Is Mouthwash Really Effective?

Not many feelings can compare to the refreshing cleanness of freshly brushed teeth. That feeling is exactly what many mouthwash companies seek to imitate, and spend millions of dollars trying to emulate. Rinsing your mouth may help you feel as though you’ve just thoroughly brushed every surface of every tooth in your mouth, but it doesn’t provide the same benefits of brushing your teeth. In many cases, mouthwash is a good supplement to a good hygiene routine, but it’s never a substitute for thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth.

What Good Hygiene Means

Major oral health issues, including tooth decay and gum disease, are mainly caused by oral bacteria. For example, the bacteria, Streptococcus mutans, digest sugar insatiably and excrete lactic acid as a byproduct. This acid erodes your tooth enamel and saps minerals from your teeth, leading to tooth decay. Another type of bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis, leads to gum disease because of their tendency to incite inflammation in your gums. By brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, you can help control the bacterial population in your mouth and neutralize the destructive effects of their presence.

What Mouthwash Can Do

After brushing and flossing, some food debris and bacteria may still remain in hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. Swishing mouthwash around for a minute or two can help wash away the particles that brushing and flossing left behind. Some mouthwashes contain special properties that are made to help strengthen teeth and fight off specific infections. Your dentist may prescribe a certain type of mouthwash to help you combat certain dental issues, such as halitosis (chronic bad breath), tooth decay, or gum disease. Some over-the-counter mouthwashes also provide additional assistance in these areas. All mouthwash products, whether OTC or dentist-prescribed, only act as an additional component to your arsenal of oral hygiene tools.

Some people may not need to add mouthwash to their routines at all, while some may benefit greatly from the addition. To find out if you could benefit from adding mouthwash to your routine, schedule a consultation by calling Dr. Steven Huffstutler in Ft. Worth, TX, today at 817-577-1444.