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Many patients go the extra mile in their dental hygiene routine by not only brushing and flossing but also rinsing with mouthwash. Mouthwash is an excellent way to retain a fresh mouth and flush out lingering oral bacteria that could cause decay, gum disease and bad breath. However, there are many mouthwash options to choose from. While brands and flavors are countless, mouthwash can be broken down into two main types: alcohol-based and alcohol-free.

Alcohol-based mouthwash has raised some concerns when to comes to health and safety. Yet, many patients question whether the alcohol-free versions are just as powerful and effective. Here is some better insight as to why most dentists recommend going alcohol-free with your mouthwash.

The Dangers of Alcohol-Based Mouthwash

Not all mouthwashes are created equal. Alcohol-based mouthwash comes with specific dangers that can threaten your oral health. A concerning risk is oral cancer, although the evidence is not yet clear. Mouthwash that contains a significantly high amount of alcohol can bathe your oral tissues for up to 60 seconds or more as you swish the liquid around in your mouth. In turn, this could mean you are also introducing a large amount of powerful carcinogens into your oral cavity. The research behind the risk of oral cancer and alcohol-based mouthwash is not clear-cut, but the concern certainly grows the more you use the mouthwash. A study in Australia reported that using this type of mouthwash more than three times a day puts you at a significantly increased risk of developing oral cancer.

It has also been shown that alcohol-based mouthwash could contribute to ulcers and damage to fillings. In addition, mouthwash that has alcohol is not safe or recommended for certain people groups, including children, diabetics and people undergoing chemotherapy. If there are individuals living in your home that should not use alcohol-based mouthwash, it may be wiser to choose an alcohol-free option instead.

Alcohol-Free Mouthwash Is Effective

Alcohol-free mouthwash is proven to maintain the natural balance of saliva that is necessary to flush out bacteria. Many rely on a combination of essential oils and fluoride to kill bacteria, protect your enamel and keep your gums healthy. There are several varieties of safe, alcohol-free mouthwash products to choose from, such as Listerine Zero or Listerine Total Care Zero.

Before Choosing a Mouthwash

It can be very beneficial to check with your dentist before you purchase a mouthwash and use it every day. You may be a candidate for a prescription mouthwash that treats bad breath or periodontal disease. At Crabapple Dental, we like to advise patients on oral care products based on their unique needs and concerns. Contact us today to learn more about keeping your smile safe and healthy between dental visits!

Posted on behalf of Crabapple Dental

12670 Crabapple Road, #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004

Phone: (678) 319-0123


Monday: 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Thursday: 7:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Friday: 7:30 AM – 3:00 PM

Our Patient Reviews

Crabapple Dental

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 43 reviews

Aly C.

This dental practice is a gem! The front desk staff are kind, efficient and welcoming. I was pleasantly surprised at the clinical staff’s fantastic bedside manner. Everything was explained in advance and this was very appreciated. My teeth have never felt better! Love, love, love the hygienist that worked with me. She is a rockstar. Thank you to the whole gang!

Caitlin G.

I've been going to Crabapple dental for many years and I can honestly say Dr. Roberts and her team are by far the best. It's hard to find a good dentist that takes the time to get to know you and truly cares about your health. I knew Dr. Roberts was special when she filled a few cavities for me, then called me later that night to make sure I was ok. I feel at home when I'm there and they always treat me so well. Kelly is so wonderful! She takes her time and makes going to the dentist an easy task. I never stress about going because I know she'll take care of me. She is so pleasant and efficient; truly the best experience and I leave feeling great. Both Kelly and Dr. Roberts are so gentle and that is the most important thing to me. Dr. Roberts has the most updated equipment and beautiful office to give the best experience. I travel from downtown to see them because they are the best! Don't hesitate to make an appointment; you won't be disappointed!!

Kim B.

This is by far the most customer focused dental practice I’ve ever experienced. Starting with Dr Roberts and her entire staff! Immediately I felt I was a priority and my anxiety slowly disappeared. She has state of the art technology and is a pleasure to work with!! She contacted me after hours to check on me after certain procedures!! Highly recommend!!!! A very warm and nurturing environment!!

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logo Crabapple Dental Alpharetta, GA

Crabapple Dental

12670 Crabapple Road, #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004

(678) 319-0123