (after meals and at bedtime) or as directed by a doctor or dentist.
    The duration of the treatment should not exceed 7 days.

  • Mouth rinses for kids (Listerine-smart rinse, Act- anti cavity rinse)
  • According to the American Dental Association (ADA), children under the age of 6 should not use mouthwash because it’s difficult for them to keep from swallowing it.

    Older children who have braces are especially good candidates for fluoride mouth rinses because the rinse can help prevent teeth from acid-producing plaque bacteria which may buildup under the brackets. Children between ages six and 12 years should only use a mouth rinse under close adult supervision.

    No matter what type of mouthwash your child uses, be sure to remind him or her that mouthwash, even a fluoride rinse, does not replace a regular routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing to preserve a healthy smile.

    Fluoride mouthwashes in particular strengthen teeth to help PREVENT TOOTH DECAY. Also, it’s also effective in preventing decalcification (white spots on teeth) common in children who wear braces.

  • Natural mouthwashes
  • 1. Water, rock salt, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and mint juice (mint leaves juice concentrate)
    2. Water, ground oregano leaves ,rock salt
    3. Neem oil, warm water Procedure: Rub a drop of neem oil all over the mouth and then rinse well with warm water. This prevents decay. You can also replace neem oil with clove or olive oil.
    4. Sesame seed oil is also used as a natural mouthwash with warm water.

  • Side effects of using mouthwash:
  • All the mouthwash if used in excess will have some side effects

    • Temporary taste disturbance.
    • Many mouthwashes contain a high amount of alcohol. This can cause a dry mouth.
    • Burning sensation on the tongue.
    • Chlorhexidine like mouthwash can leads to staining of teeth and tongue.
    • Peeling of the inside of the mouth. If you notice this you should dilute the mouthwash with an equal volume of tap water before using it to rinse your mouth.
    • Swelling of the salivary glands.

    Mouthwashes can be really helpful when followed with proper dosage, so it’s very important to consult your dentist to know the correct dosage that suits your teeth and gum condition

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