You brush and floss your teeth regularly, but you decide to add a little something extra to your oral hygiene routine. Mouthwash is a common choice, as it’s said to add extra protection to your smile by helping guard against decay, plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath.
However, deciding between a mouthwash with alcohol and mouthwash without can be a hard thing to do. If you are unsure which type of mouthwash is really better for you, never fear—your dental professionals are here!
Mouthwash Containing Alcohol
You’ll know that you’ve gotten a mouthwash that contains alcohol when you gargle with it. It’s the one with that slight burning sensation, which always seems to tell your brain, “Ah, it’s working.” Many people associate the burning sensation of the alcohol as the act of cleaning the mouth.
However, it is important to note that quality, active ingredients make the difference, not the amount of discomfort involved when you gargle.
And while the alcohol can kill superficial bacteria, it can’t reach the harmful bacteria deep beneath the gum line.
Even though the amount of alcohol in mouthwash is small, it can 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 cause the amount of saliva being produced to be reduced or even eliminated (aka dry mouth).
Our mouths need saliva to flush out bacteria and to stay fresh, simply meaning that the lack of saliva production can cause bad breath and cavities.
Mouthwash That Does Not Contain Alcohol
Mouthwash that does not contain alcohol allows the mouth to continue producing saliva, therefore contributing to the cleanliness and freshness of your mouth in the long run. This is a key to good mouthwash.
Looking for a mouthwash with fluoride as an ingredient can assist in keeping your teeth strong and help minimize tooth sensitivity.
Another advantage of alcohol-free mouthwash is that it is safer for your dental fillings and restorations. Studies show that alcohol-free mouthwash is more beneficial for the gloss, color, hardness, and wear of 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 followed by a Sonicare toothbrush with prescription fluoride toothpaste.
A lot of people use mouthwash out of habit, but it isn’t necessary to maintain a healthy smile. In fact, the need to use mouthwash could be an indication of a larger issue. But a non-alcohol mouthwash for occasional use is the best bet when deciding to go with an alcohol or sans alcohol mouthwash.
Feel free to contact Exceptional Dentistry today to learn more about products that you can use at home to benefit your oral health. Schedule a visit with our office in Palmdale, California. Dr. James D. Powell and our team are thrilled to answer any questions you may have!