According to Heidi, one of our hygienists, the big thing to remember is that mouthwash will not remove plaque. It might feel great, but only “the use of a toothbrush and floss will remove and disrupt bacterial plaque”. So it’s not the way to avoid brushing and flossing.
However mouthwash with fluoride can be helpful in protecting teeth from cavities. Truth be told, if your toothpaste has fluoride you can skip the extra step of mouthwash.
If you do choose to use mouthwash it can be helpful to kill bacteria in your mouth when you are sick and as a quick disinfectant if your toothbrush has dropped on a dirty surface.
Mouthwash is also helpful if you suffer from canker sores. Although mouthwash won’t heal your sore, it will kill the bacteria and give you some relief. However the alcohol in your mouth wash might irritate your canker sore and be quite painful.
When shopping for mouthwash, make sure to pick one without alcohol if it is for a child or someone who has a substance abuse problem.
Probably the biggest problem with mouthwash is that it can mask bad breath. How can that be bad you ask? Isn’t that what we want? Well if you mask the problem and don’t fix it, the gum disease that might be causing the bad breath might just be getting far worse. And then bad breath is the least of your worries.
Overall Toothbrush Confidential believes that although mouthwash isn’t inherently wrong, it does not take the place of a good oral health regime. So we suggest you brush twice a day, floss once a day and gargle when you’re inspired. Enjoy your time with your kids and don’t forget to treat yourself too!