Woman holding mouthwash

When modern mouthwash was first invented, it contained alcohol that stabilized the mixture & helped fight germs & bacteria. Today, some mouthwashes use alternative ingredients in place of alcohol. So what’s the difference?

Alcohol-Based Mouthwash

People have been rinsing their mouths with a variety of solutions for thousands of years, but modern mouthwash was invented in the 1800s, when people started using alcohol to stabilize the mixtures & help fight germs & bacteria. One of the most popular mouthwash brands today, Listerine, was actually originally created to be used as an antiseptic for surgery & to clean floors. Because of their effectiveness, alcohol-based solutions soon became very popular for people to use to clean & rinse their mouths. 

Even today, most mouthwashes you see at the store probably contain alcohol, & alcohol-based solutions continue to be a popular choice for mouthwash users.

Alcohol-Free Mouthwash

However, many mouthwashes today use alternative ingredients to stabilize the mixture while still fighting germs that can cause plaque & gingivitis. Part of the reason alcohol-free mouthwash is becoming more popular is that alcohol can irritate some people’s mouths, especially if they suffer from dry mouth. 

Additionally, mouthwash solutions continue to evolve in other ways to be more effective for users. Many companies now produce mouthwashes that are specifically designed to get rid of & prevent stains on the teeth, & some also produce solutions that take extra measures to avoid irritating more sensitive mouths. Some mouthwashes even contain fluoride to help strengthen enamel & prevent tooth decay. 

No matter which mouthwash you choose, be sure to keep up with your daily brushing & flossing! If you have any questions about what kind of mouthwash you should use, talk to your dentist. They’ll be able to give you great advice on how to improve your oral hygiene routine & keep your mouth healthy!

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