Mouth rinses can be a good addition to brushing and flossing. Some provide benefits that go beyond freshening your breath.
What to look for
Rinses can be therapeutic depending on the ingredients:
- Oxygenating agents cleanse the mouth.
- Astringents agents shrink tissues when they are inflamed.
- Anodyne ingredients reduce oral pain.
- Buffering agents reduce acidity in the mouth.
- Deodorizers neutralize odors in the mouth.
- Antimicrobial agents kill or reduce bacteria in the mouth.
- Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay.
Many commercial mouth rinses contain alcohol which can dry out tissues. Non-alcoholic rinses are available.
Alternatives to Commercial Mouth Rinses
- A one-to-one mixture of hydrogen peroxide and saline or water.
- Club soda.
- A mixture of ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon baking soda in one cup of water.
Content supplied by the Brushing Up on Mouth Care Program http://www.ahprc.dal.ca/projects/oral-care/