Mouthwash is an important part of your daily oral care routine. But alcohol or alcohol-free mouthwash? If you have been confused about which one to buy then read on to find out more!
What we will cover:
- Benefits of using a mouthwash
- About alcohol mouthwash
- What’s wrong with an alcohol mouthwash
- Solution- alcohol-free mouthwash
Benefits of using a mouthwash
Making mouthwash a regular part of your routine is a great idea. Different mouthwashes provide different benefits based on the ingredients they contain so you can buy one based on your oral care needs.
Some of the benefits of using a mouthwash
Strengthens your enamel
Some mouthwashes contain fluoride which is a strengthening agent for your teeth making them resistant to cavities. So pick a fluoride one if you are trying to fight cavities and make your enamel stronger.
Whitens your teeth
Certain products contain hydrogen peroxide or activated charcoal which can give you sparkly white teeth. These formulas often contain bleaching agents which are meant to whiten your teeth.
Removes bad breath
Formulas that can banish bad breath contain alcohol that can remove bacteria and thus prevent bad breath or halitosis. Even those without alcohol can perform the same function.
Fights gum diseases
These products fight bacteria causing gingivitis and plague which can harm your gums. These formulas typically contain ingredients such as eucalyptol and thymol.
About Alcohol mouthwash
What is in an alcohol mouthwash? The alcohol in Alcohol mouthwashes is ethanol(22%). This ethanol is the one you find in perfumes, deodorants, sanitizers etc. The role of ethanol here is to kill germs and bacteria in your mouth.
Your regular alcoholic drinks such as beer contain 5-12% alcohol so 22% is considered to be high alcohol content. But, it's important to understand that mouthwashes are not meant to be swallowed rather only used for rinsing so the alcohol is only meant to kill germs.
In addition to alcohol, regular alcohol mouthwashes also contain other ingredients such as fluoride, mint, etc, and reach those parts of your mouth where your regular toothbrush doesn’t.
What’s wrong with Alcohol mouthwashes?
Alcohol kills bacteria in your mouth so that’s good right? That’s not the case though. Alcohol is a very strong ingredient and can kill both good and bad bacteria in your mouth.
But, killing too many of these bacteria is also not good as this can cause an imbalance leading to bad breath and dry mouth. Alcohol mouthwashes can end up creating more issues in your mouth rather than just cleaning your mouth.
While alcohol kills a lot of bacteria a non-alcohol mouthwash contains several ingredients which perform the same function as alcohol without the harmful effects of alcohol.
Alcohol is a drying agent which means alcohol mouthwash in your mouth can inhibit saliva production leading to dry mouth. Saliva is your mouth is a natural bacteria killer. By inhibiting saliva production, alcohol is making your mouth dry and devoid of saliva.
If someone is alcoholic then an alcohol mouthwash can be a trigger. It can cause a relapse in a person if the mouthwash is consumed. Along with alcohol, it may also contain other ingredients which are not meant to be consumed. Upon consuming these, it can lead to various health problems such as gastrointestinal issues, liver failure, organ damage etc.
In case you live with small kids then keeping an alcohol mouthwash in your bathroom cabinet is a big no. If your kids accidentally consume it then it may lead to various health issues due to its high alcohol content and other ingredients. Hence, you must avoid it.
Solution - Alcohol-free mouthwash
In a non-alcoholic mouthwash, the active ingredient is replaced from alcohol to another anti-microbial agent such as Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) or chlorhexidine gluconate.
CPC prevents gingivitis, plaque, and gum inflammation and provides anti-bacterial protection for more than 12 hrs after use. Chlorhexidine gluconate stops bacterial plaque formation and gingivitis. Its also found in many alcohol-based mouth rinses as it's very effective.
A non-alcohol mouthwash does not cause the side effects as alcohol ones and also performs clean your mouth better. It naturally flushes out bacteria and does not cause an imbalance of bacteria in your mouth, unlike an alcohol-based mouthwash. It also aids saliva production instead of inhibiting helping you kill the harmful bacteria naturally.
While an alcohol-based mouthwash can cause a burning sensation on your tongue if your taste buds are sensitive an alcohol-free mouthwash may not cause a burning sensation as the ingredients are not that harsh. But, you may be sensitive to certain ingredients that may cause burning even if you use an alcohol-free mouthwash. So, based on your requirements and sensitivity you can decide which one to use.
Finding out the perfect mouthwash can be a trial and error method initially and you must consult your dentist to understand your requirements and oral health needs better.
We at Perfora have done extensive research and come up with science-backed probiotic rinses which kill 99% of germs. Our probiotic mouthwashes have essential oils which have anti-plaque properties and leave your mouth fresh and clean without the harmful effects of alcohol mouthwashes.
Who must not use a mouthwash?
While mouthwash has several benefits it is not advised for children below the age of 6 and those above six must use it under supervision.
If you have sores in your mouth or are sensitive to certain ingredients that mouthwash may contain then you must avoid using it. If you have allergic reactions to certain ingredients in a mouthwash then you must avoid it and read the labels before using one.
FAQs on non-alcohol based rinse
What are the benefits of an alcohol-free mouthwash?
An alcohol-free mouthwash has several benefits such as increased saliva production, germ-free mouth, healthier gums all without the harmful effects of an alcohol-based mouthwash.
How often should I use a mouthwash?
Mouthwash cannot replace your regular brushing and flossing routine. It should only be an addition to your usual routine. Using mouthwash twice a day is more than enough. Excessive usage is not suggested.
Which mouthwash is best for me?
Everyone has different oral care needs hence may require a different mouthwash. Based on your oral health and dental needs you must read the labels of mouthwash and then pick one.