A lot of people rinse their mouths with mouthwash as part of their daily oral hygiene routine. It’s used for a few reasons: it gives you fresh breath, has antibacterial properties, and helps fight against inflammation, periodontal disease, and cavities. But what few know is that a lot of mouthwashes on the market don’t even work. In fact, some are even unhealthy for you!
flickr / Charmaine Chiu
A study conducted by the University of Bremen in Germany found that regularly using mouthwash — more than 3 times per day — actually raises the risk of some oral and throat cancers.
On top of that, it turns out that many mouthwashes contain the following ingredients, many of which are known to have negative impacts on your body.
Ingesting just one tablespoon of this chemical can lead to serious poisoning. An overdose can cause low blood pressure, vomiting, blindness, and many other health problems.
Alcohol dries your mouth out, which can cause bad breath. A study in an Australian medical journal also made a link between alcohol and mouth cancers as well as throat tumors.
This antiseptic is often used in dentistry as a way to shrink blood vessels. However, a study published in the scientific journal “Free Radical Biology and Medicine” found that mouthwash with chlorhexidine may cause high blood pressure and serious heart disease — and these adverse side effects can happen after only using it twice a day.
Parabens, which are also found in many deodorants and cosmetics, have been linked to breast cancer in several studies.
Too much long term exposure to this antiseptic found in many mouthwashes can cause neurological disorders.
In short, it’s not recommended to use mouthwash every day. But there are natural alternatives that are free of all those nasty side effects and can keep your mouth just as clean!
Researchers documented that certain foods naturally boost oral hygiene. They asked an experimental group with periodontal disease to follow a special diet. The participants ate plenty of fruit, potatoes, whole wheat products, beans, lentils, peas, and several different root vegetables while maintaining their regular tooth-brushing routine. The study found that healthy eating led to much better oral health.
Flickr/ Katrin Gilger
They also discovered that rinsing your mouth with green tea for 10 minutes can reduce the number of bacteria that is responsible for plaque. The study indicated that green tea actually works better than the chlorhexidine found in traditional mouthwash.
Rinsing your mouth with green tea and eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables are not only ways to avoid the nasty chemicals found in mouthwashes, they are also simply health habits to incorporate into every day.