As with all products, most people have their own personal favourites when it comes to mouthwash. Whatever your personal preferences happen to be, there are literally thousands of mouthwashes out there to suit every need and every mouth.
Nevertheless, there’s one specific issue that never fails to split consumer audiences right down the middle. Not to mention, the entire market for mouthwash products. Which is, the presence of alcohol or otherwise.
Interestingly, it’s only as of relatively recently that larger groups of people have begun asking questions about the benefits and potential drawbacks of alcohol in mouthwash. Despite the fact that it has been used as a standard ingredient for decades. Opinions vary significantly to say the least, but what matters are the facts.
Which is what we’ll be focusing on today – a few important facts that will outline the truth about alcohol in mouthwash. So rather than reading into rumour and personal opinion, here’s what you really need to know about alcoholic mouthwash:
Yes – Most Mouthwash Contains Alcohol
First of all, the vast majority of mouthwash products contain a certain amount of alcohol. Which means that unless it states specifically on the package that there is no alcohol in the product, chances are, it’s in there! Nevertheless, the actual quantity of alcohol in any given mouthwash varies significantly from one to the next. The problem being that most manufacturers don’t always list this kind of information clearly on the label. If you are worried about how much alcohol is in any given mouthwash, you can find out more online. However, if you are looking for the best alcohol-free mouthwash on the market, ensure it isn’t included anywhere in the ingredients.
No – All Mouthwash Is Certainly Not the Same
Contrary to popular belief, all mouthwash is certainly not the same. For example, the very best mouthwash for teeth whitening may have an entirely different formula to the best mouthwash for sensitive teeth. Likewise, mouthwash sold for 25p often doesn’t get the job done quite as well as those that retail for £2 and up. While it’s important to be cautious when reading the marketing spiel of the manufacturer, it’s just as crucial to acknowledge the fact that all mouthwash is by no means the same.
Yes – Alcohol in Mouthwash Can Leave You Feeling Brilliantly Clean
There are no two ways about it – mouthwash with a high concentration of alcohol can leave your mouth feeling immaculately clean. It almost feels as if someone has taken to the inside of your mouth with a pressure washer and a bottle of disinfectant! Which is precisely why these kinds of products appeal to so many – the fresh feeling after using them really is something else.
No – Mouthwash Without Alcohol Isn’t Less Effective
Nevertheless, clinical tests have shown that in terms of effectiveness, alcohol alone doesn’t make much of a difference. Or to put it another way, a high-quality mouthwash that contains absolutely no alcohol can get the job done just as well as a second mouthwash with a high alcohol content. The only difference being that the latter may leave your mouth feeling fresh in the interim, as mentioned above. But just because it feels cleaner and fresher at the time doesn’t mean a non-alcohol mouthwash couldn’t get the job done equally well
Yes – Some Mouthwash Products Contain a Lot of Alcohol
As mentioned, the amount of alcohol that goes into mouthwash varies significantly from one product to the next. In some instances however, there can be twice as much alcohol in a bottle of mouthwash as there is in a bottle of wine. Suffice to say therefore, not the kind of stuff you want to mess around with or swallow by accident. The higher the concentration of alcohol in the product, the more it needs to be handled with care. Once again, if you require more specific information as to exactly how much alcohol goes into any given mouthwash, you may be able to find the information online, or could choose to contact the manufacturer directly.
No – Alcohol in Mouthwash Doesn’t Cause Cancer
Contrary to popular belief, there is no specific evidence whatsoever to suggest that alcoholic mouthwash increases the risk of developing cancer. While it’s true to say that excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption has strong links with various cancers, the same cannot be said for alcoholic mouthwash. Which means that regardless of which mouthwash you choose, you are unlikely to face any higher cancer risk – just as long as you use it in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Yes – Alcohol in Mouthwash Can Exacerbate Dry Mouth
If you suffer from a dry mouth – which can also be a cause of bad breath – you might want to stay away from mouthwash with a high concentration of alcohol. While it may work wonders at the time it is used, the drying effect alcohol has on your mouth could actually make things worse than they already are. Which is why many dentists recommend against using a high-alcohol mouthwash in the evening, before going to bed. As it’s going to be some time before you drink any water, you run the risk of prolonged dry-mouth throughout the night.
No – Alcoholic Mouthwash Isn’t Ideal for Kids
For obvious reasons, alcoholic mouthwash doesn’t represent an ideal choice for kids. Particularly the kinds of products that are too strong for many adults to tolerate. And nor do they need to be – given the way in which there are plenty of specially designed mouthwash products on the market for younger mouths.
Yes – The Best Person to Ask Is Your Dentist!
Last but not least, the best person in the world to ask if unsure which mouthwash to choose is your dentist. It all comes down to both your personal preferences, priorities and your current oral health in general. From sensitive teeth to whitening to bad breath to cavity prevention and so on, there are mouthwashes available to cover pretty much everything. Simply have a chat with your dentist or pharmacist for more advice on which represents the best choice for you.