Submitted by my hygienist Diane
hygienist with the office of Dr. Julie Gillis
Patients often ask us which mouth rinse is the “best.” Though we generally do not advocate any one in particular, we have found the use of a daily rinse containing fluoride is beneficial to patients prone to decay. Fluoride has been shown to strengthen the enamel of teeth and minimize the harmful effects of bacteria and their byproducts.
There are a number of reasons that may increase decay susceptibility; including high sugar diets, poor homecare, or dry mouth syndrome. As patients age, they often notice they have decreased salivary flow, which oftentimes is a side effect of many medications. Saliva naturally dilutes the acid produced by the bacteria that collects around our teeth daily. So decay tendency can be reduced by using either a prescription strength fluoride paste or fluoride mouth rinse available in our office, or by using an OTC fluoride rinse such as ACT (or its generic equivalent). Other mouth rinses such as Listerine, or Scope are also fine, but due to the high alcohol content, they tend to further dry out the mouth. These should be avoided by patients prone to decay.
The use of alcohol-free anti-bacterial mouth rinses such as Breath Rx or CloSys (both available in our office) may be very beneficial. Both work to stop bad breath by neutralizing foul-smelling odors, killing the bacteria that cause bad breath, and preventing plaque build-up that leads to gingivitis.
And who doesn’t want a healthier, fresher smelling mouth?