Mouthwash is viewed as a useful step in oral hygiene, but on its own is not that effective. It is recommended for use in combination with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing. But what is in mouthwash, and is it safe? The purpose of mouthwash is to kill the bacteria that cause bad breath and tooth decay, with common ingredients being fluoride and alcohol. However, some people are concerned about these ingredients and prefer to avoid them, which necessitates looking for a mouthwash that is alcohol- and fluoride-free.
Why might you want to avoid alcohol and fluoride in mouthwash? While fluoride is considered an essential part of fighting tooth decay, it is considered toxic if ingested, and although scientists argue that it is safe, there is a school of thought that says the opposite. Some people therefore feel safer avoiding fluoride altogether, or minimising their exposure to it. And as is the case with cosmetics, alcohol can be drying in mouthwash and cause irritation.
Should you prefer to use fluoride-free and non-alcoholic mouthwash products, there are plenty to choose from – here are three examples:
Nature’s Answer PerioBrite Alcohol-Free Mouthwash
This product contains herbal oils including eucalyptus and peppermint, and is made from all natural ingredients. It is suitable for vegetarians and anyone with a soy allergy or gluten intolerance. The product is also free from SLS, a foaming agent which can cause irritation to sensitive people, and also contains no artificial sweeteners or artificial preservatives.
Oral Essentials fluoride-free Mouthwash
Many people use mouthwash to combat bad breath, so if your breath is less than fragrant here’s an alcohol- and fluoride-free mouthwash you can try. In fact, it’s free of lots of other irritating nasties like formaldehyde (which can cause allergies), and the artificial sweeteners saccharine and sucralose. These potentially harmful ingredients are replaced with natural alternatives like Dead Sea Salt, essential oils, and aloe vera. Essential oils are known for their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties as well as smelling delightful.
JASON Powersmile Mouthwash, Cinnamon Powermint
Another product that’s free from alcohol, saccharine and gluten is this one. The ingredients include essentials oils (cinnamon, peppermint and clove), sea salts, and grapefruit seed extract. All these ingredients will freshen your mouth without making it dry and sore like alcohol can!
It’s wise to talk to your dentist about whether or not you should avoid these ingredients, and do plenty of research so that you are well informed on the subject. But if you conclude that you would rather use a mouthwash that’s free from alcohol and fluoride, there are a number of more natural alternatives available, although you may have to order these products online or buy them from a health food store.