Adverts for mouthwash are everywhere, promising fresher breath and a healthier smile. But do you really need to use mouthwash after brushing your teeth thoroughly or is it all simply hype? A recent ad for a famous brand of mouthwash was condemned by the Advertising Standards Agency for making a claim that could be considered misleading as the company involved couldn’t substantiate the claims made. However a recent clinical study found that mouthwash might slightly reduce the risk of developing gum disease, but dental experts are quite sceptical and think using mouthwash regularly will only reduce the risk of developing oral diseases by a very small amount, and that the most important thing is to brush twice a day and to floss once a day. Using mouthwash could also create complacency, as some people may believe that it is a replacement for brushing.
It is true that using mouthwash can help freshen up your breath, but the effects will only be temporary and could be helping to mask some underlying problem. Bad breath can be caused by dental decay or gum disease in Leeds so if you think you may be offending others then it’s probably time to make an appointment for a check-up at our Leeds surgery. Bad breath is often caused by poor oral hygiene, as failing to brush and floss thoroughly will allow small particles of food remaining in your mouth to gradually rot and decay, causing noxious odours. Occasionally halitosis may be due to some other medical reason, so it is important to visit dentist in Leeds to rule out any dental related cause.
Sometimes It May Be Beneficial to Use Mouthwash
If Dr David Brown or any of the dentists here at Leeds City Dentalcare believe you may benefit from using the mouthwash then we will definitely tell you. There are times when using a mouthwash may be beneficial, such as after oral surgery or if you are currently undergoing treatment for gum disease or other dental diseases. In this case we will probably recommend you use a good-quality antimicrobial or antibacterial mouthwash. It may also be beneficial to use a mouthwash containing fluoride if your teeth are particularly prone towards dental erosion. If you have any other diseases such as dry mouth then using mouthwash could make it more comfortable.
Mouthwash Isn’t a Modern Invention
Apparently we have been worrying about having bad breath for many years, as people have made rinses from a number of different substances including betel leaves and even from myrrh that has been rather unappealingly dissolved in white wine. In the 19th century the surgeon Sir Joseph Lister invented his famous mouthwash that was originally developed as an antiseptic for use during surgery.
Modern mouthwashes can contain a number of different ingredients, and most contain alcohol and artificial colourings and sweeteners. If you do want to use a mouthwash then it’s worth looking out for one that is alcohol free, especially if you have young children who could inadvertently think it’s something nice to drink. It’s also important to follow the instructions on the bottle and to refrain from swallowing it.