It is essential to know that mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing your teeth
6 February 2020| Last updated on 6 February 2020
When it comes to selecting a mouthwash, there's more to think about than you realise.
We've all seen the adverts... "In just 30 seconds your mouth will be healthy, free of bad bacteria, and you'll have a breath smelling like wonders!" But this isn't always the full story.
Apart from a great marketing campaign, commercial brands of mouthwash can in fact make our oral and dental health issues even worse. Firstly, it is essential to know that mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing your teeth, and the promises of a speedy choice using a mouthwash can't always live up to the claims issued in paid ads and on labels.
But what does science tell us? A 2019 study conducted by the Forsyth Institute, Cambridge, MA in the USA underlines that conventional dental science does not agree with the significance of mouthwash.
"In comparison with conventional broad-spectrum mouthwashes, remodelling of the dental plaque community is likely to have unique benefits, as the surviving, intact community is suitable for preventing the reinfections by pathogens."
Simply put, it means that the mouthwash and the commercial options out there for preventing and healing dental issues do not work the way they should work – except for a few selected options.
Problems with commercial mouthwash
Many manufacturers are aware of the acidic and low pH levels their brands carry. The acidic mouthwash (with a pH below 5.5) has a potential erosive and demineralisation effect on the enamel. That can result in significant problems such as:
- Wreck the oral microbiome
- Dry out your mouth
- Don’t prevent the bad breath
Mouthwash ingredients to avoid
As we have seen, a lot of mouthwashes can result in several issues, basically due to the ingredients presented in them. Some of those ingredients are:
- High levels of alcohol
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine
- Poloxamer 407
- High levels of chloride dioxide
The best mouthwashes to buy
Using mouthwash is not a mandatory step of our oral routine as long as mechanical cleaning is done (the brush and the floss), unless your dentist or dental hygienist detected gingivitis or periodontitis. However, if you are missing the “ocean breeze freshness” in your mouth, some mouthwashes can have a positive effect on your oral cavity.
Here are some different selections of mouthwashes having a basic pH level that does not have an erosive effect on the enamel:
- CariFree CT x 3 Rinse (8.33 pH)
- TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse (8.2 pH)
- Periosciences Antioxidant Oral Care System (7.75 pH)
- ACT Anti-cavity Fluoride Rinse (7.95 pH)
- The Original Activated Dual-Solution Breath Rinse (7.11 pH)
These mouthwash selections can be found in pharmaceutical and organic healthy retailers. You may also find them on online platforms such as Amazon.
Next time you are out shopping for a mouthwash, ask your dentist for advice or try to research before jumping on the commercial train.
All information mentioned here is supported by scientific evidence.