Mouthwash can be a great asset when you are wearing braces. We’re often asked by patients to make a recommendation as, with so much choice available, it’s hard to know where to start. We’ve put together a blog to explain why we always recommend alcohol-free, fluoride containing mouthwash.
As with most hygienists, we always recommend products which contain fluoride, because it protects and strengthens your tooth enamel. In London, and a lot of other areas in the UK, the water is not fluoridated, so it is particularly beneficial to choose toothpaste and mouthwash with added fluoride.
Mouthwash often contains alcohol to create a solution for the essential oils that makes some branded products taste cleansing and effective. For example, one major brand contains menthol, thymol, methyl salicylate and eucalyptol and in the past alcohol was considered to be the most effective solution for delivering a powerful breath-freshening hit.
Many manufacturers now create formulas without alcohol so, it’s no longer an essential ingredient, which is good news for people who would prefer alcohol-free products. Moreover, some people find that the alcohol in mouthwash can sting a little, especially if you have an ulcer or sensitive gums.
Using mouthwash regularly
Of course, brushing and flossing is essential, and we recommend that you try and extend your brushing and flossing regime whilst in braces, whether fixed braces or aligners. Additionally, using mouthwash regularly should be seen as supplementary to your oral hygiene routine. Not everyone brushes their teeth for the full two minutes twice a day and not everyone flosses regularly and effectively, so mouthwash helps ensure the whole mouth is clean.
In summary, while it should never be suggested that mouthwash on its own is sufficient, it’s an invaluable addition to brushing and flossing and we most strongly recommend Colgate and Vitis. Don’t forget, we supply a small bottle of Vitis mouthwash in your take-home kit on the day you start treatment here and will always be happy to supply more mouthwash if you need it – just ask.
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