Study: Mouthwash and toothpaste rinse away bacteria together

By – Bad Breath Expert
Posted: March 2, 2015
SUMMARY: A study published in the International Journal of Oral Science suggests that toothpaste used in tandem with mouthwash are the best way to attack oral bacteria.

Recent research published in the International Journal of Oral Science suggests that using antimicrobial toothpaste and mouth rinse together effectively reduces bacterial growth on stainless steel-bonded retainers. This study could be used to develop better cleaning strategies for those who wear retainers or have braces. The team tested several oral care regimens on 22 participants  and discovered that when antibacterial toothpaste and mouth rinse were used together, it resulted in the lowest proportion of living bacteria and smallest number of bacteria overall. 

Research and findings 
The team from the University of Groningen and University Medical Center in the Netherlands tested combinations of three types of mouth rinse and toothpaste to better understand biofilm caused by bacteria buildup on retainers. The scientists note that biofilm causes more instances of gingivitis and bleeding from the gums. The toothpaste and mouthwash combinations were tested on participants both with single- and multi-wire retainers. Each participant was required to brush their teeth at least twice a day with a non-electric toothbrush. 

The participants were divided into three groups, two using different types of antibacterial toothpaste and one that used regular toothpaste. Participants brushed using their assigned toothpaste for a week, and then the retainers were tested for bacteria levels. Participants then underwent a six-week wash-out period in which they used a neutral toothpaste without antibacterial effects. Participants then concluded the testing with a week of using the toothpaste in tandem with mouthwash.   

Leader of the study Marije Jongsma explained to Reuters, "The results show that after the use of oral antimicrobials, a shift occurs in the composition of the oral biofilm in a more healthy direction. Several species that can cause caries such as S. Mutans and Lactobacillus, decrease in prevalence, whereas the more harmless species increase in prevalence." 

Researchers found that the combination of antibacterial toothpaste and mouthwash offered significant benefits, such as greatly reducing the presence of cavity-causing germs. While these results point to the benefits of this combination for those who wear retainers, the implications could be valuable universally in regards to oral hygiene. 

Jongsma stated, "The results are very promising ... However, before real recommendations can be made, it should be verified if the antibacterial regimes actually lead to less gingivitis and caries in the clinical situation." 

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