What does your daily oral hygiene routine include? While using your toothbrush and floss are non-negotiable for a healthy smile, many dentists leave mouthwash as an optional task in your dental care routine. If you want to go the extra mile with your smile, consider rinsing after you brush and floss. Mouthwash (or mouth rinse) can be an excellent way to kill off lingering bacteria and freshen your breath for the day ahead. But not all mouthwash is created equal.
Alcohol-Based Vs. Alcohol-Free Mouthwash
There are many mouthwash brands and varieties on your local grocery store shelf. However, there are two basic and very distinct categories of mouthwash – those that contain alcohol and those that do not.
Traditional Mouthwash contains a form of alcohol called ethanol. This is the active ingredient that not only helps kill bacteria and plaque but also gives the mouthwash that intense taste and trademark “burn” when using it. Alcohol-based mouthwash dates all the way back to 1879 when Listerine was first created.
Alcohol-free Mouthwash is now available for those who wish to avoid alcohol in their daily mouth rinse. Perhaps you don’t like the strong taste of traditional mouthwash or you want to avoid high alcohol content of a product you are putting in your mouth. Some brands contain as much as 27% alcohol content, which is a risk for young children you might swallow the liquid or former alcohol-abusers.
Today’s alcohol-free mouthwash has been found to be just as effective for preventing decay, gum disease and bad breath, and it is also a smarter choice for patients who suffer from dry mouth. Xerostomia (dry mouth) is a common oral health condition that plagues many aging adults. An alcohol-based mouthwash will only encourage dry mouth, which can be a breeding ground for oral bacteria. Furthermore, some studies found that the alcohol in mouthwash kills the good bacteria along with the bad, which could sabotage your oral health.
Can You Improve Your Oral Hygiene?
Do you have questions about your mouthwash or other dental hygiene products that you may be using at home? We’d love to assist you. Call Muccioli Dental today to book your exam or consultation at our Johns Creek clinic. We love helping patients take care of their smiles in between dental visits.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Randy Muccioli, Muccioli Dental
Muccioli Dental - Johns Creek Dentist
6300 Hospital Pkwy, Suite 275
Johns Creek, Georgia 30097
Phone: (678) 389-9955