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.
Furthermore, chronic dry mouth can lead to discomfort, difficulties in speaking and swallowing, and an increased risk of dental problems like cavities and gum disease. So, if you’re using mouthwash regularly to promote oral health, the alcohol content could be counterproductive. In case you are planning to use an alcohol-based mouthwash, it would be a good idea to contact a dentist offering preventative treatment greenwood (or wherever you live) as they can guide you on which mouthwash would be the best for your specific needs.
- 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.
Child safety is paramount when it comes to household products, and many alcohol-based mouthwashes contain concentrations of alcohol that can be harmful if ingested, even in small quantities. Young children may not understand the difference between mouthwash and other beverages, making it essential to have a child-friendly, alcohol-free option available.
- 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.
If you ever find yourself in this situation, it becomes immensely important to visit an emergency dentist near you and receive appropriate treatment before the condition worsens.
In addition to irritating existing mouth sores, alcohol-based mouthwash may cause discomfort or a burning sensation for some people, which can be unpleasant and discouraging them from using mouthwash as part of their oral hygiene routine. This can lead to inconsistent oral care practices, potentially increasing the risk of dental issues.
- 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.
Maintaining a balanced oral microbiome is crucial for good oral health. Your mouth naturally harbors various types of bacteria, some of which are beneficial and help control the growth of harmful bacteria. When you use an alcohol-based mouthwash, it can disrupt this balance by killing off both good and bad bacteria, potentially allowing harmful bacteria to proliferate and increase the risk of oral health issues.
In conclusion, while alcohol-based mouthwash can effectively combat bad breath and bacteria, it comes with potential downsides, such as drying out the mouth, irritating oral sores, posing risks to children, and disrupting the natural balance of oral bacteria. Choosing an alcohol-free mouthwash may be a safer and more comfortable option for many individuals, especially those with specific oral health concerns or households with children. Remember to consult with your dentist or oral healthcare professional to determine the most suitable mouthwash for your unique needs.