If you brush, floss, and get regular pro cleanings, mouthwash is probably not necessary for your oral health, according to many dentists on ShareCare.com. “Most mouthwashes are only effective at the very surface,” noted Dante Gonzalez, DMD. “If plaque and bacteria are allowed to build up on the teeth and tissues, the mouthwash is not very effective at penetrating into the plaque.” Thomas Connelly, DDS, who said he is not crazy about mouthwash, also said that they do kill bacteria, but the effects don’t last very long. Also, the alcohol dries out your mouth, which can actually increase bacterial growth. If you do want to swish, pick a product that’s right for you—those with cavity-fighting fluoride, for example, aren’t great if you have gum disease. RealSimple.com offers a helpful primer if you need.
Vitamin CiStock/Ida Jarosova
Think megadoses of C will keep the common cold at bay? Mark Levine, MD, a researcher at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, told Reader’s Digest that popping C supplements will basically just give you expensive urine. To get the health benefits of protection from cancer, heart disease, age-related macular degeneration, and more come, the best evidence comes from studies where people consume vitamin C naturally in their diets, not through supplements. Also important: “The body works very hard to absorb low amounts of vitamin C,” Dr. Levine says. “But as the dose goes up, you absorb much less, and you excrete the extra vitamin C through your urine in a matter of hours.”