For most of us today, using an oral mouthwash to crown your well mastered brushing routine is a satisfying affirmation that you have taken care of your oral health to perfection. You can feel confident blowing kisses on your colleague’s cheeks and whispering closely into their ears without getting embarrassed about some off-putting bad breath coming from your mouth. Beware, bad breath can ruin relationships, both personal and professionals.

The mouthwash feels good and gives us confidence that we have left nothing to chance about our oral health routine. But is it all good? Here we look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of swishing with a mouthwash on a regular basis.

The Pros

There are many pros of using a mouthwash. As previously stated, it is a perfect way to cap our brushing and get rid of those bad breath anxieties. Most of simply feel good about swishing a mouthwash and once we get started on the routine, it is simply impossible to stop.

The mouthwash really caps your oral cleaning routine. Swishing after brushing or before will clear away most of debris and loosened plaque on your teeth. It will also get rid of all those detritus that are hidden in the crevices of the mouth. Unlike water, which also releases these debris, the mouthwash will help freshen your breath. Some of the benefits that you get by swishing a mouthwash on a regular basis include the following:

Reduce oral cavities: Rinsing your mouth with a mouthwash, which contains fluoride, on a regular basis will help reduce cavitations and demineralization of your teeth hence helping reduce tooth cavities.

Helps prevent gum diseases: Plaque from bacteria as well as trapped food particles trapped in the mouth can cause gum diseases such as gingivitis. Swishing a mouthwash on a regular basis can help prevent this.

Soothing effect on canker sores: The detoxing effect of mouthwash can help ease canker sores.

Protect your pregnancy: The bacteria from gum infections can cause certain pregnancy complications when it enters the woman’s bloodstream. You reduce this risk by using a mouthwash on a regular basis.

In spite of many benefits, mouthwash can also have some side effects. In patients with poor oral hygiene, it can mask bad breath but this only creates an illusion of good oral care. The long term effect of swishing combined with a bad oral care routine is that you may still suffer the effects of bad oral hygiene such as cavities and gum diseases.

Mouthwash could raise your blood pressure

There are studies that have indicated that regular use of mouthwash could increase your blood pressure as it eliminates some of the beneficial bacteria found in the mouth. This is the bacteria responsible for producing nitric oxide that helps in protecting your cardiovascular system.

Mouthwash and oral cancer

There have also been suggestions that certain kinds of mouthwash, those that contain alcohol, could be linked to oral cancer although there is no conclusive research on this, currently.

Overall, you should be safe with an ADA approved mouthwash and the benefits of using them far outweigh the risks. To be on the safe side, use mouthwashes that are alcohol-free so that you don’t have to worry about the risk, however remote, of oral cancer and also from the dry mouth caused by alcohol-based mouthwashes.