I was swishing with mouthwash this morning after my daily brush and floss and it hit me how absurdly sweet and artificial tasting the stuff was. I've cut out all other artificial sweeteners from my diet (including gum)...should I be finding an alternative mouthwash too? And toothpaste for that matter? There are plenty of medications you can absorb sublingually...so surely we should question anything we put in our mouths? Thoughts?
I think the more appropriate question is, "Is my mouthwash good for me?"
Is there a decent health reason you need to kill all the flora in your mouth? Is there some benefit of using mouthwash that can be attained without swishing a nasty-tasting chemical cocktail for 60 seconds a day?
I like the idea of mouthwash because it gets crap outta my teeth, but floss does a better job without the chemicals. It makes my breath smell good, but if I brush/scrape my tongue, it's a similar effect. I don't need to kill every living thing in my mouth- there's good stuff in there. Unless you've got a Rx mouthwash or a very strong recommendation from a professional, I don't see how it's doing you any particular good that you couldn't achieve without it. If you live in the US, you're definitely getting enough flouride provided you drink tap water occasionally.
Good question. I've wondered about this myself. A dentist recently advised my wife not to use mouthwash. He or she said that it also kills the good bacteria and is likely to more harm than good. This makes me wonder if swallowing an anti-bacterial solution has negative effects on your gut. That said, I still use mouthwash a few times a week, but not daily like I used to.
Different people have different dental makeup. I didn't use flouride for years, and had no issues, then ran into some over the last year. I'm currently in a phase where I am using a flouride rinse; happily, I'm seeing quick results (< 1 month), and may discontinue use soon.
Think of flouride as potent medicine - to be especially used for acute conditions. Don't let the tinfoil hat brigade swarm you, and convince you that flouride is only bad for us, and is a government mind control method (seriously, people believe this).
The nice thing about flouride (besides it being a horrible poison that kills the S. mutans bacteria) is that it actively remineralizes tooth enamel. This is because flouride is highly reactive, and helps to bind minerals to teeth.
There are many things you can eat to grow strong bones and teeth, but flouride definitely is a useful tool against tooth decay itself.
I actually made my own toothpaste/mouthwash and have been decently pleased with the results. I use a mixture of coconut oil, some aluminum free baking soda and Oil of Oregano. I didn't measure, just threw it all together in a small mason jar but if I had to guess, I would say 3 parts CO to 1 part BS and then Oil of Oregano to taste/preference [ it can be strong for some ]
Yes mouthwash should not be used regularly. It kills most of the bacteria in your mouth as stated, which permits other organisms like yeast to thrive (thrush - not pleasant). Additionally, the alcohol dries out the gums which decreases your natural defense (saliva) to those organisms and irritates the gums (not sure what the implication is there specifically). Some of it is inevitably swallowed and it's not only not Paleo food it's not even really food! Avoiding sugar and carbs is a great way to control bacteria in the mouth and inflammation that results (aka Gingivitis later on in life). It should also prevent bad breath or if not try some mints.
I still use toothpaste, but it's a pretty boring variety. I don't use mouthwash; actually never have, even pre-paleo. My thoughts on that have always been that mouthwash is designed as a poison to kill the bacteria in your mouth and it's can't discriminate between bacteria and you. No sense in swishing poison in your mouth.
Just swish with some warm water and sea salt (saltwater). It's much easier on your mouth than alcohol-based mouthwash, it's more effective at killing bacteria, and doesn't have any industrial/processed ingredients.
I agree that you might not want to do it every day, but it's great if you have a cold/sore throat coming on and I do it most nights before going to bed as I usually only brush/floss in the morning.
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