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Choosing the Right Mouthwash and Fighting Gum Disease

At Ralhan Dental, we care about your oral health and want to help you prevent problems like gum disease before they ever become a problem. One of the great tools we recommend using for treating gum disease and preventing oral complications is mouthwash.

We understand that it can be confusing trying to find the right mouthwash with so many different kinds available. Additionally, many of our patients may not know why mouthwash is important and the benefits it can have on oral health. We have compiled some useful information to help you understand how gum disease can affect you and how to choose a mouthwash that helps to fight it and other oral problems.

Understanding Gum Disease

Gum disease is a very common and often overlooked condition that can be easily prevented. In fact, according to the Canadian Dental Association, 70% of Canadians will have gum disease at some time in their life. In the early stage of gum disease, plaque hardens and turns into tartar which can then lead to a bacterial infection of the gums. This stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis.

At first, your gums may just look minorly irritated and a little red. As gum disease is given time to develop, you may experience minor symptoms including bleeding of the gums while brushing your teeth. It may not seem serious, yet if left untreated gum disease will only get worse and eventually wreak major havoc on your oral health. It can even lead to severe complications such as losing teeth from infection.

The great news is that built up tartar can be removed at regular biannual cleanings at Ralhan Dental. If you are concerned about gum disease or would like to learn more about any of our other services we encourage you to click through our website to learn how Dr. Ralhan can get you on the path to a great smile and outstanding oral health.


While mouthwash is not a replacement for regular visits to the dentist and daily brushing and flossing, it can be a great tool to help maintain proper oral health. Mouthwash can reach areas that brushing and flossing may not be able to reach and can help to prevent gingivitis, plaque, and bad breath.

One of the most important things to remember is to always read the labels on all of your mouthwashes. Depending on the ingredients it contains, it may be recommended to rinse before or after brushing your teeth. The reason for this is that ingredients in the toothpaste you use may reduce the effectiveness of certain mouthwashes. Rinsing the mouth with water between brushing and using mouthwash can help to maximize the effectiveness of your mouthwash.

Young Children and Mouthwash

For children under 6, it is generally recommended to not use mouthwash unless directed to by a dentist. The reason for this is that many young children may not develop a strong swallow reflex until they are at least 6 and can swallow a large amount of mouthwash. If a significant amount of mouthwash is swallowed it can lead to adverse effects such as vomiting, nausea, and intoxication. Always check labels for age restrictions and specific precautions.

Cosmetic vs Therapeutic Mouthwash

There are two main kinds of mouthwash, cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwashes don’t have long-lasting effects. They are generally used to provide temporary relief from bad breath and leave a pleasant taste. Beyond temporary benefits, they have no biologically helpful applications.

What makes therapeutic mouthwashes different are the active ingredients they use to provide benefits for your teeth. Cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine, and essential oils are used to prevent and reduce dental plaque and gingivitis. Fluoride is used to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. Peroxide is added to mouthwash for teeth whitening purposes.

Depending on the active ingredients, mouthwashes may be prescribed or can be found at the store. Mouthwashes that use essential oils can be picked up at the store, while those that contain chlorhexidine have to be prescribed.

Schedule Your Cleaning Today

Mouthwash is a great way to help prevent gum disease in addition to your normal brushing and flossing. At Ralhan Dental, we are dedicated to providing the comfort and quality care you deserve. If you have any questions or if you are ready to schedule your next cleaning, give us a call today.