You might want to add a mouthwash to the daily ritual of brushing and flossing your teeth. New research published in the journal General Dentistry indicates using a germ-killing mouth rinse in addition to regular brushing reduces the risk of plaque and gum disease far more than using the toothbrush alone.
"It's simple — mouth rinses can reach nearly 100 percent of the mouth's surfaces, while brushing focuses on the teeth, which make up only 25 percent of the mouth," said lead researcher Christine A. Charles, director of scientific and professional affairs with Johnson & Johnson Consumer and Personal Products Worldwide. "Even with regular brushing and flossing, bacteria often are left behind."
The six-month study involved 139 adults with mild to moderate plaque and gingivitis — the beginning stage of gum disease — who were separated into two groups. One group brushed their teeth and rinsed with a germ-killing mouth rinse twice daily; the other merely brushed their teeth twice daily.
The results showed using the mouth rinse, in addition to regular brushing, reduced the occurrence of plaque by more than 26 percent and cut gingivitis by 20 percent.
"The study demonstrates the oral health benefits of regular and consistent daily use of a germ-killing mouthrinse," said Charles.
Researchers also noted most people brush their teeth for less than a minute — about half the time dentists recommend. In addition, only 2-10 percent of people floss regularly and effectively.
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