Mouthwash vs Flossing: A Dentist Explains

Both mouthwash and flossing are two distinct methods of maintaining oral hygiene, each with its own purpose and benefits.

Flossing involves using a thin piece of material, like expandable dental floss, to clean between your teeth and along the gum line. It removes plaque and debris from hard-to-reach spots in your mouth, preventing gum disease and tooth decay by targeting bacterial buildup.

On the other hand, mouthwash is a liquid solution that is swished around the mouth and then spit out, primarily used to freshen breath, reduce bacteria, and reach areas that brushing and flossing may not effectively clean.

That said, while both methods are beneficial, if you have to choose, you should not replace flossing with mouthwash. It is best to incorporate them into your daily brushing routine.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about mouthwash and flossing, whether who's best when it comes to your oral hygiene.

What is floss?

A woman flossing her teeth

Floss is a thin, flexible string or ribbon used in dental hygiene to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth and along the gum line where the areas that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush.

It is typically made from materials such as nylon or plastic and is available in various flavors and textures.

In essence, there's an expandable dental floss that innovatively enhances this traditional flossing. It gently expands upon contact with your saliva for thorough plaque and debris removal, promoting optimal oral health and a healthier smile.

Why is flossing important?

Flossing is an essential part of a good oral hygiene routine that you shouldn't overlook. It reaches the tight spaces between your teeth and under the gumline, areas where your toothbrush can't quite get to.

Every day, plaque builds up in these hard-to-reach spots, harboring bacteria that feast on leftover food particles. When you use dental floss, you effectively remove this plaque, significantly reducing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Also, flossing prevents the buildup of tartar, a hardened form of plaque that only a dental professional can remove. Tartar accumulation along your gumline creates a haven for more plaque and bacteria, making it harder to keep your teeth and gums clean and escalating your risk of gum disease.

Regular flossing disrupts this cycle, keeping plaque at bay and supporting optimal oral hygiene.

Benefits of Flossing

A woman flossing her teeth

While brushing cleans the surfaces of our teeth, flossing reaches the areas between teeth and along the gum line where bacteria and food particles can accumulate.

Therefore, it is beneficial to incorporate flossing into your daily oral hygiene routine as it:

Prevents Gum Disease

Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and along the gum line, which reduces the risk of gum disease.

Gum disease, if left untreated, can lead to gum inflammation, bleeding, and eventually tooth loss. By flossing daily with expandable dental floss, you can maintain healthy teeth, gums and prevent periodontal problems.

Prevent Cavities

Flossing reaches areas between the teeth where a toothbrush cannot effectively clean. Removing plaque buildup in these spaces helps prevent the formation of cavities. Regular flossing, in conjunction with brushing, significantly reduces the risk of tooth decay and promotes overall oral health.

Freshens Breath

Food particles that trapped between your teeth can lead to bad breath. Flossing removes these particles, along with bacteria that cause odor, leading to fresher breath. Incorporating flossing into your daily oral hygiene routine helps keep your mouth feeling clean and your breath fresh throughout the day.

All in all, incorporating flossing into your daily oral care routine offers numerous benefits. By spending just a few minutes each day to flossing, you can significantly improve your oral health and enjoy a brighter smile for years to come.

Remember, the simple act of flossing can make a big difference in your overall well-being.

What type of floss should I use?

When it comes to choosing the right type of floss for your oral hygiene routine, we recommend using expandable floss for its effectiveness.

Expanding floss gently expands to clean between teeth thoroughly, fitting snugly into the spaces to remove plaque and food particles. This type of floss is particularly useful for those with wider gaps between their teeth, as it expands to fill the space and ensures a comprehensive clean.

Additionally, expandable floss is typically softer and more comfortable to use, making it a good choice for individuals with sensitive gums or those prone to bleeding when flossing. Its ability to adapt to the unique spaces between teeth helps to reduce the risk of gum irritation and damage.

Ultimately, the best floss is one that fits your individual needs and preferences, encouraging regular use as part of your dental care routine.

What is mouthwash?

A woman holding SWISH Mouthwash

Mouthwash, also known as oral rinse, is designed to be swished around your mouth and then spit out.

It is a unique liquid typically containing antiseptic ingredients to eliminate bacteria and promote cleanliness among your teeth, gums, and tongue.

