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In addition to your normal routine of brushing twice daily and flossing at least once, mouthwash could be an important component to your oral health.  Mouthwash freshens breath, but it can also be used for a variety of other reasons.  Mouthwash can help to prevent tooth decay, prevent or fight gingivitis, even slow the speed at which tartar builds upon the teeth, and, best of all, most mouthwashes are available without a prescription.  The main thing to look for in a quality mouthwash is the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal on the packaging.  The ADA Seal means that the product has been tested, and, not only does it work as advertised, but it’s also safe to use.  The ADA tests the product under predetermined guidelines for effectiveness and safety.

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Mouthwash-Oral Health

If you are unsure if you need a mouthwash, consult your dentist.  There are two types of mouthwashes: therapeutic and cosmetic.  Cosmetic mouthwashes leave the mouth with a pleasant taste and also control or reduce bad breath.  It wont deal with the causes of bad breath—bacteria within the mouth, and it wont help to prevent cavities, plaque, or gingivitis.  Therapeutic mouthwashes will help control bacteria, even reduce plaque, cavities, and fight gingivitis.  Some therapeutic mouthwashes also contain fluoride, which will help to prevent tooth decay.  If you are using a therapeutic mouthwash to prevent bad breath for any prolonged period of time, it may be important to visit your dentist to determine the underlying cause of the bad breath.

It doesn’t matter which action you perform at the sink in a normal tooth cleaning routine.  You can brush, floss, or swish with a mouthwash first, it’s the culmination of the three actions that will clean the teeth.  The manufacturer may also recommend on the packaging the proper time to use the product.  Also, it’s important not to give mouthwashes to children under the age of six, because they may swallow the rinse, and some rinses contain fluorides, which shouldn’t be swallowed.  And, always follow the manufacturers instructions on how much mouthwash you should use.