Mouthwash: Why it just doesn't wash with dentists
Want fresh breath? Floss more!
It probably comes as no surprise to you that many of our patients admit to not flossing. Whilst many of our patients regularly brush their teeth twice a day, flossing appears to be a habit that many cant adjust to. The most common reasons we hear for not flossing are lack of time and forgetfulness. What our team finds most surprising however, is that more patients admit to using mouthwash than they do to flossing. According to statistics released by the Adult Dental Health Survey, 31% of adults use mouthwash regularly, however only 21% admit to flossing regularly. It's astonishing for many professionals in the dental world to see that so many more opt for mouthwash than flossing, as flossing is a far more important part of your oral hygiene regime. Not flossing can have dire consequences such as cavities, inflamed gums and infections. Many patients who don't floss admit they're concerned about bad breath and believe mouthwash to be the best solution for a fresh taste. Its interesting to ask why as a nation, more of us use mouthwash than floss. Perhaps gargling a mouthful of mouthwash is easier and quicker than flossing, or perhaps the power of the media is to blame.
Mouthwash not a long term solution for fresh breath
When is the last time you saw an advert for dental floss? Did it inspire you to up your oral hygiene game? Did it make you really stop and think? We assume not. Its all very well seeing an expert dentist talk to a camera about the benefits of flossing, but most advertisements are just disruptions to our favourite TV shows. Therefore, it takes something rather entertaining or shocking to grab our attention.A new marketing campaign by Corsodyl does just that and sees a woman's horror as her teeth fall out into her hands. The advert has been criticised by many dentists across the country for its "scaremongering tactics", and its shock factor will no doubt increase sales for the mouthwash. But is it the best solution for those suffering with gum disease? Mouthwash is often subject to scepticism by dental professionals as it doesn't offer any more benefits than regular toothpaste does, and it certainly should never be a substitute for toothpaste. Mouthwash, if used, should't instead compliment brushing and flossing. Be sure to consult with your dentist about mouthwash and his/her advice on including it in your oral hygiene regime. Corsodyl's advert hasn't boded well with many experts who fear it will discourage people from visiting the dentist. Dentists worry it could encourage those with dental phobia to opt for mouthwash over visiting a hygienist for fresh breath. Losing teeth is a big worry for many, and the outrage on Twitter over this marketing campaign reflects how deeply our subconscious anxieties are rooted.
Consult with your hygienist about getting fresh breath again
Were not denying the benefits of mouthwash. Mouthwash contains chlorhexidine digluconate, an antibacterial agent which helps manage mouth ulcers and prevent new bacterial growth for someone with gum disease. However, the common perception is that mouthwash is a go to quick fix solution for gum disease. Whilst we agree with the messages behind such marketing campaigns about not ignoring bleeding gums, you shouldn't just buy a bottle of mouthwash and hope for the best. The minute you notice bleeding gums, your dentist or oral hygienist should be your first stop, not your supermarket. We strongly encourage a visit to the practice if you fear you have gum disease, or want fresh breath, so one of our experts can consult you and work with you towards better oral hygiene. One of the biggest concerns of our dental team about mouthwash is that it often just masks the problem of poor oral hygiene, like spraying air freshener over a bad odour. Mouthwash will freshen your breath but for how long? It's more important to get to the root of the problem with the help of your dental hygienist, find a solution, and discover how you can prevent further gum disease. At Bamboo Dental, we aim to work with our patients to understand what about your oral hygiene regime isn't working, and what you can do to improve it. For example, this could include looking at the way in which you brush your teeth.
Tips for Fresh Breath
Bad breath is often caused by a build up of bacteria on the teeth and gums. If bacteria sticks around long enough, it develops into plaque. Plaque, when accumulated on the gum line, begins to destroy teeth and gum tissues leading to gum disease. Therefore, we can't encourage regular trips to see your dentist and hygienist enough. Bad breath lowers self esteem and can effect everyday relationships. It is often difficult to know if you have bad breath, as often loved ones and colleagues try to protect our feelings. The best way to test if you may be suffering from bad breath is to lick the inside of your wrist and then smell. There are more effective ways of keeping your breath fresh without solely relying on mouthwash, and regular visits to your practice is only one of them. Did you know eating foods rich in fibre, and avoiding processed foods can help the battle against bad breath? Smoking is renowned for its offensive odour and the bad breath that comes with it. Not to mention that smoking is bad for staining your teeth. Considering giving up smoking could not only help your health significantly, but could also make your mouth smell fresher.Drinking plenty of water will keep your mouth moist, as a dry mouth can give you bad breath. Speaking, snoring, smoking and drinking alcohol can all make your mouth dry. A dry mouth provides the perfect environment for nasty bacteria to nest. This is why bad breath is often most offensive first thing in the morning. If you feel you could benefit from a free consultation with one of our hygienists, be sure to get in touch.