What Type of Mouth Rinse Should I Use?
With so many different options out there, patients frequently ask which type or brand is best for them to use at home. Our goal is to evaluate your dental history, your homecare compliance, and any medications you are taking when choosing the best product for you. Below we will discuss three common types of mouth rinse we recommend depending on your risk factors.
The most common mouth rinse we recommend for those with good homecare and a low risk of dental caries is Crest Prohealth. Within this product family, there are a number of different variations of the rinse. Unless instructed to use a specific rinse within the product family, the best and easiest advice we can give is to find one that you enjoy using and stick to it. This will hopefully encourage your willingness to use the rinse on a regular basis. However, if you see a product claiming to whiten your teeth through a mouth rinse, don’t expect to see significant results or changes.
For those with a higher risk of cavities or recurrent issues around old fillings or crowns, we may discuss the use of Act Fluoride Rinse. The extra fluoride found in these rinses helps in fighting tooth decay around fillings, crowns, bridges, and root surfaces. Again, there are some different offerings within this product family, but the most common we recommend for adults is Act Anticavity. There is also an Act product line for children that has proved to be very helpful when they are in braces or when the child lacks the motivation or dexterity to properly brush their teeth. They also offer different fun flavors that improve compliance at home.
When we are looking to dramatically improve the health of the gums before or after dental cleanings, we may recommend a prescription mouth rinse containing chlorhexidine gluconate. We typically only endorse its use on a limited basis because prolonged use can result in staining of the teeth. However, a standard 2 week protocol should not have any significant effects on the shade of the teeth. This is not meant to replace the need for brushing and flossing, but rather to be used as an adjunct to help control inflammation or disease in the oral cavity.
When used properly, mouth rinses can be a great addition to your dental hygiene at home. However, they are not meant to replace traditional brushing or flossing. When in doubt or if you have any questions or concerns, always talk to your dentist or dental hygienist for instructions on how it can best be added to your daily routine.