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A quick stroll through just about any store will lead to brand after brand of mouthwashes and rinses. But which one, if any should you choose, and does using a mouthwash replace brushing? Mouthwash can reach places that your toothbrush can’t, and can help in fighting cavities, plaque, gingivitis and tartar build-up. Mouthwashes can also freshen your breath. In some cases, a mouthwash may help relieve problems like dry mouth or oral pain.

When choosing a mouthwash, it’s good to keep in mind that they are not all the same. Therapeutic mouthwashes fight cavities, gingivitis and plaque; and they can help with bad breath. Mouthwashes with fluoride can fight against tooth decay. Cosmetic mouthwashes don’t have any effect on oral health, but can combat bad breath, and they taste good. While some mouthwashes require a prescription, most are available in grocery or drug stores.

It’s important to remember that children under 6 should never use mouthwash, since it is easy for them to swallow it. Some mouthwash brands contain alcohol, and swallowing it could lead to sickness, or even intoxication in little ones. If you’re experiencing other oral symptoms such as mouth sores you should check with your dentist before using a mouthwash or making any changes to your routine.

No matter what mouthwash or rinse you choose, remember: a mouthwash can’t replace brushing and flossing, or a good cleaning. You still need to brush and floss at least twice a day, and visit your dentist at least two times a year for regular checkups and cleanings. At Kurt A. Seidler DDS in Carrollton, Texas, Dr. Seidler can help in selecting the best mouthwash for you, and answer other questions about keeping your mouth healthy, along with an examination and cleaning. Contact us today at 972-492-0411.