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After developing excellent, consistent habits of brushing and flossing, some people choose to include mouthwash as part of their oral hygiene routine. If you want to do the same, there are some things you should know.

The first thing you should know is that not all mouthwashes are the same. There is a plethora of options, and that can be overwhelming. Here is some good information to help you make your decision.

There are two broad categories of mouthwash, therapeutic and cosmetic. In terms of dental hygiene, cosmetic mouthwashes are not very useful. They may cover up the stink of halitosis temporarily, but they do not get rid of the bacteria that cause bad breath.

Instead, choose therapeutic mouthwash, as it is ideal for mouth care. They contain active ingredients that kill bacteria. Some therapeutic mouthwashes are also designed to prevent cavities, plaque buildup, halitosis, and gum disease (gingivitis). Other tasks could include adding fluoride (a substance which fortifies tooth enamel) or loosening plaque before brushing. Always read labels carefully, and ask your dentist about the specifics of your personal oral health care plan. It can come in both over-the-counter and prescription strengths.

For more information, call Cedar Pointe Family Dentistry in Farmington, New Mexico, at (505) 327.0044. Dr. Ryan H. Wilson and our team are happy to help!