People across the globe are constantly learning new ways to protect themselves against the novel coronavirus. Some ways are tested in labs, others are home remedies. As we have been living with COVID-19 for almost one year now, anything helps. One new finding is the use of mouthwash to protect against the virus.
In a recent laboratory experiment, Listerine mouthwash and related products were tested against the human coronavirus. The rinse successfully inactivated 99.9% of the coronavirus after just 30 seconds. This proved that keeping a clean mouth can better protect you against the virus.
Is mouthwash the cure we’ve been looking for?
Though mouthwash can indeed aid in prevention against COVID-19, it does not mean you should down a bottle as soon as possible! The studies that showed the success of mouthwash were done with very common types of the coronavirus, not the severe cases. These strands of coronavirus may have similar properties and names, but their strength is quite different. This doesn’t mean keeping your mouth minty-fresh isn’t smart, it definitely benefits you in more ways than one!
Laboratory vs. real life
As these experiments are held in a sterile laboratory with plastic and glass culture dishes, the findings can be different than what lies in your mouth. Your mouth has many different bacteria, with many different places for it to hide. With that being said, results may vary.
Not effective in other regions of the body
Since COVID-19 is heavily transmitted through the respiratory system, mouthwash will not be 100% effective. Mouthwash is definitely not a replacement for social distancing or mask-wearing. All of these tips and tricks are not interchangeable, just because you do one thing, doesn’t mean you get to forget the rest! Remember to practice all COVID-19 safety measures.
What does all of this mean?
These findings are great, yet there are some gaps. Swishing with mouthwash will keep your mouth clean and minty-fresh, but the laboratory findings will not be identical to what lives in your mouth. This means mask-wearing and social distancing is still the only proven way to slow the spread of COVID-19. We may continue to test and study new solutions, but until proven effective, we must stick to what we know.
Contact us at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about mouthwash and slowing the spread of COVID-19.