Dental rinses

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Updated: 1/14/2003 2:29 pm
Dental rinses can help fight plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath when combined with daily brushing and flossing. Ask your dentist to recommend a rinse based upon your dental history. He or she will tell you when and how often it should be used, and during future visits will check for positive or negative effects on your teeth. Rinses may be either medicated or non-medicated, and may or may not contain fluoride which aids in preventing tooth decay. Although positive effects have been found, rinsing too often can harm the surface of your teeth; be sure to consult with your dentist before using on a daily basis. If ingested, it's possible to overdose on dental rinse as it may contain a form of alcohol. Also, it's easy to confuse mouthwashes with dental rinses. Some mouthwashes are rinses that help prevent bad breath and give you a fresher feeling. They may not contain the ingredients needed to fight plaque and gingivitis. If a manufacturer requests examination, the American Dental Association may put a seal of approval on items that its research has shown will help prevent plaque and the spread of tooth decay. Products that have received this seal of approval usually display it prominently on the label. While rinses are an aid in fighting bacteria, they shouldn't be used in place of brushing and flossing on a daily basis and regular visits to your dentist.

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