There is no one-rinse-fits-all mouthwash. But, depending on what a person is looking for, there is a mouthwash to fit that requirement.
Homemade, Over the Counter, and Prescription are the three major categories of mouthwash. Within each category, there are a variety of rinses that target different dental and oral concerns.
Positives: These rinses use economical ingredients, do not contain fluoride, alcohol, or synthetic compounds. Adding salt to warm water helps with gum irritations and with healing after tooth or gum procedures. Other rinses add a few drops of different essential oils that target bad breath, and bacteria that leads to gingivitis and bacteria tooth decay.
Drawbacks: While cheaper than commercial natural mouthwashes, homemade rinses do not have any ADA approval.
OVER THE COUNTER MOUTHWASHES
This category includes different types of mouth rinses. Most commercial rinses contain alcohol, which can irritate some people and contribute to a dry mouth. Each type of mouthwash targets a different dental concern, has positive effects, and may have potential drawbacks.
Positives: Aims are to control bad breath and to whiten teeth.
Drawbacks: No protection against tooth decay or gum disease, will not cure bad breath, and fresh breath effects only last 30 minutes to 3 hours before needing to use again.
Positives: Aims to fight infections, control bad breath, and prevent plaque buildup.
Drawbacks: No protection against gingivitis and can cause teeth staining after long term use.
Positives: Aims to strengthen tooth enamel, fight bacteria buildup, provide fresh breath, and support healthy teeth.
Drawbacks: Does not protect against gum disease, and, if swallowed can be toxic.
Positives: A combination of therapeutic and fluoride rinses. Aims to strengthen teeth, and to fight plaque, gum bleeding, gum inflammation and swelling, gingivitis, and bad breath.
Drawbacks: Alcohol content may cause a burning sensation and contribute to a dry mouth.
Positives: Targets the same dental and oral concerns as conventional mouthwashes, but the ingredients in natural mouthwashes are plant based, and do not have alcohol, artificial colors or sweeteners, or stannous fluoride, which can stain the teeth.
Drawbacks: The majority of natural commercial rinses do not have the seal of acceptance from the ADA. However, Tom’s of Maine and The Natural Dentist, are two brands that have ADA seals of acceptance.
Commercial Brand Name:
Positives: Listerine is a brand name dental product line that currently has six different mouthwashes that target all of the major dental and oral concerns. There is one Listerine mouthwash, Zero Alcohol, which contains no alcohol.
Drawbacks: Five out of the six Listerine mouthwashes contain alcohol which can contribute to a dry mouth condition.
Positives: The mouth rinses prescribed by dentists are referred to as Magic or Therapeutic Mouthwashes, and are intended to treat specific oral conditions such as inflamed mouth tissues or ulcers. These rinses are more effective and stronger than over the counter mouthwashes.
Drawbacks: Prescription mouthwashes are not intended for long term usage. Also, prescription rinses may contain ingredients that can cause side effects, such as antibiotics, a mild anesthetic, an anti-inflammatory, or an antifungal. Some dental patients have experienced burning sensations or the development of rashes when using prescription mouthwashes.
When you want to keep your tooth enamel healthy and beautiful, there are a few things that you should avoid eating.
How Some Foods Damage Tooth Enamel
Certain foods can damage your teeth in a variety of ways, including:
- Chipping the enamel
- Discoloring the enamel
- Creating plaque on the enamel
- Decaying the enamel
- Creating cracks in the enamel
- Eroding the enamel
Avoid eating foods from the following list. It will be helpful in protecting your teeth from damage.
Foods That You Should Avoid Eating
Damaging Food 1: Corn, Tortilla and Potato Chips
Eating potato, tortilla or corn chips occasionally is okay. But eating them frequently can create a buildup of plaque on your teeth. These foods contain high amounts of oils and ingredients that tend to stick to your teeth, especially along the gums. When you do eat these snacks, make sure to brush and floss your teeth right away.
Damaging Food 2: Oranges, Grapefruit, Lemons and Tangerines
Citrus fruit contain numerous nutrients that your body needs. But the acid in these foods can also damage the enamel on your teeth. The fibers in these fruits can protect your teeth. So, it is better to eat the whole fresh citrus fruit rather than drinking only the juice. After eating an orange for a snack, swish water around in your mouth to remove the acids that can erode your tooth enamel.
Damaging Food 3: Hard Bagels and Rolls
Soft bread made from whole grains is good for your teeth. Hard rolls and bagels, however, can damage the enamel. If you can’t resist eating one occasionally, then tear it into small pieces and put into your mouth before chewing. This is better than biting on the foods with your front teeth.
