Is It Necessary? And Other Mouthwash Questions

There’s typically no question about whether or not you should brush your teeth (9 times out of 10, yes you should), but other components of your hygiene might not be so clearly important. For many people, whether or not mouthwash is necessary is often one of those gray areas. To help clarify its role in a good dental hygiene routine, your Southlake dentists, Dr. Wright and Dr. Heron, answer a few common questions about the usefulness of mouthwash.

Do I really need to use mouthwash?

Good hygiene practices help control the buildup of dental plaque on your teeth; a biofilm that consists of food debris, saliva, and copious amounts of bacteria. Your toothbrush and floss can adequately clean your teeth, for the most part, while mouthwash can help wash plaque and food debris from areas that you can’t reach. While it isn’t technically necessary, mouthwash can be a valuable addition to your dental hygiene toolbox.

Is one mouthwash better than another?

Most over-the-counter mouthwash brands are roughly equal in strength, though some contain ingredients specifically designed to freshen breath for longer, or make teeth appear brighter. If your dental health is at high-risk due to inadequate hygiene, then Dr. Wright and Dr. Heron may recommend a prescribed mouthrinse that can combat harmful oral bacteria.

If I’m pressed for time, can I rinse instead of brushing my teeth?

Anytime you eat or drink, rinsing your mouth with mouthwash can help you fight the accumulation of bacteria and dental plaque. Carrying a small travel bottle of mouthwash can help you avoid having to brush when you’re pressed for time after a meal. However, good hygiene requires that you brush and floss your teeth at least twice every day to effectively keep bacteria and your risk of dental health issues under control.


As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.