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How to choose the right mouthwash?

When it comes to mouthwashes, most of us know little about them than the fact that they come in a wide range of colors. And the truth is, it's as hard to choose the right mouthwash as it is to tell the difference between all those colorful, branded, and no-name bottles you find in your supermarket.

And then, some people think all mouthwashes are the same, so they tend to pick any one bottle from the market. This is one of the many myths related to mouth rinses that people mainly believe in. However, mouthwashes come with a wide range of different purposes, and with different ingredients and to choose the right one certainly requires a bit of knowledge about them.

So let's cut through some of the confusion. There are mainly two significant categories of mouthwash (or, mouth rinse): cosmetic and therapeutic.

A cosmetic mouth rinse is designed merely to act as a temporary breath freshener - that's it. It possesses no agents that aid in the prevention of plaque, nor does it protect against cavities or gingivitis. It's purely "cosmetic" as the name suggests. On the other hand, therapeutic mouth rinse is the heavy lifter in the family and does help in each area of oral health.

Now, what are the ingredients to look for?

The ingredients you should look for depends on your particular purpose. Here are some common reasons people use mouthwash and what ingredient you should look for to help with each.

General Use: If you're looking for a mouthwash to include in your oral hygiene routine for reducing bacteria and fighting plaque in your mouth, look for a Fluoride based one. Fluoride is a very beneficial ingredient that strengthens and repairs your tooth enamel. Fluoride based mouthwashes are mostly safe for everyone.

Fighting Gum Disease and Gingivitis: If you need a mouthwash that helps reduce the bacteria that infect your gums and cause gingivitis, look for a mouthwash that contains essential oils, which are known to soothe the gums and kill the nasty bacteria that affects them.

Cavity Protection: If you're concerned about cavities, get a mouthwash that contains Fluoride. When the tooth enamel is weakened, your teeth are more likely to get cavities. By strengthening the enamel, Fluoride gives you cavity protection.

Fresh Breath: If you think your breath stinks and needs a mouthwash that can freshen your breath instantly, look for one that contains antibacterial agents like alcohol. Alcohol kills the bacteria that cause bad breath and at least temporarily cures the condition. If you're sensitive to alcohol or are worried about the side effects of alcohol-based mouthwashes, look for an alcohol-free alternative. These contain salt as an alternative to alcohol. Remember, however, these only masks the bad breath instead of curing it.

Teeth Whitening: If you want to remove ugly stains and brighten your teeth, look for a mouthwash that contains abrasive ingredients like baking soda.

With this in mind, you will know what to look for when picking a mouthwash. If you're still unsure, ask your dentist to recommend the best mouthwash to suit your needs.


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