Mouthwash: Does It Really Help?

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Aside from giving us minty-fresh breath, is there any legitimate reason to rinse our mouths with mouthwash after brushing our teeth? We have all seen the commercials of people swishing this substance around in their mouth and smiling at the end with a mouth full of pearly whites, but is this all just a bunch of hype intended to make us spend more money than we need to? Believe it or not, mouthwash does a lot more than fight off halitosis and is an integral part of keeping your smile clean and healthy.

Mouthwash Is Not Just for Your Breath

Our dentists in Norcross know that mouthwash is an instrumental component of any oral hygiene ritual. The unbeatable trio of brushing, flossing and rinsing with an oral antiseptic did not earn its reputation blindly. As a race, we humans have been concerned with oral hygiene for thousands of years; the earliest types of mouthwash came in the form of urine (disturbingly true), alum, vinegar and alcohol.

Fortunately, the products available these days are intended to both clean thoroughly and make our breath smell fresh. The main reason mouthwash is so important is that it acts as a comprehensive form of defense against oral bacteria.

Not only does it kill plaque and germs that brushing and flossing are unable to reach, it also sets up a barrier to keep these substances from building up in the future. Leading mouthwash brands such as Listerine and Crest Pro Health have been found to reduce plaque by up to 50 percent and decrease the risk of gingivitis by up to 36 percent, which is reason enough for your Norcross dentist to recommend it.

So whether you choose a super-charged alcohol-based rinse or a milder alcohol-free rinse, the extra step of using mouthwash can really help your oral hygiene in the long run.