Do alcohol free mouthwashes actually work?

in Jul 2, 2024

Maintaining a healthy smile goes beyond brushing and flossing. Mouthwash is vital in your oral hygiene routine, reaching areas a toothbrush might miss and leaving your breath feeling fresh. But with a plethora of mouthwashes lining the shelves, choosing the right one can be confusing. This blog dives deep into mouthwash, explicitly focusing on the gentler and often more favourable option – non-alcoholic mouthwash. We'll explore alcoholic vs non alcoholic mouthwash, helping you decide on a healthier and more comfortable oral care routine.

Understanding Mouthwash: The Basics

Mouthwash, or oral rinse, is a liquid solution to cleanse the mouth after brushing and flossing. It typically targets areas beyond the reach of a toothbrush, like between teeth and along the gum line. Mouthwash can offer several benefits, including:

  • Reduced Plaque and Gingivitis: Mouthwash can help reduce plaque buildup and fight gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease.
  • Fresher Breath: Mouthwash helps eliminate bad breath caused by food particles and bacteria.
  • Additional Benefits: Certain mouthwashes offer additional benefits, such as teeth whitening, fluoride for enamel strengthening, or relief from dry mouth.

While mouthwash is a valuable addition to your routine, remember – it's not a replacement for brushing and flossing. These practices remain the foundation of good oral hygiene.

Alcohol-Based Mouthwash: Pros and Cons

For decades, alcohol-based mouthwash has been a household staple. Let's explore its advantages and disadvantages:


  • Effective Antiseptic: Alcohol acts as an effective antiseptic, killing bacteria contributing to bad breath and plaque buildup.
  • Fast-Acting: Alcohol evaporates quickly, leaving a clean and fresh sensation in the mouth.


  • Burning Sensation: The primary drawback of alcohol-based mouthwash is the burning sensation it can cause, particularly for those with sensitive mouths.
  • Dry Mouth: Alcohol can disrupt the natural moisture balance in the mouth, leading to dryness and discomfort. This can worsen existing dry mouth conditions.
  • Potential for Irritation: Alcohol can irritate the mucous membranes in the mouth, causing soreness or discomfort.
  • Not Suitable for Children: The pungent taste and burning sensation of alcohol-based mouthwash can be unpleasant for children.

Non-Alcohol-Based Mouthwash: Effectiveness and Benefits

Non-alcoholic mouthwash offers a gentler and often more favourable alternative to its alcohol-based counterpart. Here's a breakdown of its effectiveness and benefits:


Non-alcoholic mouthwash utilises alternative ingredients to achieve similar results as alcohol-based rinses. These ingredients can be just as effective in:

  • Killing Bacteria: Antiseptic ingredients like chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX) and cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) effectively combat bacteria that cause bad breath and plaque buildup.
  • Freshening Breath: Essential oils like peppermint, spearmint, and thyme offer natural antibacterial properties and contribute to a long-lasting fresh breath sensation. Several Perfora types of mouthwash, including Perfora Alcohol-Free Mouthwash - Lemon Mint and Perfora Thyme Mint Mouthwash, incorporate invigorating essential oil blends for a refreshing taste.


  • Gentler on Mucous Membranes: Without the harshness of alcohol, non-alcoholic mouthwash is gentler on the delicate tissues in your mouth, reducing the risk of irritation and dryness.
  • Suitable for Sensitive Teeth: Non-alcoholic mouthwash can make rinsing more comfortable for those with sensitive teeth. Consider the Perfora Polo Mint Mouthwash, specifically designed for sensitivity relief.
  • Maintains Moisture Balance: Non-alcoholic mouthwash avoids disrupting the natural moisture balance in your mouth, preventing dryness and discomfort.

To learn more about the benefits of mouthwash without alcohol, check out or blog on benefits of alcohol-free mouthwash

Additional Ingredients: 

Many non-alcoholic mouthwashes are formulated with beneficial ingredients that promote oral health, such as:

  • Hyaluronic Acid: This ingredient helps retain moisture in the mouth, keeping it feeling hydrated. Several Perfora types of mouthwash, including the Perfora Orange Mint Mouthwash and the Perfora Alcohol-Free Mouthwash - Lemon Mint, contain Hyaluronic Acid for added comfort.
  • Vitamin C: This essential vitamin supports gum health and can help prevent inflammation. Look for Perfora Alcohol-Free Mouthwash - Lemon Mint, which boasts Vitamin C as an additional benefit.
  • Sodium Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and helps prevent cavities. Consider the Perfora Orange Mint Mouthwash, a dual-action formula that freshens breath and whitens teeth with Sodium Fluoride.
Reasons to go for a Probiotic Rinse Mouthwash

Alcoholic vs. Non-Alcoholic Mouthwash: The Verdict

While alcoholic and non-alcoholic mouthwashes can be effective in freshening breath and reducing bacteria, non-alcoholic mouthwashes often emerge as the gentler and more favourable option for many individuals. Here's a quick comparison to help you decide:

Alcohol Mouthwash vs Non Alcohol


Alcoholic Mouthwash

Non-Alcoholic Mouthwash


Effective in killing bacteria and freshening breath

Effective in killing bacteria and freshening breath

Burning Sensation


No (or minimal)

Drying Effect




May irritate

Gentler on tissues

Suitable for Sensitive Teeth


Yes (especially formulated options)

Suitable for Children

No (strong taste & burning)

Yes (depending on flavor)

Additional Benefits


May contain hydrating or strengthening ingredients

The clear winner: For a more comfortable and potentially more beneficial oral care routine, non-alcoholic mouthwash is preferred for many people, especially those with sensitive teeth or a tendency towards dry mouth. Consider exploring the Perfora range of non-alcoholic mouthwashes. Their various formulas cater to different needs, with options like the Perfora Orange Mint Mouthwash for whitening or the Perfora Polo Mint Mouthwash for sensitivity relief.


Maintaining a healthy smile goes beyond simply brushing your teeth. Mouthwash is crucial in your oral hygiene routine, effectively reaching areas a toothbrush might miss and leaving your breath feeling fresh. By opting for non-alcoholic mouthwash, you can achieve a clean and refreshed feeling without the discomfort associated with alcohol-based rinses. Explore the variety of non-alcoholic mouthwashes available, and consider the Perfora range for its gentle yet effective formulas. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Alcoholic vs Non Alcoholic Mouthwash

1. Is alcohol or alcohol-free mouthwash better?

In most cases, non-alcoholic mouthwash is a preferable option. It offers a gentler experience, is suitable for sensitive teeth and children, and often contains additional beneficial ingredients.

2. What are the disadvantages of alcohol-based mouthwash?

The main disadvantages of alcohol-based mouthwash include the burning sensation, drying effect, potential for irritation, and its unsuitability for children and those with sensitive teeth.

3. What is the purpose of alcohol in mouthwash?

Alcohol acts as an antiseptic in mouthwash, killing bacteria contributing to bad breath and plaque buildup. However, non-alcoholic mouthwashes utilize alternative ingredients to achieve similar results.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.