Can Mouthwash Replace Flossing?

Can Mouthwash Replace Flossing?

When patients visit their local Sonora dental care provider, they want to know that they’re receiving the best oral care possible. At Sonora Dental, we believe that providing our patients with the best oral health care means also educating them on the daily hygiene habits they need to enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

The most basic part of caring for your teeth is to brush daily. Most of us begin and end our days by brushing, which helps to remove harmful bacteria and food particles that linger after eating from the mouth. But is brushing enough to fully protect our oral health?

While the American Dental Association and your local Sonora dental care provider at Sonora Dental both recommend flossing as part of any daily oral hygiene regimen, the daily use of mouthwash has steadily gathered momentum from oral health experts.

Both flossing and the use of an oral rinse have been linked in studies to improving oral health, but are both really necessary to protect and maintain your oral health?

Let’s take a look.

The Right Oral Hygiene Routine

By flossing, you remove the plaque and food particles that get lodged between your teeth throughout the day. While brushing does help to remove some of these substances from your mouth, a toothbrush just isn’t designed to adequately clean between your teeth and below the gumline like floss.

But why is cleaning these areas of the mouth so important? For starters, it helps prevent the buildup of plaque, which could lead to the primary causes of oral diseases such as gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. Gingivitis cause inflammation to develop that irritates gum tissue. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into the more serious periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease that can cause gum recession and even permanent tooth loss.

The reason why periodontitis can cause tooth loss is simple; the buildup of harmful bacteria damages the gums and once that occurs, the root of your teeth will become affected. This why seniors over the age of 65 have an average of 18.90 remaining permanent teeth, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. (The normal adult mouth has 32 teeth.)

So flossing is required to prevent gum disease and maintain permanent teeth, but what about the use of mouthwash?

It’s tempting to think that the use of mouthwash is an acceptable alternative to flossing daily. However, there’s no guarantee that thoroughly rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash will suitably remove oral bacteria and food particles from these hard to clean areas of the mouth. Mouthwashes are great at killing microorganisms that cause bad breath, but how well it works at removal is far from certain.

What makes the most sense is to add flossing and rinsing to your daily oral hygiene routine. That way you’ll enjoy the deepest clean possible, and successfully lower your risk of gum disease and tooth loss.

Regular Dental Care

The final step in ensuring a lifetime of great oral health is to schedule regular cleanings and exams with your Sonora dental care provider at Sonora Dentist. Exams allow our team to spot the signs of gum disease early on while the condition is still easily treatable. Cleanings provide our hygienists with the opportunity to remove plaque deposits before they cause any lasting damage.

Combine regular dental care with a solid daily hygiene routine and you have the recipe for a great looking smile.

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