You might be used to your dentist telling you to always remember to brush and floss, but never to use mouthwash, how come?
Surprisingly, mouthwash is not what most people think it is. Yes, commercials promise you the end of plaque and gum disease, and even whiter and stronger teeth, but no, that’s not completely true.
Don’t get us wrong, there is good to it, but just not the way you’d think.
Mouthwashes usually contain fluoride, which can help you reduce cavities, that’s a good thing. And they usually contain alcohol or chlorhexidine which disinfect and kill bad germs living in your mouth. But most importantly, it gives you fresh breath.
However, as good as all the above sound, they aren’t.
To begin with, mouthwash doesn’t fight bad breath, it just masks it. You might leave your home feeling fresh and minty, but in an hour or two, your mouth will go back to smelling like your mouth.
Another fact that you might not have known about it, is that it has been linked to oral cancer. This is actually not news, the debate over whether or not using mouthwash is directly linked to cancer has been ongoing since the 1970s.
Last but not least, fluoride is extremely toxic. Yes, it is good for your teeth, but it is no way good for your general health. In high doses, fluoride can kill a person in 5 minutes.
When fluoride anions and calcium ions meet in your blood, they combine to form insoluble calcium fluoride. Together, they’ll result in hypocalcemia, where calcium is indispensable for the function of the nervous system, a condition which is fatal.
Despite these risks being relatively small, they still exist and are very real. Next time you’re done brushing and is about to jug a dose of mouthwash, keep these facts in mind.