Sometimes it's tempting to skip a step or two in your teeth-cleaning routine. Maybe you're too tired to floss, or you just don't feel like swishing with a stinging, alcohol-based rinse. Well, these steps are vital for preventing bad breath, so do them as often as possible. However, you're right about one thing - alcohol-based rinses are no good. Stick to alcohol-free mouthwash, and use it last.
Why is alcohol such a problem? After all, it's in tons of different rinses, isn't it?
It is, but this doesn't make it effective. Alcohol is ostensibly in there to kill bacteria. After all, we swab wounds with alcohol (albeit much stronger stuff) as a way to reduce the amount of microbes that get in. Unfortunately, this technique just doesn't work in the mouth.
The reason is simple: Your mouth is supposed to stay wet all the time. The presence of saliva helps keep harmful bacteria at bay, preventing them from causing tooth decay or halitosis.
When you rinse with an alcohol-based product, you kill quite a few microbes, but not all of them. Those that are left multiply fast, quickly repopulating your mouth with a new, slightly tougher breed of odor-causing germs. And since alcohol dries out oral tissues, these bacteria have fertile ground in which to grow.
To stop the cycle of dryness and odor, consider switching to a specialty alcohol-free mouthwash, one made with organic, all-natural ingredients. These products make life much harder for microbes and much easier for you. An alcohol-free rinse neutralizes odors and kills bacteria, even as it moistens your mouth.
For best results, save the rinse for last. As prosthodontist Michael Lenchner told YouBeauty, this ensures that you rinse away any germs that remain after brushing and flossing.