Damaging Food 4: Sticky, Hard and Gummy Candies
If you consume a lot of candy, then you probably are ingesting too much sugar which promotes tooth decay. In addition, gummy, hard and sticky candies can chip your teeth. Then, after eating candy, you may notice a lot of food debris between your teeth. Make sure to use an oral irrigator that emits highly pressurized water into your mouth. It’s very important for oral health.
Damaging Food 5: Cherries, Pomegranates and Blackberries
To keep your teeth whiter, avoid eating colorful fruit such as blackberries, pomegranates and cherries. These fruits will stain your teeth, leading to hard-to-remove discolorations. If you do eat these fruits, brush your teeth thoroughly afterwards. If there are some stains you just can’t remove, then it’s time to visit your family dentist and have your teeth whitened professionally.
Damaging Food 6: Tough Pieces of Meat
When you chew on tough pieces of meat, it is possible to damage the enamel on your teeth. If you notice that your teeth hurt after you eat pork chops, it is likely the difficult-to-chew fibers have damaged the enamel. Another risk when eating meat is biting down on a bone. This can lead to cracks or chips on your teeth. Cook meat until it is tender to make it easier for you to chew.
The changes going on in your body, and of those you love, do not just affect mood, but also your oral health.
These changes are the result of puberty, menopause, taking certain types of medication like birth control, and being pregnant.
Here we will explain how the changes affect your mouth, and then discuss simple common sense approaches to ensuring they don’t wreck your smile.
How Hormonal Fluctuations Affect Oral Health
During puberty young boys and girls experience an increase in estrogen and testosterone. Additionally, blood flow increases, including to the gums. This results in a different reaction to the buildup of plaque, which is why young teens are more prone to having swollen gums, or even slight bleeding when brushing or flossing.
The same thing can happen when a woman takes birth control, particularly with an oral contraceptive that boosts one’s level of progesterone. If taking an oral contraceptive, you should tell your dentist.
Pregnancy can result in higher risk of gum disease between the 2nd and the 8th month. This is especially because of the increase in progesterone. But morning sickness can also lead to more cavities resulting from stomach acid promoting tooth decay.
Lastly, and it is going to seem as though we are picking on women here, menopause can often result in dry mouth, particularly for those taking certain medications. Saliva is a natural cleanser of bacteria that likes to eat away at our teeth. Those suffering from dry mouth find that they are at higher risk for cavities and other oral health issues.
Now that we have discussed the problems let’s address some simple fixes.
Simple Fixes: Daily Oral Hygiene & 6-Month Visits
Naturally, we promote you get to the dentist every 6 months for your regular checkup. But that will not be enough. Daily maintenance is a must!
Brushing: You need to brush twice a day. Brushing should be gentle and last from 1-2 minutes. Too much brushing can wear away the enamel. Brushing too hard can wear away your gum line. Some patients are unsure as to whether they should do their morning brushing after breakfast or before. Honestly, the key is simply to brush, though we would advise rinsing at a minimum before eating.
Flossing: If you don’t floss you should start. An un-flossed mouth is harboring all kinds of things that cause malodorous breath. While mouthwash can freshen up the smell, it will be back because of the festering bits of food that are literally rotting at about 100 degrees. Flossing should be gentle, as well. You should bring the floss slightly up into the gum line, but not too far. If you’ve never flossed there may be some blood, but after 2-4 days that should stop.
Mouthwash: Some mouthwashes are better than others. If you find one you enjoy, then that’s great. But mouthwash is not a replacement for brushing and flossing – merely a complement to them.
By following this guidance whatever worries you’re having should be assuaged. Good habits will prevent periodontal issues from occurring, and they should include proper brushing and flossing.
The health benefits of gum chewing are under debate. Professionals feel it’s uncouth. Teachers think it’s disrespectful. And some are just worried about where it’s going to end up (like under a table or desk).
When it comes to whether or not chewing gum is good for your oral health, though, you can rest assured that so long as it’s sugarless, it can be good for you.
In this article we will discuss the benefits of gum chewing and the science behind it.
Chewing Gum Replaces Other Sweets
For those who have dieted it is a common occurrence to substitute gum for other sweets and snacks. Naturally, the many flavors of trident are not a match for a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates. But, with some willpower and a steady supply, gum might just do the trick when it comes to keeping all that sugar away from your teeth and gums.
