Do You Go Beyond Brushing?

A new “Healthy Mouths” report from the makers of Listerine reveals that almost 80 percent of Americans feel concerned about germs on their hands but only 66 percent worry about germs in their mouths. What's even more surprising, is that while almost all of the Americans surveyed are in agreement that they need to go beyond just brushing to keep their mouths healthy, only one in three floss or rinse with mouthwash in the morning. What they must not realize is that brushing only cleans approximately 25 percent of your mouth.

"One mouth can have more germs than there are people on earth, and emerging science suggests that some of these germs may be linked with chronic diseases," said John E. Dodes, DDS, a general dentist in Forest Hills, NY. "Oral health should not be taken lightly which is why I advise my patients to brush, floss and rinse with a therapeutic mouthwash twice a day and of course, visit their dentist regularly to prevent problems and keep their mouths healthy," said Dr. Dodes. Do you think cavities are the most common oral health problem? Well, according to Dr. Dodes, "germs in the mouth multiply and can become embedded in a thick layer called plaque biofilm. When this happens, these biofilm germs become much more difficult to kill by simply brushing and flossing, and are more likely to cause problems such as bad breath and more seriously, gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis can increase the potential for advanced gum disease, which emerging science suggests could be linked with greater health problems.”

So what's the moral of the story? Adding an extra minute each day to rinse with mouthwash could potentially have an extremely positive impact on your oral health. Why not rinse?