Alcohol-Free or Alcohol-Based Mouthwash: Which Is Better?


Many dentists recommend that you use mouthwash as your daily oral hygiene routine. However, knowing the right kind of mouthwash for your needs can be confusing with so many types on the market. One of the most prominent questions that gets asked is whether or not to use an alcohol based mouthwash. There are pros and cons to alcohol-free and alcohol based mouthwash which leads to the question: which is better?

Benefits of Alcohol-Free Mouthwash

Alcohol-free mouthwash does not contain ethanol. The ethanol, or alcohol as most people refer to it, typically creates the burning sensation in your mouth. It may also leave you with a poor taste and a dry mouth. When you choose to use an alcohol-free mouthwash, you can avoid these things. For people who suffer from dry mouth, the answer to which kind of mouthwash to use is evident. Alcohol-free mouthwash allows them to get the benefits of mouthwash without making their dry mouth symptoms worse in the process. For someone who has a history of alcohol problems, it is also an excellent thing to consider using alcohol-free mouthwash, so they are not triggered to begin using alcohol again. For everyone else, however, some studies have been published that show that alcohol-free mouthwash may be better for the ideal color, gloss, and hardness of teeth.

Benefits of Mouthwash with Alcohol

Long before alcohol-free mouthwash was introduced to the market, the only available option was an alcohol based option. Alcohol based mouthwash does a better job of killing off bacteria in your mouth. The one downside to this, however, is that it kills off all bacteria, even the good kind. There are even some theories that have shown that alcohol-based mouthwash can lead to oral sores or even oral cancer. None of these allegations have yet to be proven so it may not cause them but it has led to some source of concern among dentists and other professionals in the field. At the very least, however, alcohol based mouthwashes do what they claim to do: kill bacteria in the mouth. The other components, which are still theories can cause some concern for people who are looking for the best option.

How to Choose the Right Option for You

As of right now, there is nothing scientific that says alcohol-based mouthwash is unhealthy and causes cancer. However, since it is a concern, it is best to air on the side of caution and choose an alcohol-free mouthwash that cleans just as well but does not pose any potential threats to your oral health. If you have an alcohol problem or suffer from dry mouth, the answer is clear. For others, it may not be as clear of an answer until there are more detailed findings of the real effects of alcohol-free mouthwash. It is best to discuss this topic with your dentist if you are genuinely concerned about which option is better for your specific needs.

Everyone is different, and their oral needs are different. Being educated on your options allows you to make better decisions when it comes to which kind of mouthwash you should use. Once you have narrowed it down to a category, the next step is choosing which kind of mouthwash (whitening, deep cleaning, etc.) will help you maintain your oral health or help you achieve a better clean or look for your teeth. Right now, there is no wrong answer, but you should still make an educated decision.

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