How Often Should You Use Mouthwash?

It’s a well-known fact that your dentist in Boerne recommends that everyone brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day. But what about mouthwash? Should mouthwash be a part of your everyday oral hygiene routine? If so, how often should you use it?

Benefits of Mouthwash

Mouthwash can be an effective way to remove hard-to-reach bacteria in the mouth. The benefit of this is that these bacteria can no longer stick around and create cavities. Mouthwash can also be effective at freshening breath. Additionally, there are specialty mouthwashes available by prescription from your dentist in Boerne and may be useful after dental surgery, if you have sensitivity, or suffer from dry mouth.

How Often Should You Use Mouthwash?

While it can depend on the specific mouthwash you use and the advice of your dentist, most mouthwashes should be used no more than twice a day. Make sure to read the label and follow the instructions.

Can You Use Too Much Mouthwash?

Using mouthwash several times a day for a long period of time may cause more harm than good, especially if you’re using an alcohol-based brand. Alcohol can irritate the soft tissues of the mouth and may also cause dry mouth. Dry mouth may exacerbate some problems that you’re trying to avoid in the first place, such as bad breath and cavity development. Even mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol may cause unwanted side effects such as tooth staining if used too often. Make sure you talk with your dentist in Boerne about any mouthwash you use and how often you use it.

Side Effects of Mouthwash

Negative side effects of using mouthwash are rare, but they can happen. Some common side effects include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Teeth staining
  • Sensitivity after using the mouthwash
  • Canker sores or mouth sores

If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using the mouthwash and contact your dentist.

How to Choose the Best Mouthwash

Choosing the best mouthwash for you will depend on your wants and needs. You can select either an alcohol-based option or a non-alcohol-based product. There are even options available that don’t include any artificial coloring. Either way, make sure you choose an option that contains an antibacterial and includes the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

If you’re concerned about whether or not your mouthwash may be doing more harm than good, or you have questions about the best mouthwash for you, never hesitate to schedule an appointment at our Boerne dental office. We’re always happy to help!

Why Do I Have Cavities If I Don’t Eat Sugar?

Cutting back on sugar can be difficult because it’s in so many foods and drinks, and sometimes in surprising amounts. But reducing your sugar intake or eliminating it from your diet altogether can certainly help your overall health as well as your dental health. After all, there’s a reason your dentist in Boerne isn’t a huge fan of the stuff. Sugar is often considered the leading cause of cavities. But the truth is, even if you don’t eat sugar, you can still get cavities.

What Is a Cavity?

Cavities are so common in the United States that the CDC says 90% of Americans over the age of 20 have had at least one cavity in their lifetime. These tiny areas of tooth decay, if left untreated, will only become bigger and deeper and also become more difficult to treat. Cavities begin as a small hole or pit in a tooth where acid or bacteria has attacked the enamel. During this stage, cavities can easily be fixed with a filling from your dentist in Boerne. However, cavities that continue to progress can sometimes require more complex treatment such as a root canal or even tooth extraction.

Surprising Things The Cause Cavities

We’ve already shared that many people think cavities are a problem of eating too much sugar, and while that may be the case, there are other reasons why a cavity develops.

  • Dry Mouth

If a patient’s mouth is dry it’s more likely that they will have cavities. Usually, saliva will help neutralize acids and rinse away bacteria that can cause cavities. But when saliva production is too low and the mouth feels too dry, bacteria and acids are left lingering around to cause damage to the enamel and, you guessed it, cause cavities.

  • Carbohydrates & Acids

Besides sugar, there are other foods that can increase the risk of cavities. The two most concerning are acidic foods, such as citrus fruits and foods with a lot of carbohydrates. Acidic foods and drinks further aid in the mouth acid’s ability to weaken enamel while carbs fuel the bacteria, allowing them to thrive.

  • Bad Brushing or Flossing

There are many reasons why it’s important to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day, but one of the main reasons is to prevent cavities. Brushing your teeth in the morning and at night will remove plaque and plaque acids that have built up throughout the day. Flossing reaches those tricky areas that a toothbrush can’t reach and where cavities are more likely to develop.

Cavity Symptoms

Patients may experience different symptoms, but some of the most common signs of a cavity include:

  • Pain when you bite
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Brown, black, or white spots
  • Toothache
  • Pits or holes in a tooth

If you think that you may have a cavity, call your dentist in Boerne to schedule an appointment.

Even though cavities are incredibly common, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of getting one. Make sure you brush and floss your teeth regularly, limit your intake of sugary, acidic, or high-carbohydrate foods, and drink plenty of water daily. Of course, you should also see your dentist every six months for a checkup.