Mouthwash: The Best Health Benefits—And Dangers

Mouthwash, also called “oral rinse” or “mouth rinse,” typically contains antibacterial ingredients to clean between your teeth, as well as other ingredients that give it a flavor. Some types of mouthwash contain alcohol as an inactive ingredient, while others are alcohol-free. For some people, mouthwash can have some unpleasant side effects. These side effects may outweigh the benefits of using an over-the-counter oral rinse as part of your everyday routine. Other people have expressed concerns over some of the chemical dyes and flavors in certain brands of mouthwash.

What do mouthwashes do?

As the name suggests, mouthwashes are supposed to be used to clean your mouth. However, many people believe that mouthwashes are much more than that. They’re supposed to protect and even rejuvenate your pearly whites. There is a bit of confusion on this topic, as some people consider mouthwash to be a mouthwash, not an oral rinse. An oral rinse is a liquid product, while a mouthwash is usually a liquid that contains the active ingredients of a toothpaste. Toilet bowl cleaning: Baking soda: Baking soda is considered a natural tooth whitener that acts as a cavity-fighting buffer by neutralizing acid. Some research suggests that baking soda can whiten your teeth when mixed with apple cider vinegar.

The Benefits of Mouthwash

Mouthwash can be used to clean between your teeth, but it can also be used to rinse away food, bacteria, and all kinds of debris from inside your mouth. Mouthwash can be very effective in removing unwanted food particles from between your teeth and gums. Most mouthwashes can also be used to exfoliate, so it can help get rid of the buildup of dead skin cells. Some mouthwashes, especially the over-the-counter varieties, contain alcohol. For this reason, some people don’t like mouthwashes with alcohol. For those who like to use alcohol-free mouthwashes, though, alcohol may still be present in a lot of them, which means it may leave a bitter aftertaste in your mouth. Studies have shown mouthwash is a good way to reduce the bacteria and tartar that build up in between your teeth.

Side Effects of Mouthwash

To be on the safe side, always talk with your doctor or dentist before you use any mouthwash. Some mouthwash ingredients can irritate your mouth. Some people have experienced some unpleasant side effects. The side effects may include: Short-term: Mouth irritation. Pain in the mouth. Fever. Loss of appetite. Loss of water. Severe stomach ache. Redness of the mouth. Long-term: Dental cavities, if swallowed. Digestive problems. Dry mouth. Upset stomach. Burns in the mouth. Skin rashes. Body aches. Skin rash. Infertility. Bone thinning. Joint pain. Nausea. Insomnia. Peripheral neuropathy. Vascular, autoimmune, and neurodegenerative problems. Heart problems. Many people are aware that “nightcap” drinks have been known to cause cancer.

Are there any benefits to alcohol-free mouthwash?

Tylenol (acetaminophen) – Side effect: dizziness Chocolate – Side effect: vomiting Diet soda – Side effect: diarrhea Listerine – Side effect: teeth discoloration Listerine Fresh Mint – Side effect: gum disease Listerine Vapor Spray – Side effect: allergic reaction Listerine Mouthwash – Side effect: mouth burning, difficulty swallowing, mouth soreness Listerine Menstrual Pack – Side effect: dandruff, flaking skin, oily skin Raisin Bran – Side effect: constipation Surprisingly, some of the most popular brands of mouthwash are alcohol-free, including: Listerine Original Spray Listerine Total Care Listerine Active Listerine Slimed Electric Listerine Cool Mint Rinse thoroughly Mouthwash will make your mouth feel clean, but it will only get to that point.


The best way to get healthy breath is to avoid drinking alcohol. This will get you in the habit of brushing and flossing your teeth before bed and when you wake up. By incorporating this routine, you will stay on top of all the issues that impact your oral health. If you do drink, drink in moderation. Also, avoid smoking, chewing tobacco, and biting your lips—all of which can contribute to bad breath. According to the article, having bad breath is usually caused by excessive plaque buildup on your teeth. The quickest and most effective way to get rid of this buildup is by brushing your teeth twice a day with an electric toothbrush, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist at least twice a year.

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