The Woodlands and Houston, TX

The answer is Yes.  Although not the most vital component of your oral healthcare regimen when compared to brushing, flossing, and regular dental exams, using a daily mouth rinse still offers many benefits to the overall health of your mouth.

When added as an additional oral health habit, fluoride mouth rinses have many advantages besides just making your mouth feel fresher and suppressing bad breath. Using them can help reduce cavities, decrease the severity of gingivitis, and substantially lower the risk of developing periodontal disease. Additionally, one of the significant benefits to using them regularly is that they reduce the quantity and quality of both dental plaque buildup and oral bacterial accumulation. A fluoride mouth rinse is often times recommended particularly for individuals who have a high cavity index. This is due to the fact that in addition to fighting off bacteria and plaque growth, it also gets additional fluoride back onto the surfaces of teeth to help strengthen enamel and help prevent tooth sensitivity and future cavities by helping repair tiny lesions, or tooth decay, on enamel which will help make teeth more resistant to future decay.

It is important that you ask your dentist or hygienist which mouth rinse they would suggest for you and also if they recommend one with or without fluoride for you to use. Doing so also offers a perfect opportunity to make sure that the rest of your oral hygiene habits are in check, such as ensuring that you are using proper brushing and flossing techniques, etc. Additionally, some patients who have recently undergone certain dental procedures such as oral surgery may not be able to fully brush their teeth as they should, and often times dentists can prescribe special mouth rinses for those patients. It is important to note using a mouth rinse is by no means a substitute for brushing and flossing.

A recent study by the American Association for Dental Research concluded that patients who used a 0.1% cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) mouth rinse (Crest Pro-Health Clinical) accumulated significantly less plaque than those who used only routine dental hygiene. Of the patients that the study followed, the individuals that both brushed and used the rinse for the two months of the study, ended up having less than half the amount of overnight plaque accumulation than those who simply brushed and did not use the rinse. At the end of the two month study, the patients who only brushed, had  an almost 20% increase in their average plaque covered area, whereas the patients who used the mouth rinse in addition to brushing only had a minimal 9% increase after two months.

If you think that you will benefit from adding a daily mouth rinse to your oral healthcare regimen but have questions about it, please feel free to let us know when you come in for your next cleaning or contact our office to schedule an appointment.  Scott Young D.D.S.  can perform an oral exam and answer any questions you may have about how to improve the care of your oral health.  Dr. Young and his team serve The Woodlands, Houston, Kingwood, Spring, and Conroe areas.