Table of Contents
- The Bare-bones Basics
- The Myths
- Hold on a Second…
- Let’s go Shopping!
- Bad Breath
- Dry Mouth
- Tooth Protection
- Periodontal (Gum) Health
- Watch List
- Alcohol Free Mouthwash Wrap Up
So you’ve recently decided to look into alcohol free mouthwash. Now you’re left with the pleasant task of wading through rigged amazon reviews, scavenging through reddit posts and finding obscure and likely out-of-date forum threads that will tell you which one to buy and for what reasons.
Or you could spend the next six minutes looking through this article and do something way cooler with the rest of your day.
Below is a compendium of information on mouthwash without alcohol. We’ll explain the differences between alcoholic and non-alcoholic mouthwash, the benefits of alcohol-free mouthwash, a few common myths and a complete list of the top products you should look into (as well as the ones you shouldn’t).
We’ve got it all!
By the time you’re done reading this article you’ll be an alcohol free mouthwash know-it-all. You can tell everyone about it at the water cooler tomorrow (and I’m sure they’ll love you for that!).
The Bare-bones Basics
What’s the deal? How does alcohol free mouthwash vary from the regular stuff? As literally everyone has probably assumed, an alcohol free mouth-rinse doesn’t have any alcohol in it (specifically ethanol). This is important for a few reasons:
If you’ve ever used regular mouthwash before you’ll know that after about 10 seconds that super intense burning sensation kicks in. For the vast majority of alcohol free options that won’t be the case. There are still a few non-alcoholic mouthwashes that can cause a burning sensation due to the strong natural ingredients they use but for the most part that won’t be the case.
Alcohol is a desiccant, which in non-sciency terms means it absorbs water. That probably doesn’t seem like a huge issue but it can end up having some seriously not-so-cool side effects inside your mouth. Regular contact can cause the skin inside your mouth to actually dry out, increasing the likelihood of canker sores and other unpleasant issues.
The alcohol component of mouthwash isn’t actually the stuff that kills the majority of the germs – it’s used more for preservation purposes and its low price. The important bits of mouthwash come from a variety of non-alcoholic chemicals. One of these guys is Chlorhexiding Glucconate which you can still find in most alcohol free solutions. This means that you can still get a clean mouth without the alcohol!
Alongside not being plagued with alcohol, non-alcoholic options are also great at preventing uncool mouth things such as tooth decay, periodontal disease (gum disease) and plaque/tartar buildup.
Not too shabby, I’d say.
If you’ve started looking across the web for some information already you’ve probably come across some pretty bold claims against regular mouthwash that may not be totally true. We’ve got two common myths below that you *shouldn’t* pay attention to if you’re deciding to switch over to alcohol free options:
- Alcoholic Mouthwash Causes Cancer: While this technically could be true, you’d probably need to rinse your mouth out about 250 times a day for 10ish years in order to seriously increase your risk of oral cancer. There have been a number of studies that have debunked the claim that mouthwash, in any of its forms, will increase your likelihood of getting oral cancer.
- Alcoholic Mouthwash Causes Bad Breath: As stated above, alcohol is indeed a desiccant, which does indeed dry the mouth out. However, this drying effect only applies to the skin on the inside of your mouth, not your saliva itself. The job of saliva (in regards to bad breath) is to essentially continually wash your mouth out – this includes all of the tiny food particles that bad-breath bacteria grow on. Regardless of what mouth-rinse you use your saliva production will still be the same. That being said, low-saliva issues can still occur due to a number of medical issues or side effects from medication. It just won’t be from your mouthwash.
If you’re looking to shy away from regular mouth-rinses due to either of the above myths you’re good sticking with the same-old same-old.
Hold on a Second…
In case you’re getting a little *too* excited about alcohol free mouthwash, we wanted to bring you back down with just a few of the not-so-good parts.
I know, buzzkill.
First, you’ll generally find that alcohol free mouthwash tends to run a bit more on the expensive side. Alcohol is a very cheap preservative and that’s why a lot of companies like using it – it’s cheaper for them to make and sell their product. Replacing alcohol with other more organic and natural ingredients will inevitably drive up the price.
Second is that you might find some of the tastes a little odd. As we’ve looked around at the top products in this category one of the things we’ve seen people say over and over again is that they find the taste a little bit off.
Personally, that doesn’t mess with me too much because I use mouthwash to clean my mouth, not as a morning celebration of life and flavor. However, if taste is one of your big-ticket items you might have to look a little closer to find something you fall in love with. We’ve tried to call out all the products where users have had concern about the taste/aftertaste.
