Have you heard about the latest pairing that is taking the oral health world by storm? According to a Medical News Today article, research recently published by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) shows that the use of germ-fighting mouth rinse partnered with tooth brushing can substantially reduce plaque and gingivitis. Lead author of the study, Christine A. Charles, claims that the conclusion was an easy one to make, considering mouth rinse can reach up to 100% of the surfaces found in the mouth, while brushing focuses solely on teeth, which make up approximately 25% of the mouth. She continues to point out that even when coupled with flossing, brushing often leaves bacteria behind.
Participants in the six-month study included 139 adults with mild to moderate plaque and gingivitis, or the beginning state of gum disease. Subjects were broken into two groups, one of which brushed their teeth and rinsed with a germ-killing mouth rinse twice a day, and the other who brushed and rinsed with a placebo rinse twice daily. After examination of participants, the results showed a 26.3% reduction in plaque and a 20.4% reduction in gingivitis by those using the real mouth wash, says AGD Spokesperson, Janice Pliszczack, DDS, MS, MBA, MAGD. Furthermore, almost 100% of those using the germ-killing rinse showed some sort of reduction in gingivitis, while only 30% of the placebo group had similar results.
Dr. Pliszczak claims that the majority of people who brush regularly do so for less than 1 minute and only 2-10% of people floss regularly. According to the American Dental Association, it is recommended to brush for at least 2 minutes, twice daily and to floss at least once a day. Pliszczak claims that adding a germ-killing mouth rinse twice a day to this routine can significantly improve oral health by attacking the germs that cause major problems. She notes, however, to be sure to read product labels when shopping for an effective rinse. Some products are designed for anti-cavity or whitening purposes, which may not prove to be as effective in killing germs as those specifically designated to do so. And don’t forget to visit your dentist semi-annually for professional cleanings and exams!