Its primary purpose is to kill oral bacteria that can lead to issues like:

  • plaque buildup

  • bad breath (halitosis)

  • gingivitis

  • dry mouth (xerostomia)

  • sensitivity

  • and canker sores

Also, it's a valuable part of your dental care routine, as it helps you reach areas that brushing and flossing may miss.

However, you should keep in mind that is not meant to replace brushing with toothpaste tablets and using expandable floss. Instead, it serves as a supplementary step in your oral hygiene.

Why is using mouthwash important?

Using mouthwash is important into your daily routine as it greatly benefit your oral health. Not only does it kill bacteria and freshen breath, but it also helps prevent numerous oral health problem.

Moreover, several studies have demonstrated that mouthwash is effective in improving oral health, and some clinical studies even show that it can fight gingivitis.

Therefore, incorporating mouthwash is essential for your daily routine as it inhibit the growth of plaque biofilm, particularly in areas of the mouth that are less accessible by toothbrushing or flossing.

Benefits of Mouthwash

A man holding mouthwash

Adding a mouth rinse to your daily habits can bring significant benefits. When used as directed, mouthwash becomes a valuable tool in your oral health arsenal.

Here are a few mouthwash benefits to consider picking up during your next shopping.

Reduce Bad Breath

While not a permanent solution, mouthwash can temporarily reduce bad breath by killing odor-causing bacteria.

Prevent Dental Caries

Recent studies suggest that using alkaline mouthwash can help prevent and stop dental erosion and dental caries by neutralizing the acidity of common beverages.

Reduce Plaque Buildup

Studies show that using mouthwash helps reduce plaque buildup which can protect your gums by eliminating bacteria that lead to tooth decay or gingivitis.

Tailored to Your Needs

Mouthwash comes in various types to address specific dental health issues. Whether controlling plaque, increasing fluoride intake, or treating gingivitis, there's an oral rinse for your unique needs.

Beneficial for Pregnant Women

Researches suggest that pregnant women can benefit from using mouthwash due to hormonal changes and increased levels of estrogen and progesterone, which can affect the gums and teeth, potentially leading to conditions like pregnancy gingivitis.

Additionally, dietary habits, lifestyle changes, and morning sickness may also contribute to dental issues and can lead to severe complications.

What type of mouthwash should I use?

When selecting mouthwash, you should look for an alcohol-free mouthwash.

Alcohol free mouthwash is shown by research to be equally as effective as alcohol based mouthwash at killing harmful bacteria without disrupting the good ones.

Evidence even suggests that it is more gentle and effective than containing alcohol as this can't cause any risks to your oral health.

Therefore, to avoid potential complications against the use of alcohol-based mouthwash, consider using a mouth rinse with an alkaline pH which evidence suggests can neutralize acidity. This is essential for oral health.

By neutralizing acidity in saliva production, these rinses can contribute to a healthier oral environment and may be especially beneficial for individuals prone to acid erosion or enamel sensitivity.

Is mouthwash better than flossing?

Mouthwash vs Flossing

While mouthwash can offer benefits like reducing bacteria, freshening breath, and supporting tooth health, it does not replace the need for flossing, which physically removes plaque and debris from between the your teeth.

For good oral health outcomes, you should incorporate both flossing and the use of mouthwash into your daily routine, alongside regularly brushing with nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste.

Ultimately, brushing and flossing are the two major components of your oral care routine, in addition to tongue scraping.

Can mouthwash replace flossing?

No, mouthwash cannot replace flossing.

While mouthwash can help freshen breath and reduce harmful bacteria in your mouth, it cannot effectively remove plaque and debris between teeth as flossing can.

Consequently, flossing is really important for keeping your mouth healthy because it gets rid of plaque and food bits that can cause cavities and gum problems. It's the best way to clean the spaces between your teeth and under your gums where your toothbrush can't reach well.

Thereby, herbal mouthwash should be used as an addition to your daily brushing with nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste, expandable flossing, and tongue scraping, rather than being seen as a substitute for these practices.

Can mouthwash replace brushing?

No, mouthwash cannot replace brushing as it lacks the mechanical action necessary to physically remove plaque and food particles from your teeth and gums.

While mouthwash can temporarily freshen breath and kill some bacteria in our mouths, it cannot thoroughly clean all surfaces like brushing can.

Essentially, brushing with nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste helps to scrub away plaque, food debris, and bacteria, which helps prevent tooth decay.

