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Mouthwash claims don't all stand up to scrutiny

from Chicago Tribune

Freshens breath! Gives your mouth a tingling sensation! But what do mouthwashes really accomplish? Late last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned three mouthwash manufacturers to stop suggesting that their products that have fluoride as the main active ingredient would prevent gum disease and remove dental plaque, the sticky biofilm of bacteria and other substances that collects on teeth above and below the gumline. And several years ago, a federal judge ordered Pfizer, which owned the Listerine brand at the time, to stop an ad campaign that said the mouthwash was as effective as flossing for preventing tooth and gum decay. Mouthwash plays a fairly minor role in the prevention of plaque and gum disease. Brushing and flossing are much more important. more


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