There’s nothing quite like the feeling of just-brushed teeth, and your dentist in Sparks recommends that all patients brush their teeth two times a day and floss once a day. But where does mouthwash play a role in your oral hygiene routine? Should you use mouthwash every day?
Different Types of Mouthwash
Mouthwash can be a helpful addition to your oral hygiene routine as it can help kill mouth bacteria that could otherwise lead to cavities and other problems. While there are a variety of different types of mouthwash available, most over-the-counter options aim to kill these bacteria and prevent decay. It’s important to note that some mouthwash is alcohol-based, and others are non-alcohol-based.
If your mouthwash gives you that burning sensation when you rinse with it — it most likely contains alcohol. Alcohol-based mouthwash may seem like it’s working better because of this tingling, but that’s not necessarily true.
Some patients find the feeling of alcohol-based mouthwash too intense. A good alternative for this would be a non-alcohol-based mouthwash. These products can still help remove bacteria just without the burn.
The Best Way to Use Mouthwash
Mouthwash can be used every day if instructed by your dentist. However, make sure to also follow the instructions on your specific product, including how often to use it and how much to use. Keep in mind, mouthwash isn’t recommended for children under six years of age as they may not have the proper mechanics to swish and spit effectively.
Mouthwash Isn’t a Substitute for Brushing
Even though rising with mouthwash can further kill off bacteria, it is not meant to substitute for brushing and flossing. Mouthwash isn’t designed to be used on its own to keep teeth decay-free. It’s still important to brush and floss your teeth daily, as well as see your dentist in Sparks at least twice a year for professional cleanings and exams.
Signs You Should Stop Using Mouthwash
While most patients shouldn’t experience any side effects of mouthwash, it is possible. Here are some signs that you should stop using mouthwash and talk with your dentist in Sparks:
- Dry mouth
- Teeth staining
- Sensitivity after using the mouthwash
- Canker sores or mouth sores
If you do experience any of these side effects, discontinue use and talk with your dentist. Additionally, if you have known allergies, make sure to check labels carefully before purchasing.
Your dentist is here to help you make the best decisions about your oral health. Make sure you talk about any concerns you have about using mouthwash at your next appointment. We’re always happy to help.
Cutting back on sugar can be difficult because it’s in so many foods and drinks, and sometimes in surprising amounts. But reducing your sugar intake or eliminating it from your diet altogether can certainly help your overall health as well as your dental health. After all, there’s a reason your dentist in Sparks isn’t a huge fan of the stuff. Sugar is often considered the leading cause of cavities. But the truth is, even if you don’t eat sugar, you can still get cavities.
What Is a Cavity?
Cavities are so common in the United States that the CDC says 90% of Americans over the age of 20 have had at least one cavity in their lifetime. These tiny areas of tooth decay, if left untreated, will only become bigger and deeper and also become more difficult to treat. Cavities begin as a small hole or pit in a tooth where acid or bacteria has attacked the enamel. During this stage, cavities can easily be fixed with a filling from your dentist in Sparks. However, cavities that continue to progress can sometimes require more complex treatment such as a root canal or even tooth extraction.
Surprising Things The Cause Cavities
We’ve already shared that many people think cavities are a problem of eating too much sugar, and while that may be the case, there are other reasons why a cavity develops.
- Dry Mouth
If a patient’s mouth is dry it’s more likely that they will have cavities. Usually, saliva will help neutralize acids and rinse away bacteria that can cause cavities. But when saliva production is too low and the mouth feels too dry, bacteria and acids are left lingering around to cause damage to the enamel and, you guessed it, cause cavities.
- Carbohydrates & Acids
Besides sugar, there are other foods that can increase the risk of cavities. The two most concerning are acidic foods, such as citrus fruits and foods with a lot of carbohydrates. Acidic foods and drinks further aid in the mouth acid’s ability to weaken enamel while carbs fuel the bacteria, allowing them to thrive.
- Bad Brushing or Flossing
There are many reasons why it’s important to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day, but one of the main reasons is to prevent cavities. Brushing your teeth in the morning and at night will remove plaque and plaque acids that have built up throughout the day. Flossing reaches those tricky areas that a toothbrush can’t reach and where cavities are more likely to develop.
Patients may experience different symptoms, but some of the most common signs of a cavity include:
- Pain when you bite
- Tooth sensitivity
- Brown, black, or white spots
- Pits or holes in a tooth
Even though cavities are incredibly common, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of getting one. Make sure you brush and floss your teeth regularly, limit your intake of sugary, acidic, or high-carbohydrate foods, and drink plenty of water daily. Of course, you should also see your dentist every six months for a checkup.
A common rule in the dental world is that all patients should see the dentist at least every six months for regular checkups and cleanings. However, according to researchers at the CDC, nearly 40% of American adults haven’t been to the dentist in the past year. The truth is, preventive dental appointments can keep problems from popping up unexpectedly and reduce the need for quick, emergency dental care. But if you do experience a dental problem, how do you know if you need to see a dentist or not?
Things That Require A Dental Appointment
The environment in the mouth is ever-changing, and there are times when these changes can spark concern and have you wondering if you should schedule a dental appointment. Let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms that should warrant a visit to your Sparks dentist.
- Bad Breath
Temporary bouts of bad breath are bound to happen, especially if you eat something particularly fragrant such as garlic or onions. However, if bad breath lingers and doesn’t go away even after you brush your teeth, it may be a sign of something serious. Bad breath could mean gum disease, dry mouth, or even kidney problems.
- Mouth Sores
Mouth sores including ulcers can be annoying and sometimes embarrassing. Many times they are harmless and should go away on their own. However, if they don’t heal within two weeks or get worse, it’s time to see your dentist. Mouth sores that don’t heal may be a sign of oral cancer or other problems.
Tooth sensitivity can trigger shooting pains through your teeth, which is pretty uncomfortable. If you have sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks, especially if it’s new for you, you should see your dentist in Sparks. This can be a sign of decay, weakened tooth enamel, or a chipped or cracked tooth.
- Bleeding or Swollen Gums
Gums shouldn’t bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. They also shouldn’t be inflamed or swollen. However, those with gum disease may experience red, painful, swollen gums. It’s important to have this checked out by your dentist as gum disease can lead to other problems throughout the body such as an increased risk of heart disease.
Pain anywhere in or around the mouth may require a visit to the dental office. From a toothache that can make it difficult to chew to a painful jaw that hurts to open and close, pain around the mouth shouldn’t be taken lightly and is usually a sign telling you that something isn’t quite right. See your dentist quickly.
If you notice any of the signs above, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Sparks as soon as possible to get relief.