Mouth rises contain ingredients that make them taste good and help to alleviate the smell of bad breath. They also contain a number of antibacterial agents that affect the growth and activities of bacteria living in the dental plaque and on the tongue.
The bacteria on the tongue are believed to the responsible in the most part for bad breath. The bacteria on the teeth – the dental plaque – are responsible for tooth decay and for gum disease.
The various antibacterial agents included in mouth rinses are not equally effective on controlling the bacteria on the mouth. The most effective is chlorhexidine (in Corsodyl) but if you use if for too long it can cause unacceptable staining of the teeth (although this staining can be removed by the hygienist).
Dental plaque grows rapidly. Everyone knows how in the morning you can feel the plaque on your teeth and tongue as the bacteria in your mouth have grown while you were asleep. Mouth rinses are not very good at removing plaque. The most efficient way is to use fluoride toothpaste twice a day and to clean your teeth in the correct manner. Once the teeth have been cleaned, a mouth rinse may have an effect on the rate of growth of the dental plaque.
Mouth rinses are good things. But if you do not clean your teeth twice a daily with fluoride toothpaste, then mouth rinses are not going to protect you against developing tooth decay.