Photo Source: Flickr.com/nataliepkcruz
In the arsenal of oral health care, toothbrushing and flossing are usually on top of the list. What many people tend to forget that mouthwash is more than colours, flavour, and according to research published on General Dentistry, it actually helps in the reduction and management of gum disease.
The research states that mouthwashes can significantly decrease plaque and gingivitis compared to toothbrushing alone. Christine A. Charles, RDH, BS, head of the research group shared that this is because “(m)outhrinses can reach nearly 100 percent of the mouth's surfaces, while brushing focuses on the teeth, which make up only 25 percent of the mouth.”
The six-month study involved a group of 139 adults with mild to moderate gingivitis. Broken down into two groups, one was asked to brush, floss, and rinse with a germ-killing mouthwash while the other was asked to brush, floss, and rinse with a placebo mouthwash. The results showed that the group rinsing with the germ-killing mouthwash reduced the occurrence of plaque by 26 percent and gingivitis by 20 percent. What the study further reveals is that in fighting oral health problems, not just any mouthrinse will do.
Therapeutic Vs. Cosmetic Mouthwashes
To combat plaque and gingivitis, dentists recommend going for therapeuatic mouthwashes instead of the purely cosmetic ones. The difference between the two is quite simple. Cosmetic mouthrinses help in loosening food morsels, alleviating bad breath, and lessening bacteria to a certain degree but therapeutic mouthrinses have additional ingredients specifically meant to counter plaque and control the onset of gingivitis.
In selecting mouthrinses, find a product that has the seal of the approval from an independent body of scientists and health professionals. A product or brand claiming to control and reduce plaque and gingivitis should be able to support their claim and have the seal as proof of their claim.
Ask Your Dentist
Remember too, that even with current research substantiating the effectiveness of mouthwashes, it should not be considered a substitute and it only supplements toothbrush and flossing.
Mouthwashes also contain components that may cause side effects so before purchasing a bottle, ask your dentist for any recommendations – or if you need one at all.
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