We all know that a small injury or irritation can be a large problem if it is in a strategically awful location, such as a paper cut on the tip of your index finger. When there is an ulcer in your mouth, and you have to constantly use your mouth to speak and eat and drink and swallow, your entire day can be miserable. Many times in the past I have had such an irritation in my mouth and been desperate to just make it stop. So I was familiar with things like Orajel as a means of numbing a sore spot. But I did not realize that Orajel has an antiseptic mouth wash available. Not to numb pain, but to accelerate the healing process by clearing the mouth of bacteria and viruses.
Orajel Mouthwash advertises its use officially as “first aid to reduce bacteria in oral wounds.” This could cover all sorts of “ouchys” in the mouth caused by everything from braces, to dentures, to canker sores, to inadvertent bites of the cheek. The rinse contains about 4% alcohol, water, a couple sweeteners (saccharin and sorbitol), and a little phosphoric acid. The active ingredients listed are Menthol and Hydrogen Peroxide.
The ingredient list says that the Menthol is acting as a pain reliever. This is true in as Menthol reduces inflammation, but is not the sort of instant pain relief people normally associate with the brand name of Orajel.
The Hydrogen Peroxide is described as a debriding agent (meaning a remover of plaque and tartar from teeth) and an antiseptic, meaning it is a cold-blooded killer of germs. I knew this about Hydrogen Peroxide, but to be honest it had never occurred to me to put the stuff in my mouth. I think of it as first aid to disinfect a cut. But after asking my friendly search engine if people rinse with the stuff, I realized I was way behind. Apparently it works well as a mouth rinse, and even has a whitening effect on our teeth, besides its disinfecting powers.
This mouth rinse is definitely not intended to replace a typical mouth wash for the long haul. The label says not to use for more than 7 days unless directed to by a professional. Like other mouthwashes, I am instructed not to swallow it and to keep it out of reach of children, making sure the child-proof cap is properly closed every time I use it.
During the 7 days you use it, you are encouraged to use it often. The directions say to use after eating and up to 5 times a day, swishing 2 teaspoons over the affected area.
An unfortunate, or I suppose very fortunate, problem with trying this product is that I currently have no mouth sores to truly test its efficacy. I debated with myself about biting down hard on my cheek and creating a test scenario, but I decided against it.
The rinse is blue – pretty standard mouthwash look. Swishing for a minute and spitting out again.
This is different from most mouthwash experiences in a couple of key ways. First of all, the taste. The basic hint is one of mint, but the mint is much more subtle than Listerine or Scope. The taste is not great, frankly, but what can I say? It’s medicine. Secondly, the burn. With most antiseptic mouthwashes, there is a burning sensation as the rinse does its work. With this Orajel product, the burning/tingling was also toned down.
But the difference I noticed most was in the “consistency”, for lack of a better word. What do I mean? Well, I knew when Hydrogen Peroxide was applied to a cut, the foam that bubbled up meant that it was working. I guess the same is true in my mouth. The tiny sip I initially took frothed up quite a bit into a foamy mouthful.
In terms of the relief or sped-up healing of actual sores, the Menthol would help reduce irritation, and the fizzing, germ-killing peroxide would keep the area clean and prevent further infections. Our bodies heal wounds over time on their own, so it would be impossible to make a blanket statement about this product always helping with that process. You would simply have to try it yourself on your sores or irritations and see if it improves your experience! If immediate relief is required, it seems like original Orajel could be used to control pain while eating, and then this rinse could be used after eating.
One downside to this product is its cost per fluid ounce. It is more than 3 times the cost of an average brand mouthwash per ounce. Of course, it is meant to be used in short stints for the treatment of ulcers and sores in your mouth, not as a daily maintenance.
It would be possible to simply rinse with hydrogen peroxide itself to avoid a prohibitive cost, but in that case the taste is truly foul. The taste of the Orajel mouth rinse is certainly not something you or anyone else would be tempted to guzzle, but it beats plain peroxide by a long shot. Also, you would lose the relieving effects of the menthol.
I am also forewarned that if more than the prescribed amount for a dose is ever swallowed, I should call poison control. So there’s that.
Orajel Mouthwash Wrap Up
Ulcers and sores in the mouth are the worst, because you simply cannot escape from your own mouth. I remember having braces and how they would catch my cheek tissue or rub sores on it. Maybe the Orajel Mouthwash would have helped me out in those awkward, ancient years. If the cost and taste are manageable and you have consistent trouble with braces, dentures, or canker sores, this product and some numbing gel in tandem may definitely be for you.