Mouthwash has been a vital part of our oral health for many years now, but do you know why it’s such an important part of our routine?
Mouths can contain anywhere from 10 to 50 billion bacteria on our teeth, gums, tongue, and the inner lining of our cheeks and lips. One tooth can house up to 1 billion bacteria, and even those most dedicated to maintaining their oral and dental health can harbour around 1,000 to 100,000 bacteria on every tooth surface.
As quickly as minutes after you have brushed your teeth, a layer which consists of saliva, proteins and bacteria begins to form on the tooth’s surface, which acts as a base for bacterial attachment and further growth. This leads to the formation of dental plaque from the accumulation of bacteria and sugar in food within a few hours. The acids and toxins which the bacteria produce can cause gum irritations and gingivitis, as well as bad breath and tooth enamel loss.
When you brush and floss your teeth, you clean the surface and spaces between the teeth by removing bacteria. However, you may be unable to remove all of the plaque and bacteria by just brushing and flossing, and this is where mouthwash plays a part. Mouthwash reaches all of the surfaces and crevices of your teeth, as well as your gums, tongue, and the inner lining of your cheeks and lips.
Using mouthwash helps to dislodge and remove remaining food particles in your mouth. Alcohol in mouthwash also penetrates the cell walls of bacteria, rendering them either inactive or killing them. As well as this, chlorhexidine can instantly destroy bacteria and inhibit their growth. Alcohol-free mouthwash on the other hand usually contains cetylpyridinium chloride, which dissolves the bacterial cell membrane, whilst mouthwash which contains fluoride helps prevent and halt tooth decay.
Mouthwash is an incredibly useful addition to anyone’s oral care routine. After brushing and flossing your teeth, you should gargle around 20ml of mouthwash for at least 30 seconds, and then spit it out. Avoid eating and drinking for half an hour afterwards for ultimate oral health. However, it should be noted that mouthwash is useful in addition to brushing and flossing, and cannot be used alone as a substitute for brushing and flossing.
To top off a healthy dental routine, you should make regular trips to the dentist – call us now on 0121 354 1922 to arrange your next appointment.