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Mouthwashes can be used for a variety of reasons, including:
- reduce plaque (a thin film of bacteria that forms on teeth)
- prevent or reduce gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease)
- reduce the speed that tartar (hardened plaque) forms on the teeth or to produce a combination of these effects.
Keeping plaque off of teeth can help prevent cavities and protect teeth. Your dentist can advise you whether you need a mouthwash and what kind of mouthwash to use depending on your oral health needs.
Any mouthwash that contains fluoride can protect and restore enamel if it has been damaged by early tooth decay. If the decay becomes slightly deeper, fluoride rinses will not help and treatment from the dentist is required. Cavities usually do not cause sensitivity until they begin to become deep, so examination by the dentist at least twice a year is important to maintain dental health.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.