To Rinse or not to Rinse

That is the question. Many of us wonder whether or not we should use mouthwash after brushing. And if so, what kind?


“Rinsing with mouthwash can be a good addition to your oral routine,” says Dr. Shluper. He argues that mouthwash provides the following benefits to your oral health:

  • Improves bad breath
  • Reduces quantity of plaque and bacteria in the mouth
  • Prevents periodontal (gum) disease

However, many people still have questions regarding which kind of mouthwash to choose. Fluoride? Alcohol? What’s the difference? Below are answers to some commonly asked questions regarding mouthwash and its relation to fluoride, periodontal disease, and oral cancer.

I heard that if I rinse with mouthwash, I don’t have to floss. Is this true?

Rinsing with mouthwash such as Listerine can act as a supplement to flossing by fighting tooth and gum decay. It does not, however, replace flossing as some patients and even some dentists claim

I don’t like the taste of my mouthwash. Can I rinse with water after?

You may choose to rinse with water after rinsing with mouthwash. However, this prevents the fluoride from coating the teeth, reducing its effect. It is best to not dilute mouthwash with water.

I don’t want to use products with fluoride. Should I still use mouthwash?

Non-fluoride mouthwashes can still benefit your oral health by preventing periodontal (gum) disease and improving bad breath.

Are there risks associated with using mouthwash?

Some sources claim that using alcohol-based mouthwashes can lead to oral cancer. Studies have been conducted over the last three decades to test the possibility of mouthwash being a risk factor, but there has been no connection found between the use of alcohol-based mouthwash and the development of oral cancer. If this is still a concern for you, there are non-alcohol-based mouthwashes available.

Mouthwashes that do not contain fluoride or alcohol can still help prevent gum disease and fight bad breath.


30 March 2012 at 12:07 pm Leave a comment

Fighting Bad Breath

borrowed from

Bad breath, morning breath, and halitosis are terms used to describe breath odor. We often associate bad breath with eating certain foods, such as onions or garlic, but it takes more than a breath mint to solve this problem.

Bad breath is usually caused by bacteria from food particles trapped in the mouth. Bad breath that results from eating certain foods may be temporary, but without proper dental hygiene, these bacteria can cause more lasting breath effects.

To keep your mouth clean, dentists recommend that you brush your teeth after every meal. You should also clean your tongue, cheeks, and roof of your mouth as these surfaces often trap bacteria. At a minimum, you should brush your teeth in the morning after breakfast and at night before bed.

Certain foods you consume can prevent bad breath. Eating raw vegetables can prevent plaque from forming, and leafy vegetables containing chlorophyll, a natural breath freshener.

Dentists also suggest drinking plenty of water. This keeps your mouth from becoming dry, which prevents saliva from cleaning it. Saliva is necessary to keeping your mouth healthy by reducing bacteria.

Believe it or not, chewing sugarless gum can actually be good for you because it increases the flow of saliva. However, avoid using breath mints that contain alcohol. People often think that breath mints will help combat bad breath, but they can actually have a negative effect by drying out the mouth and increasing the growth of bacteria.

If you have a serious case of bad breath, it can be a sign of more significant health problems, such as stomach or lung conditions. Contact your doctor for more information.

2 February 2012 at 3:07 pm Leave a comment

Dentist Jailed after Using Papers Clips in Root Canals

A former Massachusetts dentist was sentenced to one year in jail for defrauding Medicaid and using paper clips instead of stainless steel posts in root canals.

Dr. Michael Clair pleaded guilty earlier this month to a list of charges, including assault and battery, witness intimidation, illegally prescribing medication, and fraud.

Clair has defrauded Medicaid of $130,000. He was suspended in 2002, but filed claims from 2003-2005 using the names of other dentists in his practice.

Prosecutors also said that Clair used parts of paper clips to perform root canals in an effort to save money.

Judge Richard Moses has sentenced Clair to only one year in prison, citing mental health issues and lack of criminal record.

The judge has also ordered Clair to stay away from his victims and previous employees, who have expressed concern for their safety.

31 January 2012 at 1:07 pm Leave a comment

Qualities to Look for in a Dentist

From the foods you eat to the doctor you visit, you take great care in making decisions that affect you and your family’s health. Choosing a dentist should be no different.

Selecting a qualified dentist is an important part of keeping your teeth healthy and preventing more expensive treatment later on. You want a dentist who will make you feel relaxed, who provides you with accurate, honest information, and who offers affordable treatment plans.

A quality dentist…

is reputable

Look for a dentist who has been practicing for several years. The older the practice, the more experience the dentist has and the more information you can find from existing patients buzzing on the internet.

Does the practice have a professional website that offers patient reviews or testimonials? What other patients have to say is one of the best ways to get inside knowledge before ever stepping foot inside the office.

is educated

Your dentist should not only hold a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine), but should also be informed about new dental education and technology. Ask your dentist what he or she does to stay up-to-date on modern practices, whether it be continuing education courses, seminars, or workshops.

is informative

There should be no mystery when it comes to your dental health. Your dentist should not withhold information or prices, but should explain procedures clearly and outline your out-of-pocket costs before performing treatment. Choose a dentist who provides thorough information regarding insurance and payment plans.

is clean

Pay attention to hygiene practices within the office. The waiting room, office, and exam rooms should be clean and orderly. Also, the staff should always wear gloves when performing medical procedures or touching instruments and equipment.

is professional

A good dentist will never attempt to diagnose any disease that is not directly related to the gyms, teeth, or mouth.

Your dentist should also place emphasis on preventative care, as well as ways of treating your dental problems rather than just addressing the symptoms.

is accommodating

When looking for a dentist, pay attention to the office hours in order to ensure that they fit your schedule. Ask what arrangements are available for emergencies that occur outside office hours, as some dentists will schedule last-minute appointments or come in outside of business hours.

is personable

The dentist and office staff should be friendly and willing to answer any and all questions. Your experience during your visit should be relaxing and stress-free, and it is important to find an environment that fits your needs.

For suggestions for a quality dentist in your area, ask friends and family members, neighbors, or your healthcare provider. You can also search online, such as on the ADA website.

30 January 2012 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

8 Dental Resolutions

Start the New Year off with a brighter, healthier smile.

Below are some New Year’s dental resolutions from our staff to help you and your family have happy, healthy smiles.

  • Brush for 2 minutes at least twice a day, though brushing after every meal is ideal.
  • Floss regularly. Flossing removes plaque from between the teeth and at the gum line, where cavities and periodontal disease often begin. For flossing tips, click here.
  • Clean your tongue. Many toothbrushes have tongue cleaners on the back of the brush. Cleaning your tongue regularly can fight bad breath and eliminate odor-causing bacteria.
  • Drink more water. Drinking water after finishing your coffee, tea, or wine can help reduce stains.
  • See your dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. This can save you more money in the long run by preventing major problems. By avoiding preventative care, you may face more dental work in the future, which can cost thousands of dollars.
  • Ask your dentist for an oral cancer examination. It takes less than five minutes. This exam allows for early detection of oral cancer, which is when treatment is most effective.
  • Use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride strengthens enamel and helps prevent tooth decay.
  • Finally, you should smile! Smile with confidence to improve your relationships and personal well-being.

24 January 2012 at 1:07 pm Leave a comment

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Contributing Staff