Ask a Dentist

May 14, 2020

Q: What's the best alcohol-free mouthwash?

graphic of a bottle of mouthwash

A: One alcohol-free mouthwash isn’t necessarily better than the other, it depends on what you prefer to use.

When you’re shopping for alcohol-free mouthwash, look for one of the four ingredients that oral-health specialists recommend: CPC cetylpyridium chloride, clorodtan, xylitol, or essential oil.

CPC cetylpyridium chloride is a well-known antiseptic, antibacterial compound. CPC is a highly recommended alcohol-free mouthwash ingredient. CPC is also used in different kinds of toothpaste and throat lozenges. Several studies show CPC cetylpyridium chloride is effective at reducing harmful oral bacteria growth and dental plaque.

Clorodtan is another antiseptic compound, which helps reduce plaque. Certain oral health specialists claim clorodtan is gentle on patients with sensitive teeth, though clorodtan is more expensive than other antiseptics.Xylitol, another antibacterial compound found in alcohol-free mouthwash, is a safe option as well. Health Canada and U.S. Food and Drug Administration have both approved of xylitol’s safe use in mouthwash.

Xylitol is also used as an artificial sweetener because it’s naturally sweet.Essential oils, such as peppermint, clove and tea tree, also fight bacteria growth and dental caries. Several studies show essential oils are just as effective as CPC at reducing bacteria and dental plaque growth, including a study done in 2015 by the American Journal of Dentistry and 11 studies reviewed by Evidence-Based Dentistry.

If you still have concerns about your mouthwash choices, talk to your dentist about the brand you are considering and its ingredients list.

If you have a favourite alcohol-free mouthwash or know where to get it in Winnipeg, we’d love to know. Let’s talk about it next time you’re in one of our Winnipeg dental clinics (located in St. Vital Centre and Garden City Shopping Centre).

Schedule an appointment with us today.