When we think of dental hygiene, we think of a few key pieces of equipment for a healthy clean mouth – a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash. Each of these things plays a certain role in doing the job, but are they all necessary?
For the most part, all of these dental tools are necessary, but mouthwash is the exception. We are told that it is helping with bacteria that causes bad breath, leaving us with a minty-fresh mouth. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
Firstly, bad breath is caused by bacteria in our mouths. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, it is easy for plaque and harmful bacteria to collect and multiply inside of our mouths. We naturally produce saliva to help our mouth maintain a healthy pH balance, making it a natural defense against bad breath.
Now let’s look at mouthwash. We know that mouthwash is full of alcohol, some as much as 25 percent. We also know that alcohol dehydrates us. If mouthwash dehydrates us, we are not producing enough saliva. Not enough saliva, our pH balance is thrown off and bacteria is allowed to collect, doing the exact opposite of its goal.
The claims made by mouthwash ads to kill bacteria and bad breath chemically is true, but it cannot distinguish between the harmful bacteria and the bacteria it needs to leave alone because it is actually helping our mouth.
So, what do we do when we get a case of bad breath? Forget about mouthwash and use water. Brush and floss, and tongue scrape at least once daily. If you don’t have a dental kit around, an apple or a stick of gum will help produce saliva.
For more information about mouthwash, call Dr. Ladani in Schnecksville, PA at 610-799-0600 or visit www.extraordinarysmiles.net.
Dr. Sandip Ladani proudly serve patients from Schnecksville and all surrounding areas.