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Dental Mouthwash


Are alcohol-containing mouthwashes safe?

What influences your decision on a mouthwash? Is it the cheapest brand available? Or whatever that is on sale in the supermarket? Or the aftertaste of the mouthwash itself?

The purpose of incorporation of alcohol into mouthwash is listed below:
solvent for other active ingredients
has antiseptic properties
act as preservatives
easy to produce

However, recent research has shed some light on the effects of alcohol in the mouth:
the prime metabolite of alcohol is acetaldehyde – which is mutagenic and carcinogenic
there is evidence that alcohol metabolism could occur in the oral cavity and that various bacteria in plaque can metabolise alcohol to acetaldehyde
other effects: burning mouth, drying of the oral mucosa, softening effects on composite filling materials and mucosal pain
conclusion: alcohol containing mouthwashes afford little or no advantage in terms of efficacy over the alcohol-free competitors
also, there is a weak and inconclusive association bet. use of alcohol mouthwash and oral cancer

What is the best advice we can give?

Look for alcohol-free mouthwashes. Even better, use certified organic ones!

Mouthwashes are great to get rid of strong breath!
However, rinsing with mouthwash alone is not a good substitute for proper brushing, flossing and 6-monthly check-ups at the dentist. If you carry out proper brushing and flossing, you might not even need to use mouthwashes!