The Importance of Mouthwash and Flossing For Your Teeth

Oral healthcare is one of the most overlooked healthcare issue worldwide, and this includes a poor understanding of the importance of mouthwash and flossing for your teeth. Most people buy toothbrush and toothpaste and call it good dental hygiene. But the fact is, brushing, even done properly, is not enough.

This lack of attention for the nooks and crannies of the mouth is responsible for many cases of oral disease. It does not make sense to understate the importance of mouthwash and flossing for your teeth because it can prevent costly restoration and treatment, even serious illness, later on. Prevention is always better than curing of health problems, and works out better for everyone concerned, including the financial angle.

The importance of flossing has been getting some slight attention. Flossing gets rid of the food debris and plaque that may be building up between the teeth. If not attended to, these can cultivate bacteria that produce acid which will attack the protective surfaces of the teeth as well as the gums. These will eventually lead to cavity formation and gum irritation, which in turn can worsen into tooth loss and full-blown gum disease. Moreover, this build up of bacteria can lead to infections in the mouth that can spread through the entire body, resulting in serious health issues.

Dental professionals recommend that flossing should be done prior to brushing to ensure that all the food debris is washed away. It is also recommended that while flossing once a day is sufficient, flossing in tandem with brushing is better.


More people floss more than they use mouthwash because most people believe that mouthwash has no other function than to freshen breath. The fact is, a good alcohol-free mouthwash kills the bacteria that may still remain between the teeth even after flossing and brushing as well as the rest of the mouth including the gums, tongue and walls of the mouth. The bacteria that remain without the use of a mouthwash can cause a bad odor in the mouth or halitosis. A properly formulated mouthwash helps keep the mouth sterile by stimulating the production of saliva, which prevents bacterial growth in the mouth, especially during sleep when the mouth is mostly closed.

But not all mouthwashes work the way they are supposed to for good oral health. Some popular mouthwashes which are commercially available contain a high level of alcohol, which dries out the mouth. These often produce a stinging in the mouth that indicates alcohol. This is the opposite of what is desirable, which is more saliva, not less. When purchasing mouthwash, make sure that you choose one which is alcohol-free. If in doubt, get the recommendation of your dentist.

It should be noted that while the importance of mouthwash and flossing for your teeth is undeniable, these are not enough to ensure good oral health. Regular dental checkups and a yearly teeth cleaning and scaling are still necessary to minimize the cost of dental and gum problems in the long term.

This was a guest post by Robert Don who is a well known Irvine Dentist.

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