Does Mouthwash Work?

General & Cosmetic Dentist serving Hoboken, Jersey City & Hudson County areas of New Jersey


Mouthwash has long been used as a way to flush food particles that linger after brushing and to freshen breath. But many modern mouthwashes also advertise anticavity and bacteria-killing properties.

The effectiveness of mouthwashes will vary by the type of mouthwash and the individual. The Jersey City dentists at Frank R. DePaola DDS & Associates welcome your questions about whether using mouthwash as part of your oral health routine would be beneficial to you.

The foundation of good dental hygiene includes brushing your teeth at least twice every day with a soft-bristled toothbrush followed by flossing at least once every day, and maintaining regular dental check-ups and professional teeth-cleanings at least once every six months.

However, growing clinical research demonstrates that the use of an anticavity and antiseptic mouthwash after brushing can help remove remaining food particles and kill bacteria that contribute to plaque accumulation. A review of previous studies conducted by the American Dental Association (ADA) in 2006 indicated that a majority of over-the-counter mouthwashes effectively reduced plaque and gingivitis by at least 13 percent over mere brushing alone.

Still, it’s important to exercise caution when considering mouthwash, especially for children. Many mouthwashes have significant levels of alcohol, and there is some concern over the ramifications of regular use.

If you have questions about mouthwash or would like to schedule your regular dental check-up and teeth-cleaning, please contact Frank R. DePaola DDS & Associates. We welcome patients from the Hoboken, Jersey City and Newark, New Jersey, areas.