Floss, Mouthwash, Tongue Scrapers … Gimmicks or Useful?

We take a look at some of the oral health products on the market.

Take a look at the dental section of any major high street chemist and you are faced with a vast array of oral health products. This choice can be bewildering to some people who may be wondering how effective they actually are. Our Lodge Dental Suite team take a look at some of the main products that are commonly available below to help you make an informed choice.

Dental floss

Only approximately 20% of us actually use dental floss. This may come as a surprise given the amount of available products that there are, based upon this idea. In fact, flossing is a very important, if not essential, part of our daily oral health routine and, although some find it tricky, perseverance will pay off in the fight against gum disease.

There are also interdental sticks and ‘floss on a stick’ type products that work on the same principle. These may be useful if flossing really is too difficult although actual floss is the best approach.


Mouthwash can be useful but is all too often used as a substitute for correct oral health care. Because it only takes a minute or so and is easy to do, some people do this instead of flossing. Indeed, it is likely that some use it instead of brushing even! Not all mouthwashes are effective and some can even darken your teeth and, in some cases, increase blood pressure according to new studies. If you wish to use a mouthwash, ask your Lodge Dental Suite dentist which brand is the most suitable for you. In fact, we are happy to answer any questions you may have on any of these products.

Sugar free dental gum

As above really; it is ok as an addition to your daily routine but should not be used as a shortcut to good dental care.

Tongue Scrapers

The theory behind tongue scrapers is that using them will remove the bacteria from the tongue and sweeten the breath. There is ongoing debate about how effective this is but there is no harm in using them. Remember though that most bad breath comes from poor gum health and a tongue scraper will not make any difference.

General care

Whilst some of these products may help, nothing beats a good brushing and flossing routine, along with regular checks at our dental practice near Waltham Cross. The bacteria that can lead to gum disease are very adept at finding places to hide, often under the gum line where it is tricky to reach, whether with brush or floss. For this reason, we recommend an oral health check every 6 months or so. Any plaque that we find building up can then be removed with a simple scale and polish procedure.

Whether you choose to add on any of the products above is down to personal choice, but please don’t use these instead of professional care.

Please call the Lodge Dental Suite today on 01992 643 388.