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We all want to take the best care of our mouths as we can! You already brush twice a day, floss every day, and you want to know–is there anything else you can do? While not a substitute for brushing and flossing, mouthwash can be a good addition to the oral health routine of some people.

There are two different kinds of mouthwash: therapeutic and cosmetic. Cosmetic mouthwashes may freshen breath temporarily, but they do not kill bacteria or help prevent cavities and other mouth diseases. Therapeutic mouthwashes contain active ingredients that kill bacteria and may help prevent cavities, plaque buildup, bad breath, and gum disease.

There are mouthwashes designed for specific tasks, such as adding fluoride, killing bacteria, or freshening breath. Some are designed to loosen plaque before brushing. Always read labels carefully, and ask your dentist about your specific health needs. Look for products that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This seal provides assurance that the product does what it claims to do, as the American Dental Association requires rigorous testing before granting the seal.

Do not give mouthwash to children under 6 years old. Always be careful if you choose to give mouthwash to children.

Be careful of swallowing large amounts of mouthwash, which can lead to nausea, vomiting, or intoxication (due to the alcohol content of some rinses). If you need to avoid alcohol, read labels carefully, as many rinses contain significant amounts of alcohol.

Though some therapeutic mouthwashes are prescription-strength, many can be purchased over-the-counter. Talk to your dentist about which mouthwash is right for you, based on your dental care needs. Call Paramus Dental & Implant Center at 201-518-9795 today; we are happy to help!