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Can This Dental Hygiene Habit Help Fight COVID-19?

July 6, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — greenbaydental @ 4:29 pm
Blue mouthwash being poured into cap

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread across Wisconsin and the world, many people are seeking new ways to avoid becoming infected with the potentially deadly disease. Frequently washing hands, practicing social distancing and wearing a mask in public are all well-known measures that prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, researchers have recently uncovered another action that may help. Do you usually rinse your mouth with mouthwash after brushing your teeth? If not, you will probably want to start after reading today’s blog! Discover how antibacterial mouthwash may actually help fight COVID-19 below.

How Mouthwash Affects COVID-19

In June, a team of researchers highlighted the possible role antimicrobial mouthwashes could play in the fight against COVID-19. Their close review of studies concerning similar viruses indicates that mouthwashes may be able to break down the outer fatty membrane of the novel coronavirus. Regularly rinsing with mouthwash may be able to kill the virus in recently infected patients and disrupt community spread.

The researchers published their findings in Function, a peer-reviewed online journal published by the American Physiological Society. They have also called on their peers in the scientific community to pursue additional research in this area.

Why Oral Infection Prevention is So Important

Antimicrobial mouthwash can also help prevent many types of oral infections that can lead to serious overall health problems and potentially worsen the impact of COVID-19. According to research published in the National Library of Medicine, certain mouthwashes can completely kill harmful oral bacteria within 30 seconds!

Gum disease, which is caused by bacteria, has been strongly linked to conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Both of these are known to increase the risk of severe illness in people who contract COVID-19.

By regularly using mouthwash to prevent gum disease, you can help maintain a strong immune system and excellent overall health. 

Can Mouthwash Disinfect Hands?

Due to a lack of availability, some people are using mouthwash to disinfect their hands instead of hand sanitizer. However, mouthwash is not effective when it comes to killing all the bacteria on your hands. Not all mouthwashes contain alcohol, but those that do typically only contain about 20%. This is well below the 60% alcohol that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend for hand sanitizers to effectively kill germs. So, even if your bottle of hand sanitizer runs out, you should turn to good old fashioned soap and water instead.

As you can see, adding mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine can go a long way defending against COVID-19 transmission. Rinsing with mouthwash only takes a few seconds, but it can easily offer an extra level of protection and valuable peace of mind.

About the Author

Dr. Scott Quandt is the dentist Green Bay residents trust to meet all their oral care needs. The Marquette University Dental School graduate has devoted thousands of hours to continuing education to keep up with the latest research and developments in the field of dentistry. For more tips to protect your oral and overall health, visit the Dental Designs by Quandt website or call 920-499-6466.

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