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Difference between mouthwash and fluoride rinse

What’s the Difference Between Mouthwash and Fluoride Rinse?

Both mouthwash and fluoride rinse are part of the ordinary oral-care routine of many people, but what you may not know is that the two products are not interchangeable. In fact, mouthwash and fluoride rinses actually serve different purposes and are made from different ingredients—and neither one is a substitute for regular brushing and flossing!

If you’re thinking of adding either product to your daily oral-care regimen, you may want to ask your Kansas City family dentist for recommendations—or at least have a clear idea of the differences between the two products. Without further ado, let’s take a look at mouthwash and fluoride rinse, what they are, what they do, and the differences between the two!

Mouthwash is designed to freshen your breath—not clean your teeth. This is not to say that there aren’t compelling reasons to use mouthwash as part of your daily oral care routine. Most mouthwash contains various antiseptic agents, which can potentially help to cut down on harmful bacteria in your mouth, not to mention freshen your breath after you just had that garlic pesto linguine at dinner. 

However, you may also want to use mouthwash sparingly. In addition to those aforementioned antiseptics, most mouthwashes contain quite a lot of alcohol. How much? As much as 27 percent by volume. Mouthwashes may also contain other less-than-savory ingredients, such as hydrogen peroxide. These may be good for disinfecting, but they’re not necessarily so great if you imbibe very much of them.

fluoride rinse, on the other hand, isn’t there to freshen your breath at all. It also doesn’t actually clean your teeth. Rather, it helps to strengthen the enamel of your teeth and protect them against the acids produced by plaque, which can otherwise eat away at your enamel and lead to cavities, tooth decay, and more. 

A fluoride mouth rinse may be recommended by your family dentist in Kansas City if your teeth need a little extra protection. Though fluoride rinses don’t actually remove bacterial plaque, some dentists recommend them for those patients who need extra protection against the effects of bacterial plaque or gingivitis. A fluoride rinse also often contains alcohol, but it’s more concerned with getting a little extra fluoride to your teeth than cleaning or disinfecting them.

This leads us to a good point of consideration, whether you’re thinking of adding mouthwash or a fluoride rinse to your oral-care routine. Both should be used only after you finish your regular brushing and flossing, and neither is a substitute for those vital oral-care tasks. You should also not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes after using mouthwash or a fluoride rinse. Brushing and flossing—and regular visits to see your Kansas City family dentist—are still the best things that you can do for your teeth. Accept no substitutes.

Both mouthwash and fluoride rinses are over-the-counter products that anyone can add to their oral-care routine, and neither is likely to do you much harm. But you should be aware of what they are and what they do (and don’t do) before you start using them. When in doubt, look for products that are approved by the American Dental Association. Of course, if you have any questions, you can always reach out to your KC family dentist.

At Blacker Family Dental, we’re always here to answer any questions you have about any aspect of your dental-care routine, not to mention dental implants, sleep apnea, and more! Call (816) 763-8400 or click here to schedule an appointment today!