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Is Mouthwash Bad For Your Long-term Health?

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By Author: James Franklin
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Many of us love that minty taste from taking a swig of our favorite mouthwash. But oral rinses are doing more than just giving you fresher breath; it is also teeming with health benefits. For one, it prevents the buildup of different bacteria between the corners of the teeth. Read the label of your mouthwash containe, and you will find claims like teeth whitener, plaque zapper, and gum disease fighter.

There are many kinds of mouthwashes available in the market. From everyday use formulas to herbal blends to alcohol free variants.
Whatever your choice may be, they have a common goal of promoting good hygiene, oral health and fresh breath. But are the claims of these products true? Are mouthwashes really good for your oral health? Turns out, the answer is both yes and no. Read on to find the pros and cons of rinses.

Advantages of Mouthwashes

• Mouthwashes promote good hygiene and oral health. There are mouth rinses that contain fluoride that help combat cavities and other periodontal diseases. Antiseptic rinses, in particular, contains chlorhexidine gluconate that prevents bacteria growth in the mouth and controls halitosis and infections.
• Mouthwashes help in post-surgery treatment. Mouthwashes that are prescribed by dentists aid in curing sores and inflammation following dental surgery. These products are recommended for patients who are advised to not brush their teeth while their surgical wounds are still healing.
• Mouthwashes help heal mouth ulcers.These ulcers are popularly known as canker sores. A good mouthwash can help manage this infection.
• Mouthwashes help avoid pregnancy complications. Mouthwashes can help prevent periodontal disease, that can cause premature labors in a pregnant woman. Once bacteria enters their bloodstream, inflammatory markers can increase and stimulate contractions. With regular use of mouth rinses, oral bacteria is kept at bay.

Disadvantages of Mouthwashes

• Mouthwashes can only mask halitosis. Mouth rinses can do this for a long time, which can conceal potentially serious problems that are manifested by halitosis. Mouthwashing should never be made a toothbrushing substitute; rather, it should be done along with the many hygiene habits for good oral care. It can conceal halitosis with a temporary fresh breath, but it will never be able to address oral problems on its own.
• Mouthwashes can be dangerous when ingested by a child. Children are prone to ingesting mouthwash accidentally, which can pose some serious health hazards for them. It can cause convulsions and even lead to comatose in more serious cases. Children aged between six and twelve should be supervise by an adult when using mouth rinses. Those under five years of age should only use them when prescribed be a dentist.
• Mouthwashes can aggravate canker sores. Although mouthwashes can aid in healing canker sores, there are certain types of mouth rinses that contain a high alcohol content, which can further worsen the condition.
• Mouthwashes can damage some parts in the mouth. Rinses that contains high alcohol levels can burn the sensitive mucous membranes in the mouth.
• Mouthwashes can darken and stain teeth. There are mouthwashes that contain the ingredient chlorhexidine gluconate. Once this chemical comes into contact with any food additives left in your mouth, darkening or staining can happen on your teeth.
• Mouthwashes have been linked to oral cancer. The issue with alcohol-containing mouthwashes having links to oral cancer remains to be a subject of debate for decades with no definitive answers.

Depending on how you use it, mouth rinses can be helpful or harmful. Generally, they are geared towards promoting fresh breath and oral health, although oral needs can vary from one person to another. There are people who need to use mouthwash every day, while others might only need it while they are recovering from oral surgery. To use them to your advantage, talk to your dentist to determine the best type of rinse for you.

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