Should You Use Mouthwash?

»»Should You Use Mouthwash?

Man With Mouthwash

The Answer is… Maybe!

Mouthwash, or mouth rinses, are primarily used to remove food debris after brushing and flossing. They provide a pleasant taste, freshen the breath, and (depending on the active ingredient) can also protect against plaque & bacteria, periodontal disease, and/or cavities.

So should everyone use mouthwash? Not exactly. Some people who use it will see only marginal benefits over brushing and flossing alone. Furthermore, repeated use of alcohol-based mouthwash can irritate soft tissue, damage the mucous membrane, and contribute to dry mouth (xerostomia).

Every mouth is different, so get a recommendation based on your individual needs by discussing mouthwash options with your dentist. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

Benefits of Mouthwash

  • Helps remove food debris
  • Provides temporary relief of bad breath (halitosis)
  • May prevent buildup up of plaque and inhibit growth of bacteria
  • May prevent periodontal (gum) disease
  • Fluoridated options may prevent cavities

Side Effects

  • Provides only temporary relief from bad breath (3-4 hours)
  • Can mask the presence of periodontal disease
  • Alcohol-based rinses may irritate tissues & cause dry mouth (xerostomia)
  • Alcohol-based rinses may also cause intoxication and/or injury if swallowed

About the Author:

Born in Allentown Pennsylvania, into a family of musicians, Rob Pearce grew up studying violin, percussion, jazz arranging and composition. After two years at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he transfer to the pre-dental program at the University of Miami and later moved to San Francisco where he earned his Doctorate in Dentistry (DDS) from the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in 1990. For the past twenty eight years he has focused his efforts on mastering the art of high quality, long lasting “metal free dentistry,” a concept that was relatively new at the time but over the years has gained powerful momentum. In 2014 Dr. Pearce became a member of the “Visiting Faculty” of Spear Education, arguably the most prestigious dental continuing education program in the world. As a Spear Open Wide Foundation Ambassador, Dr. Pearce and his team travel to Guatemala to provide metal free dentistry to those who would otherwise receive no dental treatment at all. Dr. Pearce and Annette Rig were honored, and lucky enough to treat the very first patient at the Foundation’s first clinic in 2012. Since then, with the outpouring of support from our member dentists and American equipment manufacturers, we now have six clinics and have treated over 200,000 patients in need! The foundation’s goals include helping improve the education of Guatemala dentists. In 2015, as a member of the Education Development Committee, Dr. Pearce presented an all day lecture and workshop for the faculty and students at the Galvez School of Dentistry in Guatemala City.