To Rinse or not to Rinse

30 March 2012 at 12:07 pm Leave a comment

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.


Entry filed under: Preventative Care. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Fighting Bad Breath

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