What You Need To Know To Choose The Best Mouthwash For Bad Breath

Using a mouthwash for bad breath may seem like a good idea at first. After all, isn't that what your parents, your dentist, and all those commercials on TV over the years taught you to do? However, once you understand some of the problems this can lead to, you'll think twice before using just any old mouthwash.

So, what is it that a "good" mouthwash should do? It should make your mouth feel fresh and clean, at the same time eliminating bad breath and providing protection against things like plaque build up and gingivitis. Do you know what some of the ingredients are that commercial mouthwash manufacturers use in an attempt to accomplish those goals? Let's take a look at a few of them:

  • Eucalyptol - A flavoring agent also used to improve the flavor of cigarettes.
  • Thymol - Another flavoring agent also used to improve the flavor of cigarettes.
  • Menthol - Yet another flavoring agent also used to improve the flavor of cigarettes. But it's also used to offset the harsh impact smoking can have on throat and sinuses.
  • Cetylpyridinium Chloride - This ingredient seems to control plaque and gingivitis effectively. It's also a pesticide ingredient.
  • Chlorhexidine Gluconate - Another effective plaque and gingivitis killer. But what the mouthwash manufacturers don't tell you is that this ingredient doesn't play well with some of the other ingredients used in dental products. Because of this, you should wait half an hour after using other dental products before using this one. I don't have 30 minutes to wait around, do you?
  • Methyl Salicylate - This is used as a flavoring agent and don't worry... It's toxic only when taken in sufficiently large amounts.
  • Benzalkonium Chloride - Okay, you're going to love this one. It's an antiseptic and a spermicide, all in one.
  • Alcohol - Make sure you keep a mouthwash for bad breath in the car, especially one that contains this ingredient. If a cop pulls you over, you want to make a good impression... Right? Quickly rinse with a mouthwash containing this one, and you're likely to fail the breathalyzer test.

Okay, that was a bit tongue in cheek, but I think you get the picture. So what do these ingredients really do? The answer is they do pretty much everything except what you need them to do. You selected it because you needed a mouthwash for bad breath, but what you ended up with is a mouthwash that will make your breath worse.

If you insist on using a commercial mouthwash, make sure you choose one that's alcohol-free. Regardless of whether it's contained in an alcoholic beverage or a mouthwash, alcohol is a desiccant or drying agent. It will dry out the tissue in your mouth. A dry mouth provides an excellent breeding ground for the anaerobic bacteria which cause bad breath.

In spite of what the manufacturers would have you believe, your mouthwash will not kill the germs that cause bad breath. It will temporarily mask your bad breath, but if it's bad enough, people with whom you come into contact will still be aware of your problem. They might, however, find your breath somewhat more tolerable. But only somewhat...

Let's face it. Using a commercial mouthwash for bad breath is a waste of both your time and your hard-earned money. But don't despair, and whatever you do, don't panic! There is an answer.

Find a good oxygenating oral rinse or mouthwash. An oral rinse that is rich in Oxygen will eliminate the volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) produced by anaerobic bacteria. It will also keep the bacteria themselves under control. This is one of the most effective and easiest ways to prevent bad breath. Plus it's far more effective than using a commercial mouthwash for bad breath.

I personally recommend the TheraBreath product line as the hands-down best way to eliminate (not just mask) bad breath. Even when I was taking a sulfur-based prescription medicine and my breath was absolutely rancid, TheraBreath Oral Rinse did the job for me and restored me to my family's good graces.

For additional help with bad breath prevention, read my article, Fourteen Guidelines for Preventing Bad Breath


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