And finally, as is to be said for any mouthwash, this is only a part of a healthy daily regimen. If you’re looking to remove bad breath, get whiter teeth, prevent gum disease and/or generally keep your mouth healthy and clean you’ll need to employ a healthy, consistent schedule of brushing and flossing as well. There’s no way around it!
Let’s go Shopping!
So now we know the good stuff, the bad stuff and nobody’s getting cancer. Sweet! Let’s go ahead and take a look at the options for the best non alcoholic mouthwash below.
We’ve divided the products into specific categories based on what they specialize in.
If you’re just looking for a general, cover-all mouthwash and aren’t looking for protection in any specific area then we’d encourage you to simply evaluate all of these based on their price and their flavor/taste. We’ve also called out a few products that we think you might want to stay away from. As always, if you have any comments, questions or concerns don’t be afraid to leave a comment below or contact us!
TheraBreath Oral Rinse
Let’s face it, bad breath sucks – like seriously, it’s awful. Along with being a minor to major nuisance it can lead to a host of other dental and personal issues including serious self-confidence and anxiety problems.
If you’re in a rut with a smelly mouth then check out TheraBreath Oral Rinse. TheraBreath has been the Mecca of bad breath solutions for some time now and as such it makes it our #1 suggestion as an alcohol free solution to halitosis.
If you suffer from even moderate halitosis and haven’t looked into rinsing regularly with this rinse we strongly encourage you to do so. Along with the awesome power of making your mouth smell better, it’s also Vegan, Gluten Free and Kosher, so you can feel amazing about buying it as well. Also, if you’ve had issues with tonsil stones then you should look into this product as well as it’s proven effective for a number of users (although you should totally consult your dentist on this as well).
We’ve really only uncovered two potential issues with TheraBreath: price and taste. The price for one bottle of TheraBreath is definitely on the higher end of our collection here but if you suffer from halitosis it is well worth the price in my opinion.
Regarding the taste, some users have reported a bit of a metallic aftertaste when they use this rinse. It’s certainly not the biggest of issues and it may not be something that bothers your or that you even notice. However, if you’re super particular about the aftertaste of a mouthwash and you don’t have a major issues with bad breath, this might be something to pay attention to.
Even with the higher price and potential problems with flavor, we still strongly recommend this product.
SmarthMouth Alcohol Free Mouthwash
If you’ve tried TheraBreath before or are a bit weary of its price then you should check out SmartMouth Alcohol Free Mouthwash. This is a bit of a unique product as it actually comes with two containers that you mix together directly before rinsing. It’s considered a fantastic product for reducing bad breath and as far as we’re concerned, that’s awesome.
The effectiveness of SmartMouth Mouthwash has been verified by a third party scientific research project (yay science!) that evaluated the amount of bad breath chemicals in the mouth over a period of time. Check out this article for a bit more information.
An important peculiarity to note is that after using this rinse you’ll likely experience some pretty serious dry mouth for around 10-30 minutes. The moisture in your mouth will return within a half an hour and you should have absolutely no problems after that – just make sure you’re aware of this and plan accordingly.
Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield
Rounding out the last of our bad breath category is Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield. You’ll find the price of this mouthrinse coming in at the lower end of the bad breath options, so if you want to smell awesome on a budget, this one’s for you.
As you’ll find with a lot of alcohol free mouthwashes, there’s no burn at all associated with Pro-Shield. This stuff is capable of eliminating some very strong smells from your mouth including coffee and tobacco smells, however you may also find a bit of a funky aftertaste flavor as well. As per usual it’s super dependent on your preference, just beware.
Additionally, the cap on this product *is not* childproof. If you’ve got little one’s running around make sure you keep this on a higher shelf or locked in a cabinet.
Finally, if you’ve got issues with hemorrhoids (which is obviously why you’re here…. right?) then a slightly deluded version of this stuff actually works pretty well. Who knew?
Oral Essentials Mouthwash
If you’re dealing with some irritating dry mouth issues then we’d point you in the direction of Oral Essentials Mouthwash. You may recognize the plant “aloe vera” from skin treatments. It’s used regularly to help keep skin healthy and moisturized and interestingly enough also does the same for your mouth.
Oral Essentials Mouthwash is specifically designed around keeping your mouth moisturized so that’s what we’re recommending it for. Along with being alcohol free and using no preservatives it contains sea salts from the Dead Sea. These contain a bunch of super healthy minerals that we honestly didn’t bother to research. It sounds cool though. And you get to tell all your friends that you’re rinsing your mouth out with the Dead Sea, which is also cool.
Really though, this stuff works great for keeping your mouth hydrated, so if that’s what you’re after pick this up!
