Dentists often suggest their patients use mouthwash as a part of their daily oral hygiene routine.
But in a sea of alcohol and non-alcohol based mouthwashes, how do you know which one to choose? How do you know which one’s for you? Underneath your tongue is the most vascular area of your whole body so it’s important to be an informed consumer when it comes to the ingredients in your mouthwash.
Both types (alcohol and alcohol free) have certain benefits and drawbacks. Knowing about them can help you make the best decision for you.
Underneath your tongue is the most vascular area of your whole body so it’s important to be an informed consumer when it comes to the ingredients in your mouthwash.
Is Alcohol Free Better than Alcohol Based Mouthwash?
While your teeth and gums are important factors that determine which type of mouthwash is better for you, they’re not the only ones. Your needs and oral health change over time, so my recommendation would be to determine what your ultimate goal is. Do you want to use a mouthwash strictly to freshen your breath? Are you dealing with chronic decay or gum disease and are looking for a more medicinal product?
For many people, simply using an alcohol based mouthwash could lead to worse conditions. People with xerostomia, Sjogren’s or burning mouth syndrome, diabetes & sensitive gums, breastfeeding or expecting mothers and children, should avoid alcohol based mouthwash and rather medicate using some form of Organic Mouthwash.
Alcohol Based Mouthwash
Most off-the-shelf mouthwashes we come across contain alcohol or ethanol. You might ask why? Let’s just say it’s been an old-fashioned remedy since the 18th century due to alcohol being the prime ingredient in managing oral bacteria. By the late 1800s, Listerine was the go-to mouthwash for everyone in America and continues to be the number dentist recommended mouthwash. Thank God we don’t live in Ancient Roman times when they used urine as a mouthwash! Times, technology and understanding the oral microbiome are forever changing. People are wanting more natural alternatives to the chemical laden ingredients that are offered today in our oral care products.
Pros & Cons
Ethanol kills oral germs & bacteria, helping prevent bacterial plaque from developing. This greatly reduces the chances of getting gingivitis and other gum diseases.
Mouthwashes contain essential oils like menthol, thymol and eucalyptol that help treat your teeth. Alcohol helps dissolve these oils in your mouth.
Refreshes your breath (temporarily).
Mouthwash in general can help remove food particles from between teeth due to the swishing motion.
Ethanol kills both good and bad bacteria in your mouth, disrupting the balance of bacteria and alcohol is linked to both Throat and Oral Cancer according to several studies.
May cause a burning sensation.
Leaves you with dry mouth (Xerostomia) and can actually make breath worse.
Alcohol based mouthwashes come with chlorine compounds such as CPC (Cetylpyridinium chloride). Chlorine, being a highly acidic salt, not only kills germs in your mouth, but also causes teeth stains. Long term usage may affect your taste buds.
It changes the pH of your mouth. The average pH of Listerine is 4.2-5 and if your saliva drops below a 5.5 that’s an open door for tooth decay to develop.
Alcohol Free Mouthwash
As more and more people place an importance in taking up a natural, organic lifestyle and habits, the use of alcohol free mouthwash has become more popular across the world. With growing demand, dental hygiene experts have designed a huge array of alcohol free, natural oil based mouthwashes that help you accomplish all you did with the old alcohol versions and much more, in a healthier, more sustainable manner.
In fact, Johnson and Johnson came out with an alcohol-free version of Listerine because of an Australian study conducted in 2008, but even the alcohol free version has many questionable ingredients.
Despite alcohol-free mouthwashes being more gentle, the commercial versions still have ingredients that can disrupt your endocrine system (such as Poloxamer 407), or contain chemicals such as propylene glycol; which is still a liquid alcohol based solvent found in antifreeze, food, plastics and perfumes.
The natural based alcohol-free mouthwashes usually contain water, aloe, essential oils, or *colloidal silver to help nurture your gums and keep them healthy.
Alcohol free mouthwashes can be rather gentle yet effective, and can be used regularly, to serve long term purposes.
Essential oils existent in the mouthwash can help nurture your gums and keep them healthy as well.
Pros & Cons
1. Alcohol Free Mouthwash doesn’t contain Ethanol.
2. Alcohol free mouthwash doesn’t cause dry mouth or bad taste.
4. People who have problems with alcohol abuse don’t get triggered by the taste of alcohol.
5. Helps you maintain the natural color, hardness and gloss of your teeth.
6. Helps maintain the natural balance of saliva in your mouth.
7. Helps prevent oral cancer.
7. Side-effects….none that I’m aware of but that would depend on what version of “natural” you’re going by. Always, read the ingredients even on “so-called” natural products.
Research suggests that non-alcoholic mouthwashes are highly efficient as well as healthy, while having significantly less side effects. There’s really no real drawbacks when it comes to using natural products.
But remember, despite being a healthy alternative, alcohol-free mouthwashes shouldn’t outright replace your daily brushing and flossing routine.
Use Mouthwash Before or After Brushing?
Always use a mouthwash after you brush and floss. This allows it to act as the perfect antimicrobial agent, taking care of any unattended or loose bacteria that is remaining in your mouth. The most important times to brush your teeth are first thing when you wake up in the morning (to remove all of the “tooth poop” causing bad breath), and at night before you go to bed.
Also, you do want to wait 30 minutes after eating before you brush your teeth. If you wake up and brush your teeth right away but don’t have the 30 minutes to wait after eating, at least rinse your mouth out with a clean and green mouthwash to help reduce acids and freshen breath.
Based on our findings and closely comparing the differences between alcohol and alcohol free mouthwash , we definitely suggest that you go natural. It’s time to make the healthier choice and go organic! It’s time for us to move on from harmful chemical and toxins and choose better products for healthy living. Ditch the toxins and remember…Simply Silver…simply smile!
*Silver is naturally anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-parasitic and anti-fungal. It is safe to use with mercury (silver) fillings as well, unlike a hydrogen peroxide base that leaches mercury into your system.