Dental plaque is a bacterial biofilm that is not easily removed from the dental surface. It is estimated that oral biofilms can be colonized by between 400 and 1,000 different species of bacteria. Almost 50 years of experimental research and clinical trials confirm that the effective removal of bacterial plaque is essential to maintain optimal dental and periodontal health (Loë 2000).
Maintaining an adequate level of daily oral hygiene is essential for the prevention and control of oral diseases. This is undoubtedly a critical factor in the appearance of dental caries, gingivitis and chronic periodontitis (Haps et al. 2008). Although plaque cannot be completely removed, it can and should be controlled with mechanical oral hygiene practices (Versteeg et al. 2010). Its removal is necessary to maintain proper health of teeth and gums.
Daily brushing with a toothpaste containing fluoride and the use of interproximal brushes, tape or dental floss are frequently recommended methods for plaque removal. Although they help, these oral hygiene measures, in many cases, do not effectively control plaque due to compliance problems or poor motivation by users.
Older people, with orthodontics, with physical and / or psychic limitations may encounter difficulties when performing mechanical brushing. Even people with proper oral hygiene have difficulty removing plaque from hard-to-reach areas and, in particular, from the posterior sectors (Santos et al. 2005).
Mechanical methods for plaque removal require time, motivation and manual dexterity. Therefore, if limitations arise that prevent these daily oral hygiene practices from being carried out effectively, there is a need to apply other strategies. In this context, the so-called "chemical plaque control" becomes important.
The reason for mouthwash
The use of a mouthwash as a support for mechanical oral hygiene is considered a very effective means that increases plaque removal (Haps et al. 2008). A mouthwash is an aqueous solution with active ingredients and certain ingredients that allows you to achieve complete hygiene, and provide maximum freshness at the end of daily hygiene.
Pharmacists, by their advice, can provide the patient with the most appropriate mouthwash to the oral conditions that concern them: daily care, orthodontics, delicate gums, dental sensitivity, oral halitosis or xerostomia.
In conclusion, the joint use of toothpaste brushing, interproximal cleaning and a mouthwash is the best tool for success in the control and prevention of oral diseases.
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