ACT Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash
If it’s those pearly whites you’re worried about look no further than ACT Anticavity Flouride Mouthwash.
This option is focused on protecting your teeth, specifically in the categories of tooth decay. If you’ve had issues with enamel wear or getting those pesky cavities then rinsing twice a day with this rinse will help tremendously.
A few things to keep in mind with this product are the flavor and shipping costs. The flavor comes in both mint (along with literally every other mouthwash) and cinnamon. If you’re not a fan of mint flavoring in your mouthwash then check out the cinnamon option – it’s pretty good!
Also the shipping costs can be pretty insane if you get it from the wrong supplier so keep an eye out for that when you’re picking this mouthwash up.
Periodontal (Gum) Health
CloSYS Original Unflavored Mouthwash
As far as mouths go, you’re likely to either have problems with your teeth or your gums. I’ve always had pretty healthy teeth but my gums are where the issues start to pop up. If you’re the same way then this category is for you.
Our first recommendation for gum-healthy options is CloSYS. This option has been on the market for a while as well so it’s backed by years of success.
The cool part about this is that while it comes with a peppermint flavor packet. This means you can choose exactly how much flavoring you add – nice! If you’re like me and would totally love a change from the barrage of peppermint options on the market, just don’t add the packet and the rinse is nearly flavorless.
CloSYS additional points for pulling double duty and providing excellent protection from bad breath. It specifically targets volatile sulfur compounds (VSC for short) that cause some of the not-so-pleasant smells that we’ve all dealt with before.
If you’ve specifically had issues with taste in the past and are looking to focus on gum health and bad breath, we suggest looking into CloSYS for your alcohol free mouthwash solution.
Nature’s Answer PerioBrite Alcohol Free Mouthwash
Coming in at number two is Nature’s Answer PerioBrite Mouthwash. This stuff is geared towards keeping those gums super strong and healthy. If you’ve regularly been having some problems with your gums then you should definitely look into this option.
A couple of things to note. First, the liquid looks pretty gross. It’s this off-color brown that really doesn’t look like something you want to regularly be swishing around inside your mouth, but it’s fine.
You won’t have any problems with stained teeth or anything like that. Also again, depending on your personal preferences and sensitivity, you may find the taste to be a bit strange. There have also been some users that reported a few burning mouth issues. If you’re not too sensitive to that then it’s no problem but if you’re specifically looking at alcohol free options to avoid that burning sensation then tread carefully here.
Finally you should pay particular attention to your allergies if you’re interested in choosing this mouthwash. If you’ve ever had issues with peppermint, rosemary or eucalyptus leaves be wary of rinsing with this as users have reported some unpleasant side effects due to their allergies. That’s one of the downsides to using organic, natural products unfortunately. Otherwise pick this guy up and you’ll have some super awesome healthy gums. Woo hoo!
Tea Tree Oil Mouthwash
Another strong contender for gum-healthy options is the Tea Tree Mouthwash. Aside from being fun to say it actually does a pretty fantastic job at keeping your gums health.
In general users have reported that this is an incredibly gentle mouthwash solution – no burning whatsoever. The taste is unique however really not too bad at all.
No burning, healthy gums, decent taste. Pretty solid.
Auromere Mouthwash Ayurvedic
In the category of “how in the world do you pronounce that” comes the Auromere Ayuvedic Mouthwash. I’m seriously glad I just have to type that out and not say it, because I’d fail. Hard.
We wanted to point this alcohol free option out simply because it’s capable of being ingested with no issues. If you’ve got any younglings or elders under your care then this option could be particularly attractive. If something were to happen and someone drank this, your only concern would be the outrageous price you just paid for your four-year-old to have an afternoon drink. Worse things could happen.
Biotene Oral Rinse for Dry Mouth
For a long while Biotene has been a high standard in the alcohol free mouthwash category. Recently however, they’ve changed their formula which has caused a lot of users to report back with significantly decreased results. If you’ve used Biotene in the past we encourage you to at least try their new formula, but keep your eyes open towards the results as you may notice some changes.
Listerine Zero Mouthwash
We strongly encourage you to stay far away from Listerine Zero (and as such we’re not even going to link to it). A very large number of users have reported mild to severe skin peeling after only a few days of use. Regardless of the other effects it will have on your oral health, there are far better options on the market in the same price range.
Alcohol Free Mouthwash Wrap Up
So there you have it – all you need to know about non alcoholic mouthwash. As before, if you have any serious issues or questions feel free to contact us. We also encourage you to see your dental health professional because they actually went to school for this stuff. Also if you have any comments or concerns about the information here please feel free to let us know! Leave a comment below or contact us using the contact page. Good luck with your mouth rinsing!