Do You Really Need Mouthwash?

According to advertisements, mouthwash is an essential part of a good daily hygiene routine, and is necessary to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. What you might not find in an ad, probably due to time and space restrictions, is what plaque and tartar are made of, or how mouthwash alone can’t do much against their buildup. Still, your toothbrush and floss can only do so much, and the right mouthwash can prove invaluable to keeping your teeth and gums clean, when used properly. 

What Can Plaque and Tartar Do?

The point of mouthwash, and of good hygiene, for that matter, is to stop the over-600 kinds of bacteria in your mouth from overwhelming your teeth and gums. If they do, these microbes can infect your teeth with decay (leading to cavities) or slowly destroy the gums that surround them. Some germs even release sulfur gases that can persistently foul your breath. In fact, many of the most common dental issues originate with improper hygiene practices that allow bacteria to settle into your oral tissues. When plaque remains for more than 48 hours, it calcifies into tartar, which is too stubborn for a toothbrush, floss, or mouthwash to remove.

What Can Mouthwash Do?

For the best results, Dr. Smith advises carefully brushing your teeth twice or more every day, and flossing at least once. Removing plaque from your teeth inhibits bacteria’s ability to stick to them, and reduces your risks of developing a dental disease, or embarrassing bad breath. As a liquid, mouthwash can help rinse away particles of food and spots of bacteria from places you can’t reach. Then again, so can water.
The benefit of mouthwash is what it contains, which usually includes antimicrobial agents that can boost your fight against harmful oral bacteria. Many also have fluoride to strengthen weakened tooth enamel and reduce the risk of cavities, as well as odor neutralizers that chemically eradicate malodorous sulfur compounds.

About Your Grand Prairie Family Dentist: 

Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced general, cosmetic, restorative, and implant dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Pecan Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you’re a new or returning patient, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111.