6 Myths about Switching to Natural Mouthwash

By Sher Warkentin in Natural Products

Mouthwash can be a useful complement to your regular oral health care routine, but are all mouthwash products made the same? You might be concerned that a mouthwash made with naturally derived ingredients doesn't leave your mouth feeling clean or provide the same abilities to fight bad breath germs as a conventional one. Discover the clean truth behind these five myths about natural mouthwash.

Myth 1: It's Not Effective

Natural mouthwash can be just as effective as conventional types. As the American Dental Association (ADA) explains, there are two types of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwashes temporarily control odor. Therapeutic mouthwashes utilize active ingredients to help control or reduce issues like bad breath, gingivitis, plaque, and tooth decay. While not all natural mouthwash is categorized as therapeutic, some are. Both natural and conventional mouthwashes that are considerd therapeutic are designed to freshen your breath and help keep your mouth healthy.

The differences between them are often the ingredients and how they are derived. Naturally derived ingredients, such as essential oils and fluoride, which are found in some natural mouthwashes, have properties that help to control plaque and prevent tooth decay, according to the ADA.

Natural mouthwash is just as effective as conventional types.

Myth 2: It Contains Preservatives and Artificial Flavors

Preservatives play an important role in preventing the growth of mold and microbes in personal care products such as mouthwash. The good news is they can often be derived from natural sources. For example, benzoic acid, which acts as a preservative, can be found naturally in many foods and plants, such as apples and cinnamon leaf and bark.

As for sweeteners, they too can come from a variety of sources, including naturally sourced and derived ingredients. Xylitol, which can be used as a sweetener in natural mouthwash, is found in plants, fruits, and vegetables. Natural oils derived from mint and other plants can also be used to give mouthwash its flavor.

Myth 3: It Doesn't Prevent Cavities

Sodium fluoride, which is naturally derived from the mineral fluorspar, is an active ingredient found in many natural mouthwashes. Fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel on your teeth by enhancing the remineralization of potential weak spots and minimizing the demineralization of tooth enamel.

Naturally derived sodium fluoride is one of three types of fluoride recognized by the Food and Drug Administration to help prevent dental cavities, and research has proven its efficacy. A study published by the Journal of Dental Research, Dental Clinics, Dental Prospects found that participants who used a mouthwash containing sodium fluoride showed a 51.5 percent decrease in tooth decay risk compared with the control group.

Naturally derived flouride helps protect teeth from cavities.

Myth 4: It Doesn't Stop Bad Breath

Bad breath happens for a variety of reasons, including improper oral health care and diet. As the ADA explains, mouthwash can help to eliminate odor-causing bacteria that gets trapped in places toothbrushes can't reach. Just because your mouthwash is made with naturally derived ingredients doesn't mean it can't help freshen your breath. According to the ADA, ingredients such as zinc salts are effective in long-term control of bad breath. Harvard Medical School specifically suggests using an alcohol-free mouthwash before bed to fight bad breath germs.

Myth 5: It Doesn't Taste Good

When I made the switch to a natural mouthwash, taste was actually one of the driving factors behind making the change. I knew that mouthwash was an important component in my oral care routine, but I did not like the sting and the strangely sweet aftertaste that came with conventional mouthwashes I had used in the past. Instead, I opted for an alcohol-free mouthwash, and I noticed twinge-inducing sting I typically experienced was gone. It also left my mouth feeling clean without any lingering aftertaste.

Myth 6: All Mouthwashes Are the Same

While all mouthwashes are designed to help keep your mouth healthy or your breath fresh, how they taste and feel in your mouth can be quite different. The ingredients used can change both the flavor and your experience of the mouthwash, so if you're unhappy with the stinging like I was, switching to an alcohol-free mouthwash made with naturally derived ingredients can make all the difference.

Even among natural mouthwashes, you'll find different ingredients and uses. If you don't feel comfortable using a fluoride rinse, but you still want to fight odor, you can choose a fluoride-free mouthwash. Choosing a mouthwash made with naturally derived ingredients is not only a great way to support your oral health—it's also a great way to support the environment by choosing products with sustainably sourced ingredients.

Natural mouthwash fights bad breath and leaves your mouth feeling clean and refreshed. These benefits are possible through the use of naturally derived and sourced ingredients. Ultimately, this means you can feel confident in your oral care routine without sacrificing your commitment to a natural lifestyle.

Learn more about the benefits of choosing natural products on the Naturally Good Products board from @tomsofmaine on Pinterest!

Image Sources: Tom's of Maine | Sher Warkentin | Sher Warkentin

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Why It's Good

Natural mouthwash fights bad breath germs and leaves your mouth feeling clean and refreshed with naturally derived ingredients. This means you can protect your oral health with ingredients you feel good about.