Can Mouthwash Replace Brushing?


Regularly brushing your teeth with toothpaste is one of the most important steps to maintaining good oral health & a nice white smile. Our dentists at Lakeview Dental Care, like most dentists, recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day for about two minutes.

Obviously, life gets in the way of this from time to time. If you ever find yourself without a toothbrush or toothpaste, mouthwash tends to present itself as the next best possible option – but is it really?

Mouthwash Only Masks the Problem

Mouthwash is there to provide fresh breath & mask odors for short periods of time. If you experience chronically bad breath, however, that may be an indicator of a more serious dental health issue.

Gum disease & other conditions can pose serious problems to your overall health if unaddressed. These can include a heightened risk for heart attacks and/or strokes & can even aggravate diabetic complications.

While mouthwash can’t prevent or treat conditions like these, brushing & regular maintenance can. It is extremely important to take care of your smile & to visit the dentist regularly.

Only Using Mouthwash Worsens The Problem

In addition to not being a viable solution to combat bad breath, mouthwash can actually damage your mouth if used too frequently.

The alcohol found in mouthwash can lead to decreased saliva production & cause dry mouth, an uncomfortable condition that can allow more bacteria to grow in the mouth. Ironically, this increase in bacteria can actually lead to worse-smelling breath.

Mouthwash Doesn’t Remove Plaque

Without regular brushing & professional teeth cleanings, it is very difficult to combat plaque buildup on the surface of your teeth. Plaque is damaging to your teeth & can lead to a number of complications, such as:

  • Cavities
  • Gingivitis & Gum Disease
  • Tooth & Gum Infection
  • Tooth Decay
  • Tooth Loss

When & How to Use Mouthwash

Although it should not be considered an alternative to brushing your teeth & flossing regularly, mouthwash can be safely used in your twice-daily brushing routine. 

In addition to freshening your breath if used responsibly, different mouthwashes offer solutions to a number of common dental problems. Mouthwashes can be used to help whiten your teeth or provide you with more fluoride if desired; you can even get prescription mouthwashes to more effectively target certain dental problems.

However you decide to use mouthwash, it is important you use it safely & only in combination with regular brushing & flossing.

More Information at Lakeview Dental Care

Temporary bad breath is something we all deal with from time to time. If you’re looking to learn more about how to manage your dental hygiene & improve your overall oral health, the dentists at Lakeview Dental Care are here to help.

With six convenient locations across New Jersey, Lakeview Dental Care is well-equipped to handle all of your needs in a trustworthy & convenient manner. We also offer affordable dental care for patients without dental insurance.

Call or schedule an appointment to learn more about how we can freshen your breath & improve your smile!

Call us today with any questions or to book your appointment!


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