Can Mouthwash Sub for Your Flossing Routine?

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We are well ensconced in fall festivities and winter is nearly upon us. With all this seasonal change an increase in eating seasonal party food is finally on the menu! What happens to us when we eat all the fun foods that will be making the rounds? If you are like many, you want to enjoy the fun of this time, so you will likely indulge, and by the end of winter, you have packed on a few extra pounds. Just don’t pack on a few extra cavities while you are at it!

If you are tempted to cut down on your oral hygiene routine during this busy time, and especially if you believe the marketing claims on some antiseptic mouthwashes that they can kill all the germs that cause bad breath and cavities, you may think forgoing flossing by rinsing with a powerful mouthwash is a good idea. Think again! Yes, antiseptic mouthwash is effective at killing germs and hence may help your breath smell wonderful. But it cannot kill ALL the germs that hide between the teeth and gums and gum line.

For this you will need to floss, as flossing physically loosens the tiny food particles and sticky bacterial film in between the places your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing loosens these just like brushing the surface areas of your teeth and gums does. Not only that, but while an antiseptic mouthwash kills the surface bacteria on the filmy plaque, it cannot penetrate into the middle of the film microcosm where the bacteria colonies thrive.

Flossing, however, breaks down that film to remove ALL the bacteria, inside and out. NOW your mouthwash can do its job, coming in after your tooth brushing and flossing efforts have set everything free from the surfaces and your mouthwash rinse can whisk them away.

Rather than skimping on your oral hygiene routine in the busy days ahead, stay diligent and use all the tools available to you. Be effective, not just efficient. Keep your pearly whites healthy and you will dazzle the people you will encounter during the holiday festivities!

We invite you to keep your scheduled dental cleanings during this busy holiday season, and be sure to call us at 615-889-8202 if you have any questions about your oral health.