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Taking care of your teeth is a quest that lasts a lifetime. Luckily, if you are diligent, the habit is formed and it makes it much easier to take care of your mouth. But what if you already have a habit of brushing twice a day for 2 minutes, and flossing once a day? What else can you do to take care of those pearly whites?

Some people find adding a mouthwash to their daily routine helps their mouth stay clean and fresh. But beware–not all mouthwashes are created equal.

There are two categories of mouthwash: therapeutic and cosmetic. Cosmetic mouthwashes freshen breath temporarily by simply masking the scent. Therapeutic mouthwash, however, actually cleans your mouth. There are therapeutic mouthwashes designed for specific tasks, such as adding fluoride, killing bacteria, or loosening plaque before brushing.

Ask Dr. Eli J. Lawrence about your specific health needs. Always look for products that have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. This seal provides assurance that the product does what it claims to do, because the ADA requires thorough testing before granting the seal.

Never give mouthwash to children under 6 years of age, or children who are at risk of swallowing it. Swallowing large amounts of mouthwash can lead to nausea, vomiting, or intoxication (due to the large amount of alcohol present in the mouthwash). Always be careful of giving mouthwash to children.

For more information on mouthwash and your dental health care plan, call Eli Lawrence, DDS in Chicago, Illinois, at 312-236-9895. Dr. Eli J. Lawrence and our team are happy to help!