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One of the questions most commonly asked by dental patients is ‘should I use mouthwash every day?’
Simple answer: No – not unless your dental care professional has advised you to use one.
There’s a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding about mouthwashes. The biggest difficulty is that they are not “standard” products and there are many types available. Some are medicinal, some are meant to reduce germs, and others simply aim to freshen your breath or whiten your teeth.
Simple mouthrinses can be a useful addition to your daily oral health routine if you chose the most appropriate type – but they are not essential. The only things that are “musts” for your daily oral health are flossing and brushing properly.
So, if you do decide to add mouthwash to your daily routine, make sure that it’s actually going to be of some benefit. And use it in a way that gives the best results. This means
A recent article in the Daily Mail reports the findings of a study showing that blood pressure increases slightly soon after rinsing with chlorhexidine mouthwash (the best known brand is ‘Corsodyl’)
The report suggests that this could increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Bear in mind, however, that chlorhexedine mouthwashes are clinically proven to help in the treatment of gum disease. Gum disease has now been shown to have clear links with forms of heart and cardiovascular disease (find out more about this on our website )
So not using chlorhexidine mouthwash may also be bad for you!
Also of concern is a recent finding that some people may be allergic to chlorhexidine. In the worst cases this reaction may even result in anaphylaxis – a potentially fatal condition.
Overall, our advice is – don’t bother to use a mouthwash unless specifically advised by your dentist or hygienist!