Does Mouthwash Replace Flossing?

Categories: General Dentistry

does mouthwash replace flossingSCOTTS VALLEY, SANTA CRUZ CA

Mouthwash is an excellent addition to your at-home oral care routine. It can provide multiple benefits to your tooth enamel and gums beyond brushing alone. On the other hand, flossing is a standard practice that should be included in your oral care regimen. To explain things in more detail, our family dentists in Santa Cruz at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry share on the blog today mouthwash risk and flossing benefits and why neither practice can replace the other.

Mouthwash Risks

There are several mouthwash varieties available on the market today that claim to address a multitude of oral concerns. Mouthwash can temporarily relieve bad breath, but ultimately disrupts the delicate balance of bacteria in your mouth that are responsible for maintaining oral health. Almost without exception, over the counter mouthwashes are too broad spectrum, killing both beneficial and harmful bacteria and can actually increase inflammation in the mouth.

Even though mouthwash can freshen your breath, it fails to remove oral bacteria, buildup, and food particles mechanically. Good oral hygiene and healthy teeth and gums require the removal of these harmful substances, which can be done by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily. We do not recommend adding a mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine, either as an addition to or a replacement for flossing.

Flossing Benefits

Our family dentists in Santa Cruz explain that while a toothbrush removes plaque from the visible surfaces of your teeth, bristles can

not reach between your teeth. Therefore, daily flossing is recommended to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Dental floss comes in a variety of styles and flavors so that you can choose one suitable to your personal preferences. Once you choose your floss, using it once daily can remove most of the remaining food debris and bacteria from around and in between your teeth which can lead to bad breath and cavities.

Flossing your teeth is an excellent way to freshen your breath and protect your teeth from harmful bacteria. Although it may seem insignificant and you can skip the activity, doing so may cause advanced oral care conditions that require time and money to repair. Therefore, our family dentists in Los Gatos encourage patients to request a flossing demonstration during their next checkup and cleaning to ensure the effective removal of food and bacteria.

Family Dentists in Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley, California

It can be tempting to skip flossing and use mouthwash to remove bacteria and food debris. However, the risks of mouthwash use outweigh any potential fresh breath benefits. Balancing the bacteria in your mouth (the “oral microbiome”) is a far more effective way to achieve long term fresh breath. To schedule a checkup and cleaning or flossing demonstration, feel free to call our Scotts Valley dental office, Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, at (831) 824-5111 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.