Is mouthwash actually good for your teeth?
How effective mouthwash really is
Mouthwashes are supposed to fight caries bacteria, prevent bad breath, prevent plaque and fight gum disease. But do the products keep their promises and are they really important for daily oral hygiene?
Not all mouthwash is equally good. According to the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists (KZBV), mouthwashes do not necessarily keep their promises. Since mouthwash falls under the "Regulation for cosmetic products", ingredients could be varied as long as the product does not harm people. There is no guaranteed effect.
It is different with "medicinal" mouthwashes. They go beyond their preventive properties and are used to alleviate or eliminate pathological complaints. These must have a demonstrable effect. They are available in the pharmacy.
Mouthwash: Not all products are created equal
But many mouthwashes that drugstores and supermarkets have ready for their customers are also good for oral hygiene. This was shown by a study of 20 germ-reducing mouth rinsing solutions by Stiftung Warentest (test issue 1/2018). The majority of the products tested performed well, including "Today Dent Mint Fresh Mint Rinse" from Penny and Rewe and "Tooth & Gum Protection Fresh Mint" from Listerine. Five products were rated "poor". They don't keep what the manufacturers promise.
Who benefits from mouthwash
The conclusion of the testers: toothbrushes and dental floss cannot replace mouthwash. But it can complement them well. According to Stiftung Warentest, the products are particularly suitable for people who find it difficult to clean the spaces between their teeth. Mouth rinses are also a good addition for people with an increased risk of tooth decay, such as adolescents with fixed braces or elderly people who can no longer clean their teeth optimally. The rinse should stay in the mouth for about 30 seconds.
If you don't want to spend money on mouth rinsing solutions, toothpaste can also have a good effect, according to the KZBV: "If you pull the foamed toothpaste through your teeth for one or two minutes after brushing your teeth and then just spit it out, but don't rinse, you will achieve it a comparable effect without spending additional money. "
Be careful with oral irrigators
Toothbrushes and dental floss are still the most important in the fight against plaque and bacteria. You should brush your teeth twice a day. The toothpaste used should contain fluoride, advises Stiftung Warentest. Dental floss should be used once a day.
A tongue cleaner is also a useful addition to oral hygiene. It removes bad breath from the tongue. According to the testers, oral irrigators are dispensable. They are powerless against plaque. Especially people with deep gum pockets should be careful. Leftover food could wash into the pockets and cause inflammation.
Mouthwash has no effect on bad breath
When it comes to bad breath, mouthwash is only brief. The flavors can temporarily mask bad breath, but they don't fight the trigger. It's best to go to the dentist with it. Bad breath and bleeding gums are indicators that something is wrong with your oral health.
Important NOTE: The information in no way replaces professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.
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