Using Fluoride Mouthwash

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Using a Fluoride Mouthwash 

Many dental professionals believe that twice-daily brushing with a fluoride toothpaste provides enough fluoride for cavity protection. But if you're prone to cavities, you can use a fluoride mouthwash in addition to brushing and flossing your teeth.

Some studies have shown that mouthwashes with fluoride can supplement daily brushing with fluoride toothpastes, especially in areas where drinking water is not supplemented with fluoride. These mouthwashes are effective in strengthening the enamel of your teeth and protecting your teeth from acid damage; however, the mouthwashes have not demonstrated significant effectiveness against plaque-induced gingivitis or even more severe forms of gum disease. Yet another reason to brush and floss daily.

Steps to Follow When Using Fluoride Mouthwash

If you want to use a fluoride mouthwash follow these steps:

  • Use the Right Amount: Use the amount of mouthwash indicated on the label or as directed by your dental professional.

  • Swish Like You Mean It: Keep your mouth closed and swish the rinse vigorously as directed on the label.

  • Spit: Don't swallow mouthwash. The fluoride in most fluoride mouthwashes can be toxic if you swallow large enough amounts. If you allow your child to use mouthwash, supervise to be sure that he or she spits it out and doesn't swallow it.

  • Remember: To get the most benefit from a fluoride mouthwash, avoid eating, drinking, or smoking for at least 30 minutes so you don't wash away the fluoride.