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You may be getting ready to head out the door for a day at the office, or a big date. You have brushed and flossed, and after a quick rinse with your favorite mouthwash to give your breath a little boost, you are ready to go. Mouthwash can be used to beat back morning breath or cover up the aromatic reminder of those anchovies that you had on your pizza, but there is more to mouthwash than helping you make a good first impression.

The shelves of your favorite retail store are full of different mouthwashes and rinses, and they serve different purposes. Mouthwash that is used to freshen your breath or leave a pleasant taste in your mouth is called cosmetic mouthwash. It’s useful at work or on a first date, but cosmetic mouthwashes have no medicinal value.

On the other hand, therapeutic mouthwashes contain ingredients that fight cavities, remove plaque and tartar, combat gum disease, and provide fluoride. Some mouthwashes are designed to address a specific issue, such as relieving the symptoms of dry mouth. Many varieties of mouthwash contain alcohol, but there some brands that do not contain alcohol, and people who suffer from dry mouth can benefit from using these brands. Children under the age of six may not understand that they should not swallow mouthwash.  For that reason, you may not want to have your young child use mouthwash, or you may want to provide them with a rinse that does not contain alcohol.

No matter what mouthwash you select, it can’t replace a solid oral hygiene regimen. To maintain a healthy mouth, you need to brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss before bed, and to see your dentist for your routine appointments. And, if it is time for your routine appointment, you can call our dentist, Dr. Chad Ellis at The Smile Studio - Dr. Chad Ellis in Orem and Provo, Utah, at 801-225-5594.