The search for the best mouthwash for treating bad breath can take you up and down the oral hygiene aisle at the supermarket - and all over the internet, at that. But how are you supposed to know which rinse to choose? And once you've picked it, how can you be sure it's working properly?
Never fear. There are several tip-offs that a mouthwash is (or isn't) cleaning your palate properly. Likewise, in the search for the best mouthwash on the market, it's relatively easy to spot superior specialty products among all the overpriced common brands.
Do you have halitosis? If so, you may be gargling a mouthwash each night in hopes of getting rid of this embarrassing problem. One of the simplest signs that your mouthwash isn't up to snuff is that it just does not do its job - that is, it isn't eliminating your bad breath!
There are several reasons that a common mouthwash can fall down on the job. The likeliest - and yet the least talked about, by mouthwash makers anyway - is alcohol.
That's right. The alcohol in mouthwash not only inhibits its bad-breath-fighting properties but can actually give you halitosis! This isn't for its lack of potency. After all, alcohol works reasonably well to kill oral bacteria, which are like little bad breath factories. No, the reason that alcohol is a mouthwash's Achilles heel is because it leads to dryness.
Alcohol evaporates at a lower temperature than water, which is why rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer dries on surfaces so fast. The same is true for the alcohol in a typical mouthwash - it leaves your mouth drier than before. In this state, your palate is left vulnerable to microbes, which can recolonize your tongue in hours, leaving you stinking once more.
Only specialty, alcohol-free mouthrinses can eliminate oral odor without the use of alcohol. These products typically use all-natural ingredients that kill bacteria by oxygenating your mouth instead of parching it.
Another thing to avoid in a mouthwash is sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS. This chemical is a detergent designed to make a rinse foam. It is also extremely irritating to sensitive mouth tissue. Avoid it at all costs!
To settle on the best mouthwash, choose one that:
- Is alcohol-free
- Is SLS-free
- Contains xylitol
- Uses all-natural ingredients
- Is available as a specialty breath freshener