If you use mouthwash with any regularity, then it's possible you've been doing your mouth a disservice. You see, many of the cheaper and less effective rinses out there contain loads of alcohol, which can actually lead to bad breath rather than eliminating it. The secret, then, is to stick to a specialty alcohol-free mouthwash when you have halitosis.
Take a look at the label on the back of an alcohol-based rinse. See the section at the top that says "active ingredients"? What does it list? If you're holding an average mouthwash, it will probably contain substances like thymol, benzalkonium chloride, methylparaben or eucalyptol, usually in concentrations of less than 1 percent.
Notice anything odd about this list? It doesn't contain alcohol! In fact, you'll have to glance down to the inactive ingredients list to find alcohol listed at all.
So how can the alcohol in mouthwash - which is usually found in a 40 percent concentration - not be an active ingredient? Because it doesn't freshen breath at all.
Essentially, alcohol is little more than filler. It gives cheap mouthwashes a tang or "bite" that makes them feel like they're working, even when they're not. This is the same reason that inferior mouthwashes come loaded with FD&C Blue dye no. 2 (the same stuff used to dye blue jeans) - namely, it makes the product look like it will work, even though it won't.
In fact, at 40 percent concentration (equal to about 80-proof vodka), alcohol does little more than dry out your palate and allow bacteria to multiply.
So rather than dealing a serious blow to your fresh breath, use a specialty alcohol-free mouthwash. That way, you can be sure that you're neutralizing odors and keeping your palate moist.