The One Daily Hygiene Habit You Need to Be Doing Right Now
This oral hygiene habit could have an impact on more than just the health of your mouth.
With COVID-19 still spreading globally, chances are, you're on the lookout for more actions you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones from the potentially deadly disease. Some new research suggests that one defense against the coronavirus may be a personal hygiene habit that you already practice regularly—or have been told by your dentist that you should. If you follow up your teeth brushing by swishing around some mouthwash, you could actually be fighting the coronavirus.
Per a review of existing research published in the journal Function, mouthwash could effectively kill the virus in patients who've recently been infected. The reason why oral rinses may be a tool in the fight against the novel coronavirus is that some may have the ability to break down the outer fatty membrane of the coronavirus, which is similar to other "enveloped" viruses.
While the researchers aren't basing their assumption on studies on the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, they believe that prior studies concerning similar viruses indicate that some mouthwashes could disrupt the transmission of this disease. The scientists who've leant their names to the review include virologists, lipid specialists, and microbicide and healthcare experts, per Cardiff University. Now, they're making an appeal for clinical research to be done on the effect that certain mouthwashes and rinses could have on the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.
So while there's no concrete proof just yet that your minty rinse kills the coronavirus, it can't hurt to either continue that habit or to start if you're not doing it already. After all, mouthwash has a number of other benefits, from strengthening and whitening your teeth (depending on the formula) to freshening your breath.
However, it's important to remember that you should never swallow your rinse or mouthwash, as it can be harmful. The researchers recommend gargling as a way of reaping its potential coronavirus-destroying benefits.
If the scientists' appeal is successful, we may see the result of clinical trials focusing on mouthwash and coronavirus soon. In the meantime, keep up those other habits that protect you from COVID-19: washing your hands thoroughly, wearing a face covering when you're out in public, and keeping six feet of distance between yourself and anyone you haven't been isolating with. And for more tips for fighting this disease in your home, check out 10 Disinfectants That Kill Coronavirus Faster Than Lysol Wipes.