Flossing and brushing are the fundamental steps in a good oral health routine, especially when you have braces. Mouthwash is often an overlooked step and should be included in your routine as it has many benefits to help keep your mouth clean and fresh!
Mouthwash can reach areas of the mouth that a toothbrush can not. This helps to reduce the risk of cavities forming and the development of gum disease. It can also help prevent tooth loss from gum disease. Need help controlling plaque formation? Mouthwash can help with that too!
Mouthwash can be used anytime of the day and before or after your initial brushing or flossing. Although there is varying information about when to use mouthwash, it really does depend on who you ask. Some experts say not to use it directly after brushing because it washes away the fluoride protection in your toothpaste. Others report that it does not matter when you use mouthwash, and it is more of a personal preference rather than a rule. So, as long as you use it, we aren’t going to tell you when, it’s just important to add it to your routine, especially while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Although mouthwash helps to keep your mouth clean and fresh, it is NOT a substitute for brushing and flossing alone, especially if you have braces. Following basic guidelines of brushing for 2 minutes, twice a day, flossing between your teeth and along the gumline allows you to remove any food and plaque caught between your teeth, brackets, and wires, and ensure shiny teeth and a healthy mouth.
Some other helpful tips:
- Try to limit your intake of high-sugar food and beverages.
- Eat a well-balanced, tooth-healthy diet.
- Avoid frequent snacking as much as possible
- Drink fluoridated water, if available
- Change your toothbrush every three to four months‚ or sooner if it looks worn or frayed.
- See your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
True, mouthwash can’t replace brushing, but it can play a major role in your daily oral hygiene routine. It is a great way to remove plaque, remove hard-to-reach particles caught between teeth and braces, and help to reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease. Not sure which brand to choose, or if mouthwash is right for you, ask us at your next appointment!