Additionally, brushing stimulates saliva production, which aids in neutralizing acids and remineralizing tooth enamel. Mouthwash can be a useful adjunct to brushing and flossing, but you shouldn't rely on it as a substitute for proper oral hygiene practices.

Summary: Flossing vs Mouthwash

A woman flossing her teeth

All in all, both flossing and using mouthwash are important components of your comprehensive oral hygiene routine, but they serve different purposes.

Flossing is essential for:

  • removing plaque and debris from teeth

  • removing plaque from the gum line

  • preventing periodontal disease

  • and prevent tooth decay.

On the other hand, mouthwash helps you from:

  • reduces bacteria

  • eliminates bad breath

  • and prevent dental caries

While flossing is generally considered more crucial for maintaining optimal oral health, incorporating both flossing and mouthwash into a daily routine can ensure thorough cleaning and promote fresher breath, healthy gums, and overall dental well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to floss or use mouth wash?
Both flossing and using mouthwash play important roles in oral hygiene regimen, but they serve different purposes. Flossing removes dental plaque and debris from between teeth and along the gum line, preventing cavities and gum disease. Mouthwash can help freshen breath and reduce bacteria, but it's not as effective at removing plaque as flossing. Ideally, it's best to incorporate both into your oral care routine for optimal dental health.

Do dentists recommend mouthwash?
Yes, many dentists recommend using mouthwash as part of a comprehensive oral hygiene routine. Mouthwash can help kill bacteria, freshen breath, and in some cases, remineralize teeth. However, it's important to choose a mouthwash that is alcohol-free and contains fluoride for maximum effectiveness and safety. While mouthwash can be beneficial, it's not a substitute for brushing and flossing regularly, which are essential for maintaining good oral health.

Can mouthwash replace flossing?
While mouthwash can provide some benefits like freshening breath and reducing bacteria, it cannot fully replace your daily flossing. Flossing is crucial for removing plaque and food particles from between teeth and along the gum line, where mouthwash cannot reach. Incorporating both flossing and mouthwash into your oral hygiene routine is recommended for optimal dental health.

Does mouthwash remove tartar?
Mouthwash typically does not remove tartar. Tartar, also known as dental calculus, forms when plaque hardens on the teeth due to mineral deposits from saliva. While mouthwash can help reduce bacteria and plaque buildup, it is not effective at removing tartar. Professional dental cleanings are necessary to remove tartar safely and effectively.

Should you use mouthwash everyday?
Yes, you should use mouthwash every day as it is beneficial for maintaining your oral hygiene. It reduces bacteria, freshen breath, and promotes overall gum health. However, it's important to choose an alcohol-free mouthwash and follow the instructions on the label. Some mouthwashes are designed for daily use, while others may be recommended for specific conditions or used intermittently. Consulting with your dentist can help determine the best mouthwash regimen for your individual needs.

Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash

Swish Mouthwash

Regular price$20
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Immerse yourself in the revitalizing freshness of our latest formulation, Swish. A testament to biöm's unwavering commitment to holistic health and well-being. Harnessing the potent benefits of mother nature, our mouthwash combines science and nature's bounty to deliver a unique solution for impeccable oral hygiene and lasting fresh breath.

Bottled at 16 fl oz, our herbal mouthwash formula takes the best of what nature has to offer:

Neem and Licorice Extracts: Used for centuries in traditional medicine, these power-packed botanicals promote oral health by combating harmful bacteria and providing natural anti-inflammatory benefits.

Spearmint and Peppermint Essential Oils: Long-lasting freshness is no longer a dream. These cooling natural oils ensure you'll enjoy a pleasant, long-lasting minty freshness that truly invigorates.

Xylitol and Stevia: We've incorporated these natural sweeteners to provide an enjoyable, refreshing taste without any guilt – they actually help in maintaining a healthy pH balance in your mouth!

Aloe Vera Juice: Say goodbye to the harsh, drying effect of traditional mouthwashes. Our formula includes these natural moisturizing agents for a comfortable rinse that leaves your mouth feeling hydrated.

Not just that, our formula is as kind to the Earth as it is to your mouth:

❖ Free from harsh chemicals and artificial preservatives

❖ Cruelty-free and vegan

❖ Eco-friendly packaging


Shake well before use. Swish approximately one tablespoon of mouthwash in your mouth for about 30 seconds, then spit it out.

Experience the biöm difference today – because your oral health is a reflection of your overall wellness.