Your mouth rinse is probably more than just a breath-freshener. Mouthwashes typically contain multiple ingredients that contribute to healthy teeth and gums.
However beneficial and minty-fresh your mouthwash may be, there is a big reason it may be drying you out.
Why There’s Alcohol in Mouth Rinse
Many kinds of mouthwash contain a high concentration of alcohol (ethanol, specifically).
This kind of alcohol makes for a powerful immediate disinfectant. It’s also an emulsifier, which helps keep the oil-based ingredients in the solution well mixed with the water.
Unfortunately, alcohol isn’t always the best thing for delicate oral tissues.
Alcohol-Free Mouthwash Alternatives
Alcohol is very drying, which can leave you feeling even worse if you already suffer from dry mouth, sores, or a burning sensation in your mouth. Some studies even suggest that alcohol-containing rinses can gradually damage tooth-colored dental restorations.
The good news is that there are plenty mouthwash formulations that don’t contain drying alcohol.
Just look for one that’s clearly marked “alcohol-free,” “zero,” “zero-alcohol,” and the like. You can get some suggestions and even some free samples from your dentist or dental hygienist.
Whichever kind of mouthwash you choose, remember that none are a replacement for daily brushing and flossing. Your rinse should be an adjunct or complement to your usual plaque removal routine.
Still searching for that perfect rinse that doesn’t dry out your mouth but still meets your oral health needs? Schedule a dental health checkup and oral hygiene consultation at your dentist’s office.
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