Using mouthwash is a great addition to your oral care routine, especially in the morning when you’d like your breath to be its freshest! However, mouthwash falls short when it comes to replacing your regular brushing and flossing routine. Mouthwash has its benefits, but it should not be used in place of brushing your teeth, not even before bed! Here’s why mouthwash alone just doesn’t cut it when it comes to your nightly oral care routine.
Plaque Needs to Be Scrubbed Away
Plaque is that fuzzy feeling you get on your teeth after waking in the morning and generally a few hours after brushing. Bacteria in our mouths as well as foods can cause this substance to build up on our teeth. Plaque typically doesn’t pose a risk to our teeth and gums as long as it’s sufficiently removed every day via brushing and at the dentist office during regular professional cleanings.
Mouthwash by itself can’t remove plaque—plaque needs to be gently scrubbed away with your toothbrush as well as with proper flossing. Swishing mouthwash around in your mouth can compliment your oral hygiene after brushing and flossing, but it won’t help to remove harmful plaque after an entire day of not brushing!
Mouthwash Can Help Remove Food
Mouthwash is beneficial to your smile in addition to brushing because it can help remove food that’s stuck between your teeth as well as make your breath fresher. Although getting food particles out from between your teeth is important, this is something that’s best done physically with floss rather than general rinsing—flossing will actually help to scrape plaque away as well!
Before bed, flossing to remove those food particles can be beneficial along with mouthwash. Mouthwash can help prevent buildup of food particles as well as the bad bacteria that can contribute to bad breath and gum disease. If you have chronic bad breath even after brushing and using mouthwash, visit your dentist—this is a symptom of gum disease!
An Occasional Substitute
We all forget to brush our teeth once in a while, or else we find ourselves in a situation without a toothbrush. When this happens, using mouthwash is better than not doing anything at all. If you’re without a toothbrush, swish with mouthwash as you normally would—overuse of mouthwash is just as damaging as not using it at all!
If you’re without floss, mouthwash can help with that as well. It can help remove that stuck food and kill bacteria associated with oral disease. However, remember that mouthwash is best used in combination with these practices—but if you forget your toothbrush once in a while, some mouthwash can help you make it through the night!
Mouthwash might seem like a quick and easy solution instead of brushing and flossing before bedtime, but the truth is that it’s just not an effective replacement to actually cleaning your teeth. Mouthwash can help prevent harmful bacteria and give you fresh breath, but you should never stop brushing your teeth in favor of mouthwash before bed!
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