Myth 4: Mouthwash can replace brushing
Mouthwash can cut back the level of bacteria in your mouth. “But it’s not the type of thing that would last all day,” says Dr. West. “You still have to do your cleaning and brushing.” Regular flossing and brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush will do a much more effective job of removing plaque and debris than mouthwash alone. Research shows that adding a rinse with mouthwash to your oral care routine can in fact improve the overall cleanliness of your mouth and help keep gum inflammation at bay. But mouthwash is usually considered an add-on, not a replacement for brushing and flossing. In special situations, like after oral surgery, your healthcare provider might direct you to use a mouth rinse instead of brushing. This will be temporary, and soon you’ll be back to your usual mouth care.