The Ultimate Mouthwash Quiz

The Ultimate Mouthwash Quiz
Image: Christopher Robbins/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Taking this quiz won't make your breath smell better, but it will show you how much you know about something that does: mouthwash. So rinse, spit and take this quiz to test your mouthwash IQ.
Mouthwash fights bad breath by killing odor-causing bacteria and doing what else?
repairing tooth decay
breaking down food particles
masking odors
Most mouthwashes have an added scent -- usually a variation on mint -- that helps mask bad breath odors.

Advertisement

True or False: If you use mouthwash regularly, you don't need to brush and floss.
True
False
Even though mouthwash helps fight cavities, brushing and flossing are still necessary to remove plaque and bacteria from the mouth.

Advertisement

At what age is it safe for kids to begin using mouthwash?
4
6
According to the American Dental Association, kids under the age of 6 should not use mouthwash because it's difficult for them to avoid swallowing it.
10

Advertisement

Most mouthwashes contain up to 50 percent of what ingredient?
alcohol
water
The main ingredient in most liquid mouthwashes is water.
fluoride

Advertisement

Many mouthwashes contain fluoride. What does fluoride do for your mouth?
It kills bacteria, protecting your teeth from decay.
It makes your breath smell better.
It strengthens tooth enamel to resist tooth decay.
Many mouthwashes contain fluoride, which strengthens tooth enamel and makes teeth more resistant to the acid that causes decay.

Advertisement

Severe bad breath is also known as what?
gingivitis
periodontists
halitosis
Another word for bad breath is halitosis. Gingivitis and periodontists are both words to describe gum disease.

Advertisement

Many mouthwashes contain ingredients that work as antiseptics. What does an antiseptic do?
rinses away plaque and food particles
kills bacteria and helps prevent infection
Antiseptics fight bacteria, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
covers up foul odors

Advertisement

True or False: Brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash reduces more plaque and signs of gingivitis than brushing and flossing alone.
True
Studies show that when used in combination with brushing and flossing, mouthwash can help remove more plaque and lower the risk of developing gingivitis than if you just brush and floss.
False

Advertisement

They may not have had the minty liquids we use today, but the ancient Romans had their own version of mouthwash. To strengthen their gums and kill bacteria, what did the ancient Romans gargle?
salt water
urine
It may sound gross, but the ancient Romans used urine as a mouthwash. The high ammonia content acted as a cleanser for teeth and gums.
alcohol

Advertisement

Swallowing a small amount of mouthwash is generally not harmful, but if you accidentally swallow a large amount of mouthwash, what should you do?
try to vomit to get it out of your stomach
call the National Poison Control Center
If you or someone you know has swallowed a large amount of mouthwash, call the National Poison Control Center. Make sure to have the bottle handy so you can identify the ingredients over the phone.
wait to see if anything bad happens before seeking help

Advertisement

True or False: Some studies have linked mouthwash use to oral cancer.
True
Some scientific studies have found links between regular mouthwash use and oral cancer. However, the American Dental Association still lists mouthwash as a good way to fight cavities and prevent gum disease.
False

Advertisement

True or False: All mouthwashes contain alcohol.
True
False
While many mouthwashes contain alcohol, some do not, including natural rinses and mouthwashes designed for use by children.

Advertisement

During what time period was mouthwash first mass-produced and sold?
the mid-1900s
the early 1500s
the late 1800s
The first mass-produced mouthwashes appeared in the late-1800s.

Advertisement

True or False: All mouthwashes burn when you use them.
True
False
Not all mouthwashes burn. The burning sensation you feel when you use some mouthwashes is usually caused by the high alcohol content, and not all rinses contain alcohol.

Advertisement

Which type of mouthwash fights bacteria in the mouth?
remineralizing mouthwash
fluoride mouthwash
antimicrobial mouthwash
Fluoride mouthwashes strengthen tooth enamel and remineralizing mouthwashes help heal lesions inside the mouth, but it's antimicrobial mouthwashes that fight bacteria.

Advertisement

True or False: Mouthwash is a must for good dental health.
True
False
While mouthwash has bacteria-fighting benefits and makes your breath smell nice, many dentists and even the American Dental Association will tell you that using it isn't a requirement, especially if you brush and floss regularly.

Advertisement

Some mouthwashes for kids have an ingredient that does what when it comes into contact with food particles?
changes color
Changing color shows kids that their mouthwash is working, giving proof that they're making their mouth cleaner by rinsing.
changes flavor
becomes foamy

Advertisement

Swishing mouthwash in your mouth does what?
It activates the bacteria-fighting ingredients in the mouthwash.
It helps ensure the rinse reaches all parts of the mouth, as well as dislodge trapped particles.
Swishing helps the mouthwash reach all parts of the mouth, and it can also help dislodge particles that were missed during brushing so they can be rinsed away.
There's no reason to swish -- just holding the mouthwash in your mouth works just as well.

Advertisement

What organization maintains a list of mouthwashes that are safe to use?
the Better Business Bureau
the American Dental Association
Check out the Web site of the American Dental Association for a list of ADA-approved mouthwashes.
the Department of Homeland Security

Advertisement

True or False: Some brands of mouthwash help whiten teeth.
True
Some mouthwashes contain ingredients, including peroxide, to help whiten teeth.
False

Advertisement

You Got:
/20
Christopher Robbins/Getty Images

Featured