WARNING, mouthwash can CAUSE bad breath!
If I just shocked you, I’m sorry, but it’s better that you know, right?
MOST conventional mouthwashes like Listerine and Scope are packed FULL of ingredients that actually CAUSE bad breath and cavities!
So, let’s talk about some of the ingredients you SHOULD know:
1. Alcohol Conventional mouthwashes contain about 26% alcohol, in the form of #ethanol. This is actually a higher percentage than what’s found in beer, and the alcohol is what causes drying of the mouth. A dry mouth can then lead to worsened bad breath, sloughing of the skin on the inside of your cheeks, and an overly acidic pH in your mouth—all of which interfere with remineralization.
2. Chlorine Dioxide- defined by the CDC as a “hazardous gas,” chlorine dioxide is a bleaching agent and antibacterial compound used in mouthwash to help whiten teeth. It’s also used to treat public water supplies in very small doses.
3. Chlorhexidine- the most common reaction is contact dermatitis, but, in rare cases, some people can go into anaphylactic shock when exposed to it.
4. Cocamidopropyl Betaine- a surfactant that may cause contact dermatitis allergic reactions. The EWG rates it as a “moderate hazard” as an ingredient.
5. Parabens- endocrine disruptors that may also impact and encourage allergic reactions.
6. Poloxamer 407 – a detergent ingredient in mouthwash is known to cause hyperlipidemia in animals, although human research is unclear whether the impact extends to humans.
7. Formaldehyde – YES, you read that right—the stuff used to embalm bodies is found in many mouthwashes. Dangers indlude skin reactions, elevated cancer risk, respiration problems, and multi-system shutdown.
8. Saccharin (or other artificial sweeteners)- some sources suggest it’s a potential cancer risk, while others suggest it has no traceable health drawbacks. At any rate, I personally try to stick to only the healthiest natural and non-nutritive (zero-calorie) sweeteners, such as stevia, #xylitol, or monkfruit.