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Mouthwashes do a great job at helping to clean teeth and freshen breath. But did you know that some types of mouthwashes don’t fight oral bacteria? And some mouthwashes even have up to 27% alcohol in them. Learn more about the different types of mouthwashes available here.

Cosmetic vs. Therapeutic

There are two major types of mouthwashes: cosmetic and therapeutic.

  • Cosmetic Mouthwash: The main purpose of this mouthwash is to control bad breath. These rinses are flavored, and some even have whitening agents in them. However, this type only masks bad breath; it doesn’t kill the bacteria that creates it. Additionally, the ADA (American Dental Association) does not evaluate cosmetic mouthwashes.
  • Therapeutic Mouthwashes: This type of mouthwash can be beneficial for your dental health. It fights the bacteria that causes bad breath and reduces plaque, cavities, and gingivitis. Therapeutic mouthwashes that contain fluoride also help to reduce tooth decay.

Alcoholic vs. Non-Alcoholic

This has been a debate in the dental community for some time. Though alcohol does kill bacteria, it is also a risk factor for oral cancer. However, research has neither refuted nor claimed that the alcohol content in mouthwash increases the risk of oral cancer. Though we still have alcoholic mouthwashes, non-alcoholic ones are also available and have proven to be just as effective. Both are options for cosmetic and therapeutic mouthwashes.