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Article: Volume 43 Number 7 Page 631 - September 2016

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  Dent Update 2016; 43: 631-640

Preventive Dentistry:  Mouthwashes: Do They Work and Should We Use Them? Part 2: Anticaries, Antihalitosis and Dry Mouth Relief Efficacy of Mouthwashes

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Abstract: This article will review the anticaries, antihalitosis and dry mouth relief efficacy of mouthwashes. Fluoride mouthwashes may provide an additional benefit to toothpaste and gel in children with a high risk of dental caries, but toothpaste alone may be a more acceptable mode of delivery. There may be a beneficial effect of fluoride mouthwashes on caries levels in older adults, particularly those at higher risk of root caries. The available data of the antihalitosis effect of mouthwashes neither supports nor contra-indicates their use. The key area where a mouthwash may be of use in the treatment of patients with a dry mouth is through the anticaries effect of fluoride.

Clinical relevance: The evidence supporting the use of anticaries, antihalitosis and dry mouth relief mouthwashes is evaluated. This provides guidance for dentists and dental care professionals of when it is appropriate to recommend the use of a mouthwash in these situations.

Author notes: Penny Hodge, PhD, FDS RCS(Ed), Specialist Periodontist/Honorary Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow Dental School, 378 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3JZ, UK.

Objective: To understand the evidence available to support the use of mouthwashes as anticaries agents and for the treatment of halitosis and a dry mouth.