With so many different mouthwashes available at the supermarket or at the pharmacy, how do you decide which one to use and what is good for you? Different mouthwash can have different uses.

  1. Bad Breath (Halitosis) – Bad breath, also known as Halitosis, is foul-smelling breath.
    Bad breath (halitosis) can be caused by several things including poor oral hygiene, the foods you eat (garlic and onions, in particular), smoking, alcohol, gum disease, diabetes, dry mouth, sinus or throat infections and gastrointestinal issues.

Which mouthwash works best for bad breath? Most of the Antibacterial mouthwash contain an ingredient called Cetylpyridinium Chloride. It is a germicide that not only kills germs, but also helps with plaque reduction. Plaque is a major cause of gum disease and tooth decay, and both of those dental issues lead to bad breath. So, because the germicides reduce plaque build-up, you will have better breath when you swish.

What are the side effects? In 3 percent of the cases, it can cause teeth staining. In rare cases, it can alter the taste sensation.

  • Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) – is dryness in the mouth, which may be associated with a change in the composition of saliva, or reduced salivary flow, or have no identifiable cause. This can cause dental caries, acid wear of the teeth, fungal infection in the mouth, altered taste sensation, difficulty in swallowing food etc. It can be caused due to many reasons like radiation therapy, certain medications, drug use, or medical conditions that cause less saliva production.

Which mouthwash works best for dry mouth? The Dry Mouth mouthwash usually contains antibacterial enzymes which are found naturally in human saliva. These are three primary enzymes-Glucose Oxidase, Lactoperoxidase, and Lysozyme. They play a special role in boosting and replenishing saliva’s own defences. These ingredients’ antibacterial and healing properties create a natural oral protection.

What are the side effects? There are no known side effects of using dry mouth mouthwash. In rare circumstances, there can be allergic reaction from one of the ingredients. Please check with your pharmacist before you buy.

  • Prevention of Tooth Decay – Tooth decay can be because of many reasons such as poor oral hygiene, sipping sugary drinks, eating too frequently, poor quality of enamel etc. Tooth decay can lead to cavities. Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes.

Which mouthwash works best for reducing tooth decay?  Fluoride Mouthwash that contains fluoride in it are good for reducing the tooth decay. They are specially formulated to assist in the prevention of dental caries in children over 6 years and adults when used daily. They are particularly useful during orthodontic treatment or for management of patients with moderate caries risk.

What are the side effects? Some of the side effects can be nausea, skin rash, stomach upset or acute toxicity if ingested in large amounts.

  • Teeth Whitening – Everyone prefers and wants a whiter smile. External tooth discoloration can happen due to many reasons such as intake of coloured food or red wine, smoking, ageing. External tooth discoloration can be visible in the form of either brown stains or yellowness of the teeth.

Which mouthwash works best for whitening the teeth? Mouthwash with whitening agent like Hydrogen Peroxide help to whiten the teeth. However, it will only act as an adjunct. Better and fast result may be achieved by professional teeth whitening.

What are the side effects? It can sometimes cause increased sensitivity in teeth. If they contain any alcohol, it can cause dryness of mouth or irritation of gums.

  • Mouth Ulcers– Mouth ulcers are painful areas in the mouth and gums also known as canker sores. While mostly harmless, mouth ulcers can be extremely uncomfortable and make it difficult for some people to eat, drink, and brush their teeth. They can be caused by smoking, broken and sharp teeth or fillings, stress or anxiety, poor fitting dentures, medication etc.

Which mouthwash works best for mouth ulcers? Antiseptic mouthwash that contains Chlorhexidine can reduce the discomfort of mouth ulcers as well as reduce plaque and incidence of gingivitis.

What are the side effects? They may cause reversible staining of the teeth and tooth-coloured restorations. They may lead to increased tartar production and temporary alteration in taste perception.

  • Ecofriendly or natural mouthwash – Mouthwash made from naturally derived ingredients are for you if you are following a holistic approach for your oral and dental care.

Please note that mouthwash is an adjunct to your daily oral hygiene routine and does not replace proper tooth brushing and flossing. If any concerns still persist after using a mouthwash for a week or more, then please book an appointment with the dentist to get it addressed professionally.

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