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8 Mouthwash Myths You May Be Thinking Are True

Dr Anam Cheema

2 min read

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Mouthwash, along with toothpaste and dental floss, is an integral part of a dental hygiene program. It  is great for removing food particles that are left in your mouth even after you brush and floss. It has an edge over toothpaste because it is in liquid form and can reach more the hidden nooks and crannies effectively.

Even though mouthwash is not a substitute for toothpaste, it is considered to be great for fighting bad breath and protect against cavities. However, there are quite a few misconceptions about mouthwash that you need to stop believing!

1- Mouthwash Cures Bad Breath

Even though mouthwash may temporarily control bad breath, it is by no means a cure. Foul-smelling compounds come from your lungs, so rinsing your mouth will not keep the stink away for long. Your saliva also reduces the effectiveness of mouthwash ingredients by diluting mouthwash.

2- All Mouthwashes Are The Same

Not all mouthwashes are made equal. Broadly speaking, there are two types of mouthwashes: therapeutic and cosmetic. Cosmetic washes temporarily cure bad breath, remove food particles from your mouth, fight bacteria, and therapeutic rinses may also contain specific ingredients for whitening teeth, strengthening the enamel, and reducing cavities. Additionally, therapeutic mouthwashes may also contain chlorhexidine, essential oils, and cetylpyridinium chloride and fluoride that prevent the appearance of gingivitis and helps reduce plaque. However, long term use of chlorhexidine is discouraged as it may alter your sense of taste temporarily and cause brown spots on your teeth.

3- Mouth Rinses Are Harmless

A lot of mouthwashes contain alcohol and this can be dangerous for children. Alcohol laden mouthwashes can also cause a dry mouth which can be counterproductive as dry mouth irritate oral tissues and is a cause of bad breath. Alcohol can also increase the sensitivity of teeth. Even though alcohol-free mouthwashes are also available in the market, some other ingredients can cause side effects too. Some may even cause a burning sensation or stain your teeth.

4- A Few Seconds Are Enough

You need to swish your mouthwash for at least 30 seconds around our mouth to let it do its job effectively. Since most mouthwashes are strong and cause a stinging sensation, a lot of people can’t handle them for that long. However, for best results, you must use mouthwash according to the instructions given on the package.

5- Mouthwash Is A Substitute For Brushing

Even though mouthwash fight bacteria in your mouth, you still need to brush and floss your teeth to remove debris and plaque. Mouthwash isn’t as effective for maintaining oral hygiene on its own. Look at mouthwash as an add-on that can fight gum inflammation and contribute to the overall cleanliness of your mouth.

6- Mouthwash Kills Only Bad Bacteria

While it’s true that some types of mouthwash contain ingredients that kill bacteria, not all mouth rinses combat germs. Moreover, the ones that do can wipe out the friendly bacteria that balance out your oral ecosystem.

Alcohol-containing mouthwash may not even kill bacteria. Many cosmetic mouthwash products have alcohol concentrations that are too low to destroy microbes.

7- You Don’t Have to Floss if You Use Mouthwash

A liquid rinse gets into the cracks and crevices between teeth. It can remove plaque and buildup from those areas better than brushing alone can.

But nothing replaces a good flossing. Flossing loosens deposits between teeth and removes plaque from hard-to-reach areas. It also stimulates the gums, promoting circulation and healing.

If you have food deposits stuck between your teeth, mouthwash can cover up the stink that they emit. However, removing them with floss can eliminate the foul odors completely.

8- Fluoride Rinses Are for Kids Only

Acids from the things that you eat and drink demineralize the teeth, causing the enamel layer to deteriorate. Fluoride helps to fortify the enamel.

Children’s primary and permanent teeth come in between the ages of 6 months to 16 years. During this time, fluoride intake can strengthen them.

Therefore, many dentists recommend that kids use fluoride mouthwash once they’re able to spit it out without swallowing it. Parents may also choose to have a dentist give fluoride treatments to children during routine cleanings and exams.

But adults can benefit from fluoride too. Fluoride can prevent cavities from worsening because it interrupts the production of acid. Acid normally occurs as a byproduct of the process in which bacteria in your mouth break down sugars

You should visit a dentist if you have dental or oral hygiene issues. You can find and book an appointment with top dentists in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad through oladoc.com. You can also call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your health concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr Anam Cheema
Dr Anam Cheema - Author Dr. Anam Cheema is a Dentist practicing in Islamabad. Dr. Anam Cheema has the following degrees: B.D.S., C-Implant, M.S.C (UK) and has 10 years of experience. You can book an appointment with Dr. Anam Cheema by calling us or using the 'book appointment' button.She thinks that oral health is the key to general physical health and loves to aware the public about it by writing articles.You can look at some of her work by following these links. You can book an appointment with Dr. Anam Cheema by calling us or using the 'book appointment' button.

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