Using mouthwash is a great way to freshen your breath and cut down on cavities, and you may have noticed that most varieties contain alcohol – that’s why you’ll experience a slight burning sensation when you keep it in your mouth for too long. Alcohol-based mouthwash does have its advantages, but there are also several reasons why you might want to think about switching to an alcohol-free version, and here are just four.
- Alcohol Dries Out Your Mouth
Alcohol dries out the mouth, which is why people suffering from xerostomia (chronic dry mouth) are usually told not to use it. Drying out your mouth might not sound like a huge problem, but that’s only because few people understand how important saliva is for strong oral health. As well as helping to break down our food and lubricate our mouths, saliva contains compounds vital for fighting bacteria and preventing plaque from hardening into tartar. When you dry out your mouth, you rob it of one of its most important natural defences.
- Alcohol is a Potential Irritant
That tingling sensation you feel after using mouthwash can be quite refreshing, unless you have any cuts or sores along your gums. If you do, alcohol will prove a miserable irritant that produces pain every time you use your mouthwash. Even worse, cuts or sores can become inflamed through regular irritation.
- Alcohol is Unsafe for Children
If you have children in the house, you should strongly consider using an alcohol-free mouthwash. Even if you tell your child not to use it, they may still do so. Unfortunately, children are at risk of alcohol poisoning after swallowing even a small amount, so you should remove the risk by replacing your alcohol-based mouthwash with a non-alcoholic alternative.
- Alcohol Destroys Too Much Bacteria
Yes, you read that right. The idea of killing too much bacteria probably sounds odd since we’re taught to believe that all bacteria is bad. In fact, your mouth contains good and bad bacteria. Alcohol destroys it all without discriminating, so using an alcohol-based mouthwash can cause an unhealthy imbalance.