A wall sconce in the hallway of our dental practice


Many people believe that what one mouthwash does, so do they all. That’s actually pretty close to the truth. With some variation in taste and color being the main difference between them, most mouthwash products use the same ingredients.

But what do they do?

It is bacteria that causes bad breath and one bacteria-killing substance is alcohol. So, you would naturally believe that that being the case, alcohol would be a pretty good way of clearing up bad breath, right?

Believe it or not, the answer to that, actually is no. The bacteria that causes bad breath (or halitosis), thrives best when it is in an environment that has less oxygen.  Did you know that saliva is rich in oxygen? Therefore bacteria is actually held in check to some degree with saliva present in your mouth.

When we use mouthwash that contains alcohol, we set ourselves up for dehydration which leads to less oxygen, which in turn leads to more odor-producing bacteria being produced. So when we use mouthwash that contains alcohol, we are increasing our odds for bad breath.

Yes, you will kill germs on contact, no doubt. But once the mouthwash is gone, the bacteria will return and in many cases, it will return stronger than before.

The answer is to use a product that does not contain alcohol. Non-alcohol based mouthwashes are also safer for the elderly and for our children. Most importantly, these products inhibit the growth of new bacteria that causes bad breath (that we all want to avoid), and it’s much gentler on the taste buds as well.

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