During one of my dental checkups some months ago, after a session with my dental hygienist, I had a lengthy discussion with my dentist about the pros and cons of all the different mouthwashes available these days. I had tried most, each having different affects, on my tongue and taste buds, but I was more interested in discovering the benefits, if any, to my teeth and gums.
It seemed that no matter how careful I was with my oral care, my dental hygienist could always find some tartar, in difficult to reach places to hack at, even though I used the appropriate size TePe, a small interdental brush and sonic toothbrush. I hated the sound of the instrument scraping away against my teeth probably more than the sound of the drill, and I don't like that much; this is what led me to enquire about mouthwashes in the hope there was something on the market that I could use to reduce the time spent at the mercy of the hygienist.
My dentist, who is the most kind and gentlest dentist I have ever come across, told me, as he poked around in my mouth searching for cavities, that he recommends Curasept because it is formulated so that it will not discolour tooth enamel when used over long periods, as does one particular, popular mouthwash.
He then recommended pouring a thimble full of Curasept into a small receptacle (which he kindly gave me) dipping in the TePe, interdental brush and brushing between each tooth and up into the gums with it; he said that it helps reduce any plaque build up in the future. Having found no cavities and proclaiming all was well; he then demonstrated the technique on my teeth.
The ingredients for this (listed on the carton) are as follows for all who are interested.
Xylitol, a sugar known to prevent decay, unlike most sugars, which promote decay.
Peg-40 hydrgenated castor oil. I have no idea why this is included.
Pvp/va copolymer 407. This it is claimed, forms a protective film on teeth and gums alleviating irritations and also prevents the formation of dental plaque and inhibits the discolouration effects of the chlohexidrine.
0.2% Chlorhexidrine digluconate, for antiseptic action.
Sodium benzoate, C.I.42090,
Essential oil of cloves and cinnamon.
What is so different about this mouthwash?
Plaque, as I understand it, is a deposit of bacteria around the teeth. When combined with calcium phosphate from foodstuffs, it forms a hard crystalline structure, called tartar, around the teeth mainly under the gum line, which can eventually cause decay and other dental problems this hard deposit will also trap stains and can only be removed mechanically by the dentist or dental hygienist.
The two main actions of any mouthwash are to prevent or reduce the production of plaque and tartar and to freshen breath.
Most mouthwashes contain alcohol which acts as the antiseptic and a sweetener, saccharin and, or sorbitol, probably to make it more palatable.
Curasept, on the other hand, despite adverts claiming it is sugar fee, does contain Xylitol, which is a sugar, but one that is not harmful to teeth; in fact, it actively prevents the proliferation of bacteria in the mouth and it is the bacteria in combination with crystals that coats the teeth. Curasept is, however, alcohol free so does not burn or irritate sensitive areas in the mouth.
Chlorhexidrine is the antiseptic, which would normally cause discolouration of teeth when used over a long period of time, were it not for the Pvp/va copolymer additive, called the A.D.S. (Anti-discolouration-system.) This system is what makes it different from other mouthwashes that also contain Chlorhexidrine as an antiseptic; and it is the fact that it does not colour teeth that persuaded my dentist to recommend Curasept for regular use.
It costs around £6 for 200ml, I did not think to ask how much it cost me because it was included in the bill, but not itemised.
How is it used?
It can be used like any other mouthwash. Rinse the mouth for about half a minute with a teaspoonful (5 - 10ml) of Curasept after cleaning the teeth.
I use it in tandem with a TePe brush, to brush between each tooth and under the gum line, where most plaque would potentially accumulate.
As far as the taste is concerned, I would not go so far as to say it was ghastly, but it is not the sweetest of mouthwashes, If anything it leaves a slightly bitter-sweet after taste in the mouth, even so, it is slightly better than another well known and, I might say, equally efficient mouthwash. The cinnamon and clove oil perhaps dominate the overall taste.
My experience and opinion.
I have been using this religiously over the past 6 months, dipping my TePe into the Curasept before brushing between each tooth; after I had cleaned my teeth with toothpaste, that is.
I visited my dental hygienist two weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised to find that although some plaque had formed, it was nothing near as bad as when I had just relied on toothpaste and electric toothbrush and TePe brushes alone.
I'm not saying this is any better at reducing the formation of plaque and tartar as the other well established, alcohol free mouthwash, but at least I can be confident that by using it frequently, my teeth will not be exposed to any agent that will discolour the enamel.
In my humble opinion, Curasept, albeit more expensive than some mouthwashes, was worth the cost because, in time, the frequency of my visits to the dental hygienist will be reduced, and the savings far outweigh the cost of the mouthwash.