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The Proper Place for Mouthwash

Oral care is very important. That’s why your dentist in Yuba City recommends you brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. We also recommend using floss with each session, to dislodge particles that your toothbrush can’t reach. Of course, visiting your dentist twice each year for checkups and cleanings is also vital to your oral health.

Another common component to a successful routine in oral care is mouthwash. Many versions advertise that they kill nearly all germs or bacteria. Some of them contain fluoride to help strengthen your tooth enamel. A few of them claim to help with whitening your teeth.

Now, many of us lead busy lives. Sometimes we might be running late, or maybe it seems like we just don’t have time for brushing, flossing, and rinsing our teeth every single morning. Maybe we’ve simply gotten out of the habit. Since mouthwash appears to be so effective, wouldn’t it be enough to just swish around some mouthwash? It’s got to be better than using plain old tap water, right?

The Right Tool for the Job

The main cause of bad breath and tooth decay is the bacteria within our mouths. At any given point we can have as many as 700 strains of bacteria inside our mouths. The bacteria reside in a sticky layer on the surfaces of our teeth and gums. Mouthwash kills any exposed bacteria, but it cannot remove that sticky layer. Much like a dirty car, rinsing it with liquid is not enough to remove the dirt and grime. You need to sweep away the residue. That’s why a toothbrush is so important to your oral health. Also keep in mind that many versions of mouthwash use alcohol, which can dry out your mouth. A dry mouth often leads to increased bacteria production, making a proper routine of oral care with all the right tools that much more important.

Mouthwash in a Pinch?

Mouthwash generally does kill germs and bacteria, although non-prescription mouthwashes will never manage to destroy even close to 100% of the microorganisms in your mouth. It does typically freshen breath temporarily, and when it has added fluoride, it helps your tooth enamel regain strength via remineralization. Nevertheless, mouthwash is merely an oral hygiene support. Even if you find yourself with no toothbrush available or you are running very late, mouthwash is not enough to replace brushing your teeth. Stop by a convenience store or pharmacy and pick up a travel toothbrush with a travel-sized tube of toothpaste. At your earliest convenience, do the job right! In fact, many people keep a backup toothbrush in their cars or at their work desk for such occasions. A few keep a small bottle of mouthwash to use afterward – but not as a substitute for brushing their teeth.

If you find yourself having difficulty keeping up with your oral care routine, please mention the issue to the Yuba City Dentistry Group at your next checkup. Your oral health is important to us, and we want to do all we can to make sure your teeth and gums stay healthy and strong. If you have any questions about mouthwash, like what type to use or when to use it, list your questions on our online form. Mouthwash might not be a substitute for brushing your teeth, but it still helps to keep bad breath and bacteria in their proper place.

Apr 14, 2022 | Oral Maintenance

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