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Can mouthwash replace brushing your teeth? | VERIFY

Fact or fiction: Is using mouthwash a decent replacement for brushing your teeth? THV11 verifies.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Is using mouthwash a decent replacement for brushing your teeth?

Dentists tell THV11 it's a very common dental question. And we verify whether it's fact or fiction.

According to our primary source, a doctor of dental medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the answer is simple.

“Fiction, we like the mechanical debridement with the toothbrush and floss,” said Doctor Niki Carter, D.M.D. at UAMS. Dr. Carter said nothing can replace brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day. That, along with trips to the dentist twice a year she said is the best way to maintain good oral health.

Yet, she said the question comes up often from her patients, “Can't I just rinse instead of brush?”

She said there are studies which show mouthwash is beneficially, but only when combined with the basics. "It's always good to do that, as an adjunct but not as a replacement," she added. "Chlorhexadine is a prescription that's for more of a periodontal disease, gingivitis problem, the peroxides can whiten but if you have to pick, go for the toothbrush and floss every time."

So to verify, mouthwash alone simply isn't enough to remove plaque and maintain dental health.


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