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Brushing twice daily is something most people do. And if it’s up to the dentist, flossing we also floss daily and also add mouthwash to our routine to keep our mouth clean for longer, with the added benefit of breath that is fresh for longer. However, not everyone is a fan of mouthwash, with some even abandoning it because they used to dislike the burning sensation contained in alcohol-based mouthwash. Nowadays, there is also alcohol-free mouthwash on the market, but does it work just as well or even better?
Mouthwash helps to gently rinse away food debris and other dirt, so it is ideal after brushing, especially for the places in your mouth that you can’t reach with your toothbrush. It also reduces the number of bacteria in your mouth. These do not like alcohol very much. Buying alcoholic mouthwash then? Better not, because the alcohol also kills the good bacteria and it affects your mouth tissues, drying them out. There are also mouthwash products without alcohol. Like oil pulling. These make your mouth just as clean and fresh without disturbing the natural balance of your oral flora.
Not even that long ago, almost every dentist and dental hygienist recommended the use of mouthwash, which means that mouthwash with alcohol is not necessarily very bad when used briefly. But why choose that when you can do much better, like alcohol-free! The joys, not the burdens. Why should you choose alcohol? In the long run, your mouth will like it better anyway.
If the best mouthwash is alcohol-free, why do manufacturers put it in anyway? As with so many things: it’s cheaper. And as long as we keep using it, they keep producing it. Also, alcohol is used to carry ingredients like eucalyptus, to spread it well throughout the bottle. While these are actually substances that make you feel fresh, but do not contribute at all to actually fighting harmful bacteria and even dry out the mouth.
Alcohol can dry out your mouth, and a dry mouth contains less saliva. This can cause bad breath, and bacteria also reproduce more quickly in it, as well as candida infection. In addition, alcohol affects the mucous membranes in your mouth. This is characterised, among other things, by the burning sensation, but is especially harmful in the long term.
Everyone is different and every mouth has different needs. Therefore, which mouthwash is best for you and your mouth is very personal. Fortunately, there is a wide choice of 0% alcohol mouthwash, for example. Ideally, you should choose a mouthwash with active oxygen, aloe vera and zinc lactate. These ingredients have the same action against bacteria as alcohol, but not its side effects. You can also opt for oil pulling, an ancient Ayrvedic method where you cleanse your mouth by rolling a tablespoon of oil through your mouth for a longer period of time.
Frequently asked questions
Which non-alcohol mouthwash is best?
Which alcohol-free mouthwash is best depends partly on your preferences and needs. Whether you rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash, or do oil pulling, it irritates your mouth less than mouthwash with alcohol.
Why does mouthwash contain alcohol?
Alcohol is an excellent cleaning agent and relatively cheap. So it is ideal for mouthwashes! It is also used to include eucalyptus in mouthwash, two ingredients that feel fresh but actually work in favour of bacteria that cause bad breath.
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