It used to be considered part of your teeth brushing routine every morning and night. But now, dentists say swishing with mouthwash is no longer a necessary party of your oral hygiene routine.
When it comes to taking care of your mouth, swigging a shot of mouthwash doesn’t compare to actual bristles massaging your teeth and gums, even if it’s just for a few seconds, so says Lance Vernon, DMD, who teaches at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.
He tells Apartment Therapy that flossing, brushing and regular checkups outweigh a rinse. Says Vernon, “If you can do these things, you’re lowering your risk for tooth decay and gum disease,” adding, “Gingivitis comes when you don’t clean your teeth where the tooth meets the gum,. The plaque accumulates on the gum line, which can become inflamed and swollen.”
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Dr. Vernon says that brushing, even for five seconds, works better than a mouth rinse. Plus, he says mouthwash can backfire if people think it’s a solid replacement for brushing and flossing. For those who absolutely need to rise, Vernon suggests putting a dab of toothpaste on your tongue and swishing with water.
If mouthwash is good for anything, it’s for freshening breath in a pinch.