Most of the mouthwashes i have tried have only had one noticeable effect.
The only thing i've noticed is that they make my breath better, although only temporarily.
But other than that i haven't really seen or felt a noticeable improvement on my teeth.
It says on most mouthwash bottle that the using the mouthwash will make my teeth cleaner than my toothbrush could ever do by itself, and that it'll generally strengthen my teeth. I realize that this may or may not be marketing nonsense, though. By that i mean that it says on the box that the mouthwash will make my teeth whiter, and while that may be true, the effect may be so small, that it's not even noticeable. For example, it may only whiten your teeth by .00000000001% every time you use it, which you probably won't even notice.
What i'm asking is, does using mouthwash actually do anything, other than temporarily improve my breath?
Mouthwash does indeed kill bacteria and whatnot that reside in your mouth. Those bacteria metabolise sugars that get stuck on your teeth and produce acid as a by-product of doing so. That acid is what eats away at your teeth and causes cavities.
Mouthwashes can also contain a fluoride solution, which can help to harden your teeth against the aforementioned acid.
Mouthwash kills bacteria in your mouth, yes, but it doesn't discriminate. You have microbes in your mouth that eat those acidifying bacteria, but those get killed by mouthwash too. Using mouthwash only causes you to need mouthwash even more in the long term. Plus it kills your taste buds over time, one of the reasons why I started to refuse it as a teenager. I might sound like the baddie here but I don't like mouthwash at all (in case you couldn't tell). Now in adulthood I have an "immaculate" set of teeth (quote from the dentist) due to sensible brushing and flossing routines, as well as avoiding fizzy drinks and consuming sweets in moderation, without any need for mouthwash. But I am just one individual, and I don't know one way or another if the same would apply for everyone else.
Anyway, look it up for yourself. You'll find out much more online than you will from here. On google you can find some simple explanations to what alcohol-based mouthwashes are supposed to do, as well as some that go into greater depth. I'm not going to say do or don't use mouthwash, decide for yourself if the benefits outweigh the downsides. But that is basically it. Kills bacteria, adds flouride, freshens your breath for a while. I always thought the swishing and bubbling probably has some erosive effects on any built plaque too, but I'm not really sure about that last one because again I'm only speaking for myself there.
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