Chlorhexidine has been shown to reduce and eliminate plaque buildup, but how do different brands of mouthwashes that contain varying concentrations of the chemical actually compare? Your central Oklahoma City dentist wants to help patients find the best oral health care products to ensure a healthy smile for a lifetime. Finding the most effective mouthwash can help to eliminate the oral bacteria that contributes to the development of dental disease and decay. So let’s take a look.
To determine which brands of mouthwash were the best at fighting gingivitis and plaque buildup, they tested three chlorhexidine solutions, and they discovered some unexpected differences.
Researchers from the University of Oslo Institute of Clinical Odontology experimentally included gingivitis in study participants and them monitored them as the used mouthwash that contained chlorhexidine with one of three solutions (0.2%, 0.12%, or 0.06%) for three weeks. The formulations had different effects on plaque accumulation but not on gingivitis, appearance, or changes in taste.
“A commercially available mouthwash containing 0.2% chlorhexidine had statistically a significantly better effect in preventing dental plaque than the 0.12% and 0.06% solutions,” wrote the researchers.
The results of the study were published in the journal BMC Oral Health.
The Most Effective Solution
Chlorhexidine is a chemical that possesses bactericidal effects, and it has been sold in Norway primarily as a 0.2% nonalcoholic solution. This is important because mouthwashes that contain alcohol can actually do more damage to the health of our teeth than good. That’s because the alcohol in the mouthwash can actually cause dry mouth, which helps increase plaque growth.
Recently in Norway, a new chlorhexidine mouthwash containing 0.12% and one with a 0.06% concentration levels have been approved for retail sale.
Researchers conducted their current study to help dentists recommend the best solution for their patients. Since more is often better, researcher initially believed the higher concentration solution would be more effective at protecting the user’s oral health.
Both the 0.2% and 0.12% solutions are recommended only for short-term use, such as for patients unable to practice quality oral hygiene. A couple of studies have compared the 0.2% and 0.12% products and discovered that the 0.2% solution to be a little more effective at fighting plaque buildup.
The 0.06% solution, however, is recommended for daily use, and the manufacturer even claims the product capable of preventing gum disease and plaque buildup by 3.5 times when compared to brushing alone.
However, what the researchers actually discovered was slightly surprising.
Following the three-week trial, participants who used by the .12% and the 0.06% solutions showed almost no difference in plaque buildup and quality of oral health. In contrast, participants who used the 0.2% solution showed the greatest reduction in plaque buildup.
Finding the Right Mouthwash for You
While using a mouthwash as part of your daily oral hygiene can help to lower your risk of gum disease, it’s important that you don’t overuse these types of products.
Antibacterial mouthwashes can help to eliminate plaque, but they can also cause problems if used in excess. Make sure to only use a mouthwash as directed, and never use a mouthwash as a substitute for brushing or flossing.
If you’re looking to add a mouthwash that contains an acceptable levels of chlorhexidine to your daily hygiene routine, consider the following brands:
- Corsodyl Daily Defence
- Listerine Total Care
- Colgate Plax
You should also check with your central Oklahoma dentist before adding any brand of mouthwash to your daily hygiene routine.