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How Bacteria Helps and Hurts Your Mouth

Have you ever been shopping int he grocery store, and then you get to the yogurt aisle and suddenly begin seeing product advertising things like “pro-biotics”and  lactobacillus. What you might not realize is that bacteria can be good for you just as much as it can be bad for you.

For example, the lactubacillus type of probiotic contains over 80 species – one of which is “acidophilus”, the most common good bacteria, which is responsible for hanging out in our intestines to help out when it comes to digesting food. This is the type of bacteria you find in your yogurt – and one of the primary reasons yogurt is recommended by your family doctor to help keep things regular in your digestive system.

Now we get to your mouth. Your mouth contains bacteria numbering in the billions. While we typically think that “clean” means germ-free, we are typically wrong. “Clean” means balanced – and the balance of bacteria in your mouth is like an ongoing war that you help the “good guys” win by regularly brushing, flossing, and rinsing.

When it comes to keeping your teeth healthy – you don’t want a clean and sterile mouth, you want a mouth that’s got all the right bacteria and as few “bad guys” as possible.

How Brushing, Flossing, and Rinsing Help

Brushing and flossing help control the bacteria in your mouth by breaking up microbial “colonies” and helping the “Good guys” maintain a proper balance. The same can be said for flossing. Rinsing with mouthwash is a bit of a grey area. It – more or less – wipes the slate clean by killing (or partly killing) the bacteria in your mouth. This is more of a help when the patient is at risk for periodontal disease. In other situations, a different kind of rinse might be more beneficial (such as with herbal extracts or essential oils).

Do you think your mouth could be “out of balance?” our dentists in Downey, California have all the best solutions. Get in touch today to learn how we can help you get the oral health you’ve always wanted.


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