Saliva Stimulation Reduces Acid
By chewing gum a person increases saliva production. Saliva washes away any acidic substances in one’s mouth. Acid from various foods slowly wears away the enamel that protects our teeth, so this is very positive benefit.
Less Food Stuck in Your Teeth
Lastly, anyone who has chewed gum knows that it gets food out of teeth. To illustrate, the following is a true story.
Madison Avenue dynamo Zor Rothman brought his son Paul to the dentist one day. Paul sat in the chair to have his teeth inspected when his father said, “spit out your gum my little solnyshko.” Young Paul obliged and on the tiny piece of pink rubbery gum were bits of brown specks. It seemed that Paul’s sweet little babushka had given him a box of Cracker Jack, and the gum had succeeded in getting a good deal of its caramel remnants off his teeth.
This is one reason so many people feel better having gum instead of mints after a meal. While a mint can be refreshing, chewing gum clears the scene.
Recommended Gum Choices
Please note that this is not an endorsement for any one company, it will be on readers’ minds. So, for those wanting to know which gum is safe, the following are some good choices:
- Pür Gum
- Simply Gum
These are chosen simply for having very few ingredients and no chemicals. The Simply brand can be found in most grocery stores in the same aisle as the more upscale coconut bars and sun butter cups.
For those gums found at checkout with other impulse buy items, you can be comfortable with one of these:
- Ice Breakers
- Bubble Yum
- Mentos Sugar Free Gum
In closing, it should go without saying that, while there are benefits to chewing gum, there are also benefits of drinking water. While saliva can wash out the acid that may be sitting on your teeth, so can replacing soda and sugary juices.
Having said that, chewing gum is a good way to keep your mouth feeling fresh and clean between brushing and flossing.
Everyone should take excellent care of their teeth and gums to avoid having cavities or gingivitis. Diabetics must be especially vigilant. Diabetic dental care is a must to prevent dental health complications.
An individual with diabetes mellitus tends to have more problems with inflammation in their body, including the oral cavity. To prevent problems, he or she must use certain dental care tips such as carefully monitoring their blood glucose levels.
Diabetic Dental Care Tips
1: Don’t Smoke Cigarettes
When someone smokes cigarettes, it will inflame the oral tissues inside the mouth. This leads to more tooth decay and gum disease. An individual with diabetes mellitus should quit smoking to protect his gums and teeth from the dangers of nicotine or other chemicals that cause inflammation.
2: Make Sure Dental Restorations Fit Properly
Developing a cut inside the mouth is dangerous for a diabetic. Due to poor blood circulation, it can lead to a longer healing time. When a dental restoration such as dentures or a fixed bridge is loose, the item can rub against the soft tissues of the mouth, causing a mouth sore.
3: Make Regular Dental Office Visits
A diabetic should make sure to visit a dental office every six months for a checkup to determine if there are any cavities that require treatment. A dentist can remove the plaque buildup from a patient’s teeth. This helps to keep dangerous bacteria from entering the bloodstream where it can cause additional inflammation inside the body.
4: A Diabetic Should Brush His Teeth Frequently
While experts recommend that everyone brush their teeth twice a day, it is a better idea to perform this task after each meal and snack. Many diabetics have a problem with plaque development on their teeth. This problem is avoidable, however, by brushing frequently.
5: Use Dental Floss At Least Once a Day
A diabetic must use dental floss at least once a day. Flossing removes food debris that collects toward the bottom of the teeth. When the debris remains inside the mouth, it hardens into plaque. And plaque attracts bacteria which leads to halitosis and gingivitis.
6: Choose the Right Dental Care Equipment
To protect the mouth’s gums and soft tissues from damage, it is vital to select the right dental care equipment. A diabetic should choose a soft-bristled toothbrush. This is to avoid cutting the delicate gums and tissues. Also, a dentist might recommend using an oral irrigator to rinse away food debris and bacteria to prevent bad breath and tooth decay.
7: Check the Mouth for Abnormalities
Make sure to look in the mirror to check inside the mouth for abnormalities such as discolorations on the tongue, gums or roof of the mouth. When a diabetic has pain inside their mouth while chewing food, or if she experiences bleeding from her gums, it’s important to visit a dentist right away to determine if there is an infection.
8: Choose the Right Toothpaste and Mouth Rinses
Some diabetics have sensitive soft oral tissue. This can make it difficult to use some types of mouth rinses or toothpaste. A diabetic may need to try different brands to find the varieties that do not make the soft oral tissues of his mouth burn.