Besides brushing and flossing, another way to maintain a healthy mouth is by using mouthwash. Dentists often recommend mouthwash as part of an individual’s oral hygiene routine as it can minimize bad breath and help prevent tooth decay. While mouthwash provides oral benefits, using them excessively may do more harm than good.
The Consequences of Excessive Mouthwash Use
According to a study conducted by the University of Glasgow in Scotland, people who gargled with antibacterial mouthwash for more than three times a day had a higher risk of developing throat and mouth cancers. Individuals who often use mouthwash to clean their teeth and mouths may be at a heightened risk for some oral cancers due to poor overall dental hygiene.
Some depend on mouthwash to mask odors from unhealthy habits such as drinking alcohol and smoking. Others use mouthwash as a substitute for routine brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist. Although mouthwashes can serve as a “quick fix” to get rid of oral bacteria, it’s not an excuse to disregard one’s oral hygiene routine.
Another consequence of using too much mouthwash is that it will usually only eradicate the good bacteria in the mouth without killing the dangerous bacteria found beneath the gum line. Once the mouthwash kills off the good bacteria, the mouth becomes more susceptible to infections as it allows the bad bacteria to flourish.
How Individuals Should Use Mouthwash
The recommendations regarding the use of mouthwash vary based on the patient and the dentists. People who opt to use mouthwash as part of their oral hygiene regimen should go for an alcohol-free mouthwash and follow the instructions on the label. Those who would like to know the type of mouthwash they can use should approach a reliable dental practice, such as Northstar Dental, that can recommend a safe mouthwash based on their needs.
The phrase “too much of a good thing” applies even to mouthwash use. Individuals should not depend solely on mouthwashes and instead use them in conjunction with regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits.