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Neil L. Starr, DDS, PC

Do Mouthwash Strips Do Anything to Improve Your Oral Health?


Posted on 10/10/2019 by Neil Starr DDS PC
Do Mouthwash Strips Do Anything to Improve Your Oral Health?Breath strips have boomed in popularity since the early '00s. They are portable, easily accessible, and keep breath fresh throughout the day. But do they really stand up to their claims?

How Do Mouthwash Strips Work?

Most breath strips claim to freshen the breath by killing 99% of bacteria in the mouth. The strips are placed on the tongue, where they quickly dissolve and create that minty-clean feeling.

It is a satisfying experience and may leave the user feeling as if they've improved their oral health. Recently, though, scientists have learned that sterilization is not the best way to maintain health. When we sterilize our environments, including our mouths, we may be doing more harm than good.

Our mouths contain millions of “good” and “bad” bacteria, constantly working together to achieve a delicate balance. The “bad” bacteria in our mouths are responsible for the formation of plaque, bad breath, and tooth decay. The “good” bacteria help us salivate, taste, and cull the “bad” bacteria. Your oral health is partially maintained by this bacterial equilibrium.

Breath strips work by killing bacteria; the sudden burst of pleasant, minty freshness that ensues after placing one on your tongue is the result of a clean sweep of ALL bacteria from the mouth. Additionally, the active components in breath strips are mainly sugarless sweeteners, and alcohol compounds; breath strips are, essentially, cosmetic in nature.

Should I Use Breath Strips?

So, is there any problem with using breath strips? Not if used with discretion. Used infrequently, breath strips may help stimulate the salivary glands, which promotes good oral hygiene.

If a patient feels the need to use breath strips more frequently, there may be an underlying issue. Bad breath can be a sign of several oral health issues. It is best to consult with one of our dentists about bad breath. Our office is committed to helping you maintain your oral health, so it is best to consult with one of our dentists if you are experiencing bad breath.


Neil L. Starr, DDS, PC

Washington Office

1234 19th Street N.W. #306
Washington DC, 20036

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