Besides water and sweeteners such as sorbitol and sodium saccharine, many commercial brands of mouthwash include other active ingredients such as eucalyptol, hexetidine, thymol, hydrogen peroxide, methyl salicylate, enzymes, fluoride and calcium. Many brands of mouthwash such as Scope or Listerine contain from 6.6% to 26.9% of alcohol, more than beer or wine [Pediatrics for Parents, March 1993]. These formulations rely on a high alcohol content to temporarily kill bacteria that causes bad breath. This is almost counterproductive since antiseptic mouthwashes with high alcohol content may lead to dry mouth, which makes you more prone to bad breath than a moist mouth; and if swallowed may be dangerous, especially for children. Drinking plenty of water can be important in treating unpleasant mouth odors.
No matter what type of mouthwash you choose, you should rinse for the amount of time stated on the product. Avoid using mouthwash in excess of the recommended amount or frequency. Mouthwashes or rinses should not take the place of daily tooth brushing and flossing, which are essential to remove particles of food on and between teeth. Mouthwash, when used appropriately, is used to kill bacteria that cause bad breath and gingivitis. No mouthwash is capable of killing the bacteria that causes gum disease.
Second-generation products such as TheraBreath and Closys II use odor-eliminators, typically oxidizers, such as zinc ion technology to eliminate bad breath immediately, but don’t prevent new bad breath from developing.
A third-generation mouthwash, SmartMouth uses a patented odor-eliminating zinc ion technology to neturalize the bacteria that causes bad breath and prevent it from recurring. SmartMouth’s zinc ion technology was invented and patented at the Dental Medicine program at the State University of New York, Stonybrook.
This two-bottle mouthwash system, when used twice daily as directed, has been clinically proven to reduce chronic bad-breath, keeping breath fresh twenty-four hours a day and even eliminating morning breath.
Call the office and ask us about alcohol-free alternative mouthwashes. The good news is that there are plenty of alcohol-free mouthwashes available in your local drugstores today!