Everyone wants to maintain a fresh clean mouth with a minty breath, but are we achieving that in the correct way? Mouthwash is the preferred solution to eradicate bad breath, with many people eventually replacing brushing with just rinsing their mouths with mouthwash because they love the minty kick that comes with it. But is mouthwash really good for your mouth? Through this article, our team at the Dental Bond debunk some myths about mouthwash.

1) Mouthwash can be used as a substitute for tooth brushing.

Contrary to popular belief, mouthwash cannot be used as an alternative to brushing or flossing. Just how your body needs a good scrubbing to get clean, your mouth also needs a thorough cleaning. Thorough brushing and flossing physically remove the carbohydrate-filled foods and sticky debris over your teeth which is the primary cause of decay and gum disease. 

2) Mouthwash only kills the bad bacteria in the mouth

Bad news, mouthwash doesn’t single out bad bacteria. It kills all bacteria which is present in the mouth, including the good ones, thereby disturbing the ecosystem of your mouth. 

3) That burning sensation in my mouth when I swig mouthwash means all the tartar in my mouth is getting eradicated.    

False! The burning sensation in your mouth is due to the use of an alcohol based mouthwash. The mouthwash dries out the tissue in the mouth as it dissipates, leading to a burning sensation and a dry mouth.  Chlorhexidine containing mouthwash can burn out the layer of protective mucus and saliva, leading to more plaque-build up and bad breath eventually engulfing you into a vicious cycle.  They can also lead to staining of teeth and fillings if used excessively.

4) I can buy a mouthwash without consulting a dentist.

There are different types of mouthwashes suited to every need. For example, special fluoride rinses are used for children aged eight years over, whitening mouth rinses are used for teeth whitening, infected gums are treated with a chlorhexidine-containing mouthwash, but they should only be used when prescribed by your dentist and for the specific period of time. 

Ultimately, mouthwashes, although they prevent bad breath, cannot be used as a replacement for daily brushing or flossing.  It does not eliminate the need for bi-yearly visits to your dentist. It is important for you to consult your dentist first before using any type of mouthwash.