What do antimicrobial mouthwash and toothpaste do?

Antimicrobial mouth rinses and toothpastes fight microbes, or germs. Specifically, they reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth and in plaque, the sticky film that can build up on teeth. These products can help reduce plaque and fight gum disease. Toothbrushing (with flossing) removes plaque, and mouthwash helps by reaching areas hard to get with a toothbrush. Antibacterial varieties have the added benefit of killing the germs that may remain.

Antimicrobial mouth rinses and toothpastes reduce the bacterial count and stop bacterial activity in dental plaque, which can cause gingivitis, an early, reversible form of periodontal (gum) disease. American Dental Association (ADA)-accepted antimicrobial mouth rinses and toothpastes have substantiated these claims by demonstrating significant reductions in plaque and gingivitis. Fluoride mouth rinses help reduce and prevent tooth decay.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.