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Wash your mouth out, as your mother might say!

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A good mouthwash can be a great additional tool in the battle against bacteria. Read on for some practical advice on choosing and using a mouthwash.

You’ll know by now, if you’re a regular reader of our blogs, that we put brushing top of our list when it comes to keeping your smile in great shape – followed by flossing or use of interdental brushes.

So let’s be clear when we talk about the benefits of mouthwashes – they’re not a quick and easy substitute for brushing of flossing, but rather an additional tool that can play a really important part in the fight against harmful bacteria.

Choosing the correct mouthwash

It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t just use a mouthwash to give you a fresh and minty taste in your mouth. A really effective mouthwash is one that is anti-bacterial, and that typically fights the spread of bacteria for a number of hours.

When you visit the supermarket or the chemist’s, you’ll quickly realise what an amazing selection of mouthwashes is to be found on the shelf, but make sure you don’t get carried away by fancy packaging or great price deals or big brand names.

Instead, remember why you’re buying it, and only go for one that will kill germs. Be particularly skeptical of claims that Brand X will keep plaque away or keep your breath fresh for 24 hours.

It’s true that some mouthwashes can help suppress plaque, but there’s no mouthwash on the market that’s capable of actually REMOVING it.

Another good tip is to opt for one which is clearly labeled as being alcohol-free, as alcohol has been identified as a risk factor for oral cancer.

Some tips on choosing your mouthwash

  • It’s not a problem to choose a breath freshening mouthwash – but just be clear as to whether it’s also bacteria-killing.
  • If your dentist has ever mentioned that you need some extra fluoride in your dental regime, then opt for a high fluoride rinse.
  • It’s possible to get a mouthwash with multiple properties, so be very careful when reading the packaging and making your final choice.

It’s impossible in an article of this length to do a brand-by-brand critique, but you might be influenced by the fact that Colgate Plax and Listerine mouthwashes have been accredited by no less a body than the British Dental Association – this could possibly make your choice that bit easier when you’re standing there in the supermarket aisle looking a tad bewildered1

No matter which brand you choose, however, don’t forget that regular use is the key. Quite simply, your mouthwash is very ineffective if it’s left sitting there in your bathroom cabinet.

And although we’re in danger of laboring the point, don’t forget that mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing. That said, it’s a wonderful ally in the battle against dental disease. If you go with brushing, flossing and rinsing, you could well expect to avoid the scourge of periodontal disease.

periodontist can work wonders if you should ever develop gum disease, but wouldn’t it be a far better situation to be in if yu never had to come face-to-face with this form of specialist dental professional.