What You Need To Know About Mouthwash vs. Flossing

Many people wonder if it is acceptable to use mouthwash instead of flossing their teeth. While mouthwash can help make improvements to your oral health, it should not be substituted for flossing. Mouthwashes and flossing provide their own unique benefits that are important to understand. 

The Benefits Of Flossing

When Dr. Moles, your local Urbana and Frederick orthodontist, placed braces on your teeth, you were told that maintaining good oral hygiene is of the utmost importance. Food particles and plaque have many more places to accumulate when your teeth are fitted with brackets and wires. This makes flossing your teeth well vital, as flossing helps remove those bits of food and built up plaque your toothbrush can miss.

If plaque is left on teeth, it hardens into tartar or calculus. When this builds up below the gum line, periodontal disease can manifest itself. The last thing you want to have happen when you are wearing braces is to find out your time left in treatment will be extended because you need treatment for periodontal disease. To avoid having to wear braces longer than you expected, you should be flossing your teeth at least once per day. While the task is a bit harder to accomplish with braces, there are some special products available like floss threaders that can help you get the floss between the wires and under the gum line. 

The Benefits Of Mouthwash 

As opposed to cosmetic mouthwashes designed to fight bad breath, therapeutic mouthwashes provide the most benefits such as those containing fluoride or antimicrobial ingredients. An antimicrobial mouthwash can help remove plaque from the teeth and reduce the formation of calculus. Depending upon your specific needs, our Frederick and Urbana orthodontist may recommend a special mouthwash that contains fluoride to boost your cavity resistance. 

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