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You’re standing at the sink, you’ve finished flossing and brushing…what’s next? Many people, in the spirit of good dental care, utilize mouthwash solutions to add one extra layer of cleanliness. There are, however, a few facts that you may want to be aware of before you pick up an economy-sized bottle of the leading brand.

It’s important to know that mouthwash:

♦ Clears the mouth of plaque-creating germs – According to the American Dental Association (ADA), antimicrobial solutions often found in store-bought mouthwashes drastically reduce the amount of germs in your mouth, but only if the treatments are conducted correctly. This means spending at least one minute swishing and gargling, followed by 30 minutes without eating or drinking anything.

♦ Helps rebuild enamel – Fluoride, widely recognized as a chemical that helps to strengthen enamel and build up resistance to decay, is a popular ingredient in mouthrinses and most public water sources. Before purchasing this type of solution, speak with your dentist to makes sure it is right for you

♦ Reduces bad breath – By fighting the bacteria in your mouth, dental rinses reduces the occurrence of excessive bad breath. However, this can only be accomplished in conjunction with a full oral care routine, including regular brushing and tongue cleaning.

Mouthwash is a useful tool when it comes to dental hygiene, but it should only be used under the advice of affordable dental care professionals. Those with particular oral ailments may want to avoid alcohol-based solutions, as they can cause dry mouth which, in some cases, can exacerbate the symptoms. Be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist to get the medical attention you need.