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Is Alcohol-based Mouthwash Bad For Your Teeth?

You probably already know that you should be using a mouthwash if you want to keep your mouth healthy. In addition to stopping bacteria in its tracks, mouthwash does a great job of removing plaque and debris from between your teeth and along your gumline, places you might miss with just brushing and flossing. But does an alcohol-based mouthwash perform better than alcohol-free varieties? And how much of a danger does the alcohol in mouthwash pose? Here’s what you need to know.

Why Mouthwash is a Critical Part of Caring for Your Mouth

Using a daily mouthwash is a great way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Mouthwash can easily slip between teeth and below gums, dislodging hard-to-reach food particles and plaque. Plus, mouthwash is a fantastic way to kill oral bacteria before they have a chance to inflame and infect your gums – making it an effective way to prevent periodontal disease. And if your mouthwash contains fluoride, it can help to prevent cavities by re-mineralizing your teeth. All in all, a good mouthwash plays an integral role in keeping your mouth in great shape.

The Dangers of Alcohol-Based Mouthwash

Although mouthwash is an important part of a good oral care regimen, not all mouthwashes are created equal. Alcohol-based mouthwash poses a variety of dangers that could impact your oral health. First and most concerning, using an alcohol-based mouthwash may put you at an increased risk of developing oral cancer. The extremely high concentration of alcohol in mouthwash and the fact that your mouth is exposed to that alcohol for up to 60 seconds at a time means you may be introducing a high amount of powerful carcinogens into your mouth.

One Australian study found that if you use mouthwash more than three times a day, you’re at a significantly increased risk of developing oral cancer. The research is mixed, but in general, most studies have found at least a slightly increased risk of oral cancer in people who use mouthwash. Some studies have also found that alcohol-based mouthwash can cause ulcers and destroy fillings.

Try These Alcohol-Free Mouthwash Brands

Although alcohol-based mouthwash does pose some risks, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use a mouthwash at all. There are lots of great alcohol-free mouthwashes on the market that can give you all the benefits of mouthwash with none of the risks. Chlorhexidine rinses like Peridex can be useful in treating gum disease. However, chlorhexidine mouthwash can cause stains to develop on your teeth, which is why it’s usually reserved only for people receiving treatment from their dentist for periodontal disease – and why you need a prescription to get it.

For a safe mouthwash you can use every day as part of your regular oral care regimen, try Listerine Zero or Listerine Total Care Zero. These alcohol-free mouthwashes use a combination of essential oils and fluoride to kill bacteria, protect your enamel, and keep your gums healthy.

Alcohol-based mouthwashes can be dangerous, which is why most dentists recommend using an alcohol-free mouthwash. Your dentist can help you to determine whether a standard mouthwash like Listerine Zero is right for you or whether you need a stronger chlorhexidine rinse. To learn more about mouthwashes, or to book an appointment with Dr. Badie and determine what mouthwash is right for you, call Badie Dental at (520) 325-3022.

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Dr. Badie was born and raised abroad but moved to the United States when he was just 19 years old to attend college and earn his dental degree. Dr. Badie completed his undergraduate degree in biology at a California State University before receiving his doctor of dental surgery (DDS) degree at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

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Sharp Barnes
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1 year ago
Well trained staff! It’s always a warm welcome when visiting Dr. Badie. The patients satisfaction is truly a priority here. 10/10 I would recommend.
Shelly Jones
5/5
1 year ago
I am extremely petrified of dentists. Dr Badie was so patient with me, even when I was being a very hard patient. He gave me something to help with my anxiety. I had 8 teeth pulled at once. No pain whatsoever. Even the next day. No swelling, no pain. Even though I will still be scared every appointment, I know he can be trusted to be patient and gentle every step of the way.
Kelly Ann
5/5
2 years ago
I am so so excited to get my teeth fixed this is the best dentist office in Tucson hands down there so nice, not judgemental, And do spectacular work. Rachel is so amazing and so awesome she has been nothing but helpful and a delight to deal with. Everything about this experience getting my teeth fixed so far has been perfect now that I found this dentist office. While Most of the other places I had gone were unwilling to actually help me and were very judge mental of me because of my situation and needing to get my entire mouth restored after using drugs for 20 years, even after getting clean and saving up money I was still treated with such disrespect it was like disgusting and I am so grateful for Rachel and Dr. Badie & their team For being so compassionate and professional and fur doing all that they can to help me thank you guys so much you’re so amazing I hope that other people find & choose you so that you can help them too! I will forever be grateful to you guys And I’m so blessed to have found you thank you
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5/5
2 years ago
I have been going to Dr Badie for about 3+ years for my cleaning. All his staff are AWESOME! Everyone is so nice and professional. I had my cleaning and filling done, and it was painless. Thank you all for making my teeth beautiful as always!
Richard Nordenberg
5/5
2 years ago
I’ve had a few good Dentists over many years but Dr. Badie’s office is by far the best and most pleasant to visit. Hard decisions are easier to make with their advice and council that can be trusted. He and his entire staff could not be better trained and professional in their work and office manner. It may sound a bit much but this is true, both my wife and I look forward to our appointments as the pleasant experiences they are. There should be 6 stars….Make that 7!
larissa bos
5/5
2 years ago
I received excellent dental care from Dr. Badie and his very friendly and efficient assistant Diane. Dr. Badie is very competent, detailed, compassionate, and thoroughly explains recommended treatment. His staff made me feel comfortable and welcome. Wonderful experience, highly recommended!
Irene Meza
5/5
2 years ago
I can’t say enough about Dr. Badie and his team. Samantha is the first person to see when you walk in the door, she’s warm and very comforting. She explains everything you need to know regarding your insurance and also the procedures. Angelica is the lead assistant she’s kept me informed as to what will be done as far as the procedure during my dental appointment. She was also very comforting and knowledgeable. Dr. Badie made me feel extremely at ease. I’ve never been to a dentist office where everyone made me feel so welcome and comfortable. Going to the dentist is definitely not somewhere you want to go but with Dr Badie he made all my worries go away. My teeth need a lot of work and he assured me he can make my teeth look amazing again. There’s no words to describe how blessed I am to be seen by Dr. Badie. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!! I would definitely recommend this place!! 💓
Sabastian Rodriguez
5/5
2 years ago
Today I went in for my first check up.The whole staff was amazing. Dentist Badie really does care. He took his time with me to develop a plan with my teeth. I felt such a relief when he said that my teeth can be saved. Now myself I do not have insurance but the way they broke everything down made it super affordable for me. This place Is definitely worth it.

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