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Are you thinking about adding mouthwash to your daily oral hygiene routine? If so, excellent! This is an easy and fun way to enhance your dental health. But before you go out and buy your first bottle, there are some things you will want to know.

There are two major varieties of mouthwash: therapeutic and cosmetic. Therapeutic mouthwash is designed to kill bacteria and battle tooth decay, plaque, gum disease, tartar and bad breath. Cosmetic mouthwash was made expressly to temporarily eradicate your bad breath and leave a pleasant taste in your mouth.

Drs. Stephanie S. Karlin & Justin S. Petracek recommends that you buy therapeutic mouthwash with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance on the label. This seal guarantees that the mouthwash has been tested for safety and that it really does what it claims to do.

If you have chronic dry mouth, we recommend that you choose an alcohol-free mouthwash. Look for ingredients such as cetyl pyridinium chloride (CPC) or chlorhexidine gluconate. An online search for “alcohol-free therapeutic mouthwash” can educate you on what types of mouthwash will best serve your needs.

To use mouthwash, follow directions on the label. This will probably include pouring a small amount into the cap and then your mouth. You’ll swish the liquid around for about 60 seconds and then spit it out into the sink. Remember, do not ever swallow mouthwash.

If you are seeking other ideas on enhancing your oral health or if it’s time for a semiannual dental cleaning, please give Dakota Ridge Dental in Littleton, Colorado a ring at 303.933.2420.