Mouthwash: a useful addition to your daily oral care routine?

Oral hygiene is an essential part of our daily health routine, and mouthwashes are a common addition to dental care. These ready-made solutions not only promise fresh breath, but are also said to help reduce plaque, protect against tooth decay and improve gum health. But how effective are mouthwashes really, and are there any disadvantages? We take a closer look at the pros and cons of mouthwashes.

The advantages of mouthwashes

Fresh breath: Mouthwashes such as listerine cool mint contain essential oils and antibacterial ingredients that can help fight bad breath and leave a long-lasting freshness in the mouth.

Plaque reduction: Mouthwashes that contain antibacterial agents such as chlorhexidine can help to reduce plaque. This can be particularly beneficial for people with gum disease.

Healthy gums: Mouthwashes with certain ingredients, such as fluoride, can help to keep gums healthy and prevent tooth decay.

Additional protection for tooth surfaces: Mouthwashes containing fluoride can also strengthen tooth surfaces and protect against tooth decay, especially in areas that are difficult to reach when brushing teeth.

Disadvantages of mouthwashes

Not a substitute for thorough brushing: Mouthwashes should not be considered a substitute for thorough brushing. The mechanical removal of plaque and bacteria with a suitable toothbrush remains essential for good oral hygiene.

Side effects: Some people may be sensitive to certain ingredients in mouthwashes. Unpleasant side effects of mouthwashes can include dry mouth or irritation of the oral mucosa.

Cost: High-quality mouthwashes can be expensive, especially if they contain special active ingredients. This could be a drawback for some consumers who aim to use them regularly.

Environmental impact: Many commercially available mouthwashes are sold in plastic bottles, which can have a negative impact on the environment. Environmentally conscious consumers should therefore look for more eco-friendly alternatives.


Mouthwashes can be a useful addition to a comprehensive oral hygiene routine. They can help to maintain fresh breath, reduce plaque, prevent tooth decay and keep gums healthy. However, they should not be seen as a stand-alone means of maintaining good oral hygiene. Regular and thorough tooth brushing is crucial for this.

Before deciding on a particular mouthwash, it is advisable to speak to a dentist to discuss individual needs and potential side effects. Ultimately, a balanced oral hygiene regime consisting of brushing, flossing and, if necessary, mouthwash is the key to a healthy smile.