Whilst I am addressing the topic of oral hygiene measures, the conversation wouldn’t be complete without mentioning mouthwash.
Patients often ask me about mouthwash as if using the right one would be the cure to all their ills! To be fair, if they contain the minerals I mentioned in my last blog (fluoride, calcium and phosphate) then they can help to protect your teeth by repairing the enamel – see our remineralisation treatments page for more on this.
Try to avoid mouthwashes with alcohol in as swirling anything alcohol based around your mouth on a regular basis could be a recipe for oral cancer.
The other mouthwash that patients often ask about is corsodyl. Many people use this if their gums are bleeding. The truth is though; if your gums are bleeding they probably need a good clean with the hygienist to remove the hard bacterial deposits (calculus) that are producing toxins. It is these toxins being released onto the gums that are causing them to become swollen and fragile, this is then causing the bleeding.
Corsodyl can help in situations where someone has just had gum surgery and you want to keep the area exceptionally clean whilst it is healing. Corsodyl will work because the chemicals in the mouthwash will prevent the bacteria from building up again as quickly. It is not meant for long term use however and if you use it on an ongoing basis it will stain your teeth – you have been warned!