General Question

yesitszen's avatar

Is mouthwash good or bad for you and do you use it?

Asked by yesitszen (1637points) July 17th, 2018

I’ve read the literature.

Do YOU use it and when and how exactly?

Listerine or whatever?

Does it matter which?

Please: technical and technique replies only. If you DON’T use it read the answers and keep quiet. Don’t tell me that you don’t. Thanks.

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14 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yes I use it and I feel it’s beneficial to my dental health.

chyna's avatar

I use mouthwash as a second defense against cavities, first defense is brushing my teeth. Lately I have been using Crest whitening mouthwash and when I went to my dentist last month, the hygienist asked if I had been bleaching my teeth because they looked whiter. I haven’t had a cavity for a long time.
As a side note, I only floss a couple times a week.
edited to add: I gargle with it for a few seconds then swish around my teeth for as long as I can stand it before I get bored. Usually no more than a minute, twice a day.

24bedoo's avatar

Here is a metanalysis on the use of mouthwash. I am not a fan of metanalyses as they are often GIGO in terms of the studies they use, but mouthwash goes into the basket of “low risk of harm and possible benefit”.

https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(15)00336-0/pdf

And I do not use mouthwash.

canidmajor's avatar

I make my own, and I feel it’s beneficial. I doubt that you want the recipe (or do you?) but suffice to say that my dentist is a bit impressed with it.

JLeslie's avatar

I use it in two different situations. I use it when brushing my teeth will bother my husband if he is sleeping. I also use it when I floss, but I only floss about 3 times a week probably.

The logic behind using it when I don’t brush is killing some germs before going to bed is better than nothing at all. Usually, I do brush my teeth, but if not, and I go to bed later than my husband, the brushing will wake him. A friend of mine is very prone to cavities, and she rarely brushes her teeth before bed. She started rinsing with mouthwash and her dentist says he sees a big difference. She didn’t get cavities for a few years, then I lost touch with her. No way to prove it was related, but it makes sense.

Regarding mouthwash when flossing—my ritual is brush, floss, then mouthwash. It just feels right. I don’t have any real particular logic behind it.

I used to like a clear mouthwash, I think it was made by Crest. I can’t find it anymore so I bounce around and use various different ones. I don’t love any of them.

Demosthenes's avatar

I use it sporadically, and I use it after flossing as well. I don’t know if it’s bad for you. “It depends on who you ask”, as my religious studies professor used to say. I haven’t had any negative experiences with it.

yesitszen's avatar

@24… I tried to read it but fell asleep after the opening paragraph. Thanks. I’ve been finding it hard to fall asleep lately and will use your article nightly as soporific material.

Notwithstanding, could you summarize it for us please?

Listerine: good?

JLeslie's avatar

About Listerine: there are two versions, one doesn’t have alcohol, so it doesn’t burn as much. I’m not recommending one over the other though.

Also, if you tongue or mouth starts to hurt or feel very dry over time, suspect the mouthwash. Other things cause a dry, uncomfortable, feeling in the mouth too. Things like low iron, some medications, and the very obvious dehydration, but also some mouthwashes.

chyna's avatar

^And dry mouths can cause cavities.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Which one? They aren’t all created equal.

24bedoo's avatar

@yesitszen It’s a badly written article, I don’t blame you.
Bottom line: Listerine probably good. Can’t hurt.

yesitszen's avatar

@2shoobedoo thank youbedo.

ScienceChick's avatar

Mouthwash with alcohol isn’t great, but it does kill germs because that’s what high concentration of alcohol does. The best mouthwashes contain Chlorhexidine. You can look that compound up. Doctors and dentists use it in many circumstances for topical antibacterial uses. Don’t use it all the time. If your gums are bleeding after a cleaning or a good flossing, use it, but doing it every day will upset your body’s natural bacterial biome. We don’t want to kill all the bacteria in our mouths. Chewing sugar free gum a little while if you mouth is feeling dry or yucky after a meal can help avoid cavities as well, they say.

RocketGuy's avatar

Yep, if you use mouthwash every day, you might kill off the good bacteria and let the tough bad ones multiply. I used to use Plax every day, but started to develop sores that did not go away (bad bacteria). Once I stopped using it, the good bacteria came back and drove out the bad. The sores went away by themselves.

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