Mouthwash can be a great addition to your oral care routine, and therapeutic formulas can boost the health of your teeth and gums. But with the number of products available, including conventional and natural varieties, choosing a product can be daunting. If you're trying to decide which to add to your oral care lineup, you may wonder—why use natural mouthwash? Taking a closer look at the ingredients that go into mouthwashes can help you understand why it might be a good fit for you and your family.
Conventional vs. Natural Mouthwash
According to the American Dental Association (ADA) there are two types of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic. Both conventional and natural mouthwashes can fall into either category. Therapeutic mouthwashes use active ingredients that help to reduce plaque, gingivitis, bad breath, and tooth decay. Cosmetic mouthwashes may temporarily provide breath freshening effects. The difference between conventional and natural mouthwash—whether it is therapeutic or cosmetic—is which ingredients are used.
Conventional mouthwashes are typically made with ingredients such as cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine, which Harvard Medical School describes as antibacterial agents. In natural mouthwashes, you'll only find naturally derived ingredients. For instance, a natural formula may include sodium fluoride, which is derived from the mineral fluorspar and is one of several forms of fluoride approved by the Food and Drug Administration to fight tooth decay.
How to Read Mouthwash Labels
Like any product that your body comes in contact with, it's important to read labels carefully to fully understand what the product contains. If the thought of rinsing with a mouthwash full of ingredients you can't pronounce makes you uncomfortable, then you'll want to look for active ingredients that are naturally derived. For instance, the Tom's of Maine Whole Care Mouthwash formula has no artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives.
Why Use Natural Mouthwash?
Natural mouthwash can effectively prevent tooth decay with ingredients that you can feel good about, such as sodium fluoride. In a study published by the Journal of Dental Research, Dental Clinics, Dental Prospects, people who used a mouthwash containing sodium fluoride showed a 51.5 percent decrease in tooth decay risk compared with the control group. The study concluded that weekly use of sodium fluoride mouthwash played an important role in the improvement of dental health among children.
One Mom's Story about Switching to Natural
As a mom, I'm always cautious about the products I choose for my family. I want to feel comfortable with the ingredients they include, but I also want them to work—especially when it comes to oral care. Making the switch to natural oral care products like toothpaste and mouthwash was one of the best choices I've ever made. Since making the switch, my dentist has never been more complimentary about the health of my mouth, and I don't encounter stinging or a strong aftertaste like I did with my old, conventional mouthwash.
By choosing products made with naturally derived ingredients, you can feel confident using a natural mouthwash for oral health without being worried about the substances you're exposing yourself or your family to.
To learn more about the benefits of naturally derived ingredients, follow the Ingredients from Nature board by @tomsofmaine on Pinterest!
Images Source: Sher Warkentin
The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.
Why It's Good
Keeping your mouth healthy doesn't mean you have to choose between naturally derived ingredients and cleansing ability. Natural mouthwash can be just as effective as conventional mouthwash, and you don't have to worry about it containing ingredients that give you pause.