Is Mouthwash Really Beneficial For Oral Health?

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Sales of mouthwash have boomed over the last five years and figures suggest that over half of UK adults use mouthwash, but is it really worth using it after brushing?

Mouthwash is marketed as a highly effective product for warding off the harmful bacteria, which are responsible for gum disease and decay, but is it really essential to have a bottle of mouthwash in your bathroom?

A clinical study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry earlier this year, revealed that using mouthwash reduces the risk of gum disease. During the study, a group of 139 participants was split into two groups, one which was instructed to use mouthwash and the other, which was instructed to gargle using a placebo. The results showed that the group that used mouthwash had better oral health than the placebo group.

Dr Damien Walmsley, scientific advisor to the British Dental Association, said that evidence suggests that using mouthwash can help to reduce the risk of oral diseases and bad breath but added that it was “only by a bit”. He went on to say that the most important thing was for everyone to brush their teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time.

Sally Goss, dental hygienist at the Harley Street Dental Studio, said that using mouthwash can be beneficial, but the worry is that some people use mouthwash as a replacement for brushing and this is problematic.

Dr Phil Stemmer, from the Fresh Breath Clinic in London, said that mouthwash can be beneficial for those who are at risk of oral diseases. He finally added that it is a waste of money for those who have good oral health and a good daily oral hygiene regime.

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