Myth: Mouthwashes Eliminate Bad Breath

2/2/2016 3:01:22 PM
written By : Staff Reporter Print

Bad breath is probably one of the most embarrassing of the personal hygiene “no-no’s.” But what’s the best way to get rid of it?

Germ expert Dr Phillip Tierno, a professor at New York University, said the most common cause of this “social disease” is bad dental care. The source of the odor, he said, is often particles of food stuck in between the teeth and an accumulation of bacteria in the back of the throat. “When you get a concentration of bacterial-producing malodorous chemicals coming from the lack of oral hygiene... It has the equivalent odor of faeces,” he said. What a stomach-turning thought! And it’s also the reason why we brush and floss - and use mouthwash.

According to many experts, mouthwash does not eliminate bad breath. The mouthwash works at first - killing lots of germs. Then, the bad news. Tierno said that the bad breath you wanted to prevent gets even worse. He said the alcohol content present in many mouthwashes can dry your mouth out. When the saliva glands are dry, they are unable to help wash away bacteria so the stinky stuff flourishes.

Mouthwash companies usually claim that their mouthwashes are effective and tout their own studies that show that alcohol does not dry out the mouth.

However, Tierno pointed to the fact that babies have sweet breath because they manufacture lots of saliva; they are drooling all the time. This constant draining of saliva, among other things, helps to keep baby’s breath clean.

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