The Ultimate Mouthwash Quiz

Staff

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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?

Most mouthwashes have an added scent -- usually a variation on mint -- that helps mask bad breath odors.

True or False: If you use mouthwash regularly, you don't need to brush and floss.

Even though mouthwash helps fight cavities, brushing and flossing are still necessary to remove plaque and bacteria from the mouth.

At what age is it safe for kids to begin using mouthwash?

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.

Most mouthwashes contain up to 50 percent of what ingredient?

The main ingredient in most liquid mouthwashes is water.

Many mouthwashes contain fluoride. What does fluoride do for your mouth?

Many mouthwashes contain fluoride, which strengthens tooth enamel and makes teeth more resistant to the acid that causes decay.

Severe bad breath is also known as what?

Another word for bad breath is halitosis. Gingivitis and periodontists are both words to describe gum disease.

Many mouthwashes contain ingredients that work as antiseptics. What does an antiseptic do?

Antiseptics fight bacteria, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease.

True or False: Brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash reduces more plaque and signs of gingivitis than brushing and flossing alone.

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.

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?

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.

Swallowing a small amount of mouthwash is generally not harmful, but if you accidentally swallow a large amount of mouthwash, what should you do?

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.

True or False: Some studies have linked mouthwash use to oral cancer.

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.

True or False: All mouthwashes contain alcohol.

While many mouthwashes contain alcohol, some do not, including natural rinses and mouthwashes designed for use by children.

During what time period was mouthwash first mass-produced and sold?

The first mass-produced mouthwashes appeared in the late-1800s.

True or False: All mouthwashes burn when you use them.

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.

Which type of mouthwash fights bacteria in the mouth?

Fluoride mouthwashes strengthen tooth enamel and remineralizing mouthwashes help heal lesions inside the mouth, but it's antimicrobial mouthwashes that fight bacteria.

True or False: Mouthwash is a must for good dental health.

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.

Some mouthwashes for kids have an ingredient that does what when it comes into contact with food particles?

Changing color shows kids that their mouthwash is working, giving proof that they're making their mouth cleaner by rinsing.

Swishing mouthwash in your mouth does what?

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.

What organization maintains a list of mouthwashes that are safe to use?

Check out the Web site of the American Dental Association for a list of ADA-approved mouthwashes.

True or False: Some brands of mouthwash help whiten teeth.

Some mouthwashes contain ingredients, including peroxide, to help whiten teeth.

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