So you make sure to brush and floss your teeth regularly, but then you decide to add a little something extra to your daily oral hygiene routine. Mouthwash is actually a common choice because we’re always hearing how, along with dental cleanings, it adds an extra boost of preventative protection to your smile by helping guard against tooth decay, dental plaque, gingivitis, and in particular, bad breath.
However, deciding between a mouthwash with alcohol and mouthwash without it can be a hard thing to do. If you are still unsure which type of mouthwash is really better for you, never fear—your dental professionals are here!
Mouthwash Containing Alcohol
One thing is for sure, you’ll know that you’ve gotten a mouthwash containing alcohol when you gargle with it. It brings a slight burning sensation, which always seems to tell your brain, “Ah, it’s working.” And in fact, many people associate the burning sensation of alcohol with the act of cleaning the mouth. And while it might feel that way, it is important to note that the quality and active ingredients make all the difference, not the amount of discomfort involved when you gargle your mouthwash.
And while alcohol can certainly kill superficial oral bacteria, it still can’t reach the harmful bacteria deep beneath the gum line.
So even though the amount of alcohol in mouthwash tends to be small, it can still cause harm to the soft tissues in your mouth. It is also important to note that alcohol is a drying agent. Because of this, using mouthwash with alcohol can lower the amount of healthy saliva levels being produced and in some cases, even eliminated (aka dry mouth). By now you’ve probably heard us talk about the importance of healthy saliva levels for a healthier mouth.
That’s because our mouths need saliva to flush out the bad bacteria and for our breath to stay “fresh”, which basically means that the lack of saliva production can cause not only bad breath but cavities too, and nobody wants that.
Mouthwash That Does Not Contain Alcohol
Mouthwash that does not contain alcohol actually allows the mouth to continue producing healthy levels of saliva and therefore contributes to the cleanliness and freshness of your mouth in the long run. This is the key to good mouthwash!
Here’s an extra tip for better oral health; consider looking for a mouthwash with fluoride in it as an active ingredient that can help keep your teeth strong while also minimizing tooth sensitivity.
Another advantage of alcohol-free mouthwash is that it is also safer for your dental fillings and restorations. Studies have repeatedly shown that alcohol-free mouthwash is more beneficial for the gloss, color, hardness, and wear and tear of dental restorations.
Dr. James D. Powell says that “Ultimately, the number one defense is always going to be flossing and brushing.” If you really want to maximize results, he recommends using a Hydrofloss flossing system followed by a Sonicare toothbrush with a prescription fluoride toothpaste. This combination, used daily, is the ultimate in tooth and gum protection for a healthier, fresh-smelling smile.
A lot of people use mouthwash out of habit, but it isn’t generally necessary to maintain a healthy smile. In fact, the need to use mouthwash could be an indication of a larger issue going on. But if you still want to use a mouthwash, turning to a non-alcohol mouthwash for occasional use is the best bet when deciding to go with alcohol or sans-alcohol mouthwash overall.
Call To Learn More!
We hope this helps you feel more confident about your mouth and breath, so you can smile with ease. We welcome you to contact our Exceptional Dentistry team today to learn more about healthier products you can use at home to boost your oral health. You can schedule a visit with our office in Palmdale, California and use your end-of-year dental benefits. Please don’t hesitate to ask us about your concerns as our exceptional dentist, Dr. James D. Powell and our team are thrilled to answer any questions you may have!