Recent advertising claims that using some mouthwashes is as good as flossing for your teeth. Here's what the ADA says:
While some study results indicate the use of a mouth rinse can be as effective as flossing for reducing plaque between the teeth, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing twice a day and cleaning between the teeth with floss or interdental cleaners once each day to remove plaque from all tooth surfaces. Plaque is responsible for both tooth decay and gum disease.
Regarding the studies, the authors concluded that in patients with mild to moderate gingivitis (early gum disease), rinsing twice a day with the antiseptic mouth rinse was as effective as flossing for reducing plaque and gingivitis between the teeth. The studies did not examine whether the mouth rinse had the same effect as floss on reducing tooth decay or periodontitis (advanced gum disease).
If you don't floss, you should use mouthwash since it has some of the same benefits.
If you do floss, the added benefits (for your teeth) are probably negligible.
No. It means that your gums are unhealthy; you need to clean them more often, and to use mouthwash and floss if you don't already. --- When your gums bleed or are inflamed (look a little puffy or red) that is a sign of periodontal disease, such as gingivitis. To combat this, be sure to brush your teeth regularly, and use floss and mouthwash to assist in getting rid of the plaque that causes it. Another suggestion is to use water irrigation, which can go under the gumline better than a toothbrush or floss to get rid of food particles that were missed.
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