The next time you’re ready to buy mouthwash, make sure you know your mouthwash and the differences between cosmetic mouthwashes and therapeutic mouthwashes. Just like toothpaste, there are different types of mouthwashes to do different things for your mouth. This is why it’s important to know the key differences between cosmetic & therapeutic mouthwashes.
Cosmetic mouthwashes act as a mask for bad breath or help whiten teeth. Similar to a mint, cosmetic mouthwashes will merely cover your bad breath and give you a more agreeable taste in your mouth. Aside from that, there are also some cosmetic mouthwashes that help give you a brighter whiter smile.
Therapeutic mouthwashes, however, have clinical purposes for oral hygiene that go beyond masking the smell of your breath. Therapeutic mouthwashes serve to fight plaque, attack bacteria and strengthen teeth with fluoride making them a better choice for our patients at Beisiegel Orthodontics.
What to Look For
When buying therapeutic mouthwash, be sure to look for the American Dental Association “Seal of Acceptance” logo on the bottle. All products that feature this logo have been evaluated by experts and approved to meet the safety and standards of effectiveness. Also, be sure to read the instructions very thoroughly and choose the best one for your specific needs.
- Fluoride-based mouthwash: Fluoride exists in most toothpaste and in some tap water. For this reason, it is usually an unnecessary ingredient. Nevertheless, it protects against cavities and strengthens enamel.
- Alcohol–based mouthwash: Alcohol kills bacteria and viruses harshly. It dries out the mouth, aggravates cuts or burns, and exacerbates inflammation. Anyone with sensitivities should avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes and seek natural ingredients like aloe.
- Antibacterial mouthwash: Without alcohol—or with a smaller quantity—antibacterial mouthwash fights infections and minimizes the risk of gum disease. Some patients will receive a prescription for such rinses after surgery.