Is mouthwash bad for you? Understand the effects of using mouthwash daily.


Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash sounds like an excellent habit for your oral health. It is also easier than brushing or flossing your teeth. Some people even substitute tooth brushing with mouthwash, which is not a recommended method to maintain oral health.

You can carry a mouthwash around and get a fresh breath after a meal with only by a few seconds of a gargle with mouthwash. But is rinsing mouthwash regularly actually good for your oral health?

The main goal of mouthwash is to kill the harmful bacteria in the mouth, reduce the bad breath those bacteria cause, and instantly give a pleasant taste to your mouth. The top reason people use mouthwash is to get rid of unpleasant smells from their mouths. However, there are several other purposes people use mouthwash, such as to help sensitive teeth, to cure sore gums and cheeks, or to help people with dry mouth.


Table of content:

  • Is it safe to use mouthwash daily?
  • What are the risks of mouthwash?
  • What are some common ingredients found in mouthwash?


Is it safe to use mouthwash daily?

Since mouthwash uses many chemicals as its ingredients, you must watch its frequency. The first thing to know is that there are different varieties of mouthwash in the market. Choose the one that suits your needs and oral health condition.


Mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing teeth. Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash is good when travelling or brushing your teeth is not convenient. In this case, gargling using mouthwash is better than nothing.


Using mouthwash daily is generally safe, as long as you don’t do it more than twice a day and only around 30 to 60 seconds each time you gargle. Pay attention to the sensation you feel in your mouth. Is the burning feeling hurt you and raise sores in your mouth? Is your mouth become dry after using mouthwash? Is everything okay? Pay attention to the effect and learn if using mouthwash everyday benefits or damages your mouth.


What are the risks of mouthwash?

Using mouthwash daily is an additional step rather than the main part of maintaining oral hygiene and health. It is essential to understand your need to use mouthwash. Let’s take a look at some of the effects of using mouthwash.


These are some benefits of using mouthwash:

  • Mouthwash provides additional cleaning

The liquid flows around and between your teeth, helping you to flush out the remaining debris left behind after brushing and flossing.

  • Mouthwash gives fresh breath.

The fresh and pleasant flavours in mouthwash bring a nice feeling and smell to your mouth. After consuming foods such as onions or garlic, a quick rinse with mouthwash can help keep the breath fresh.

  • Mouthwash strengthens enamel

Some mouthwashes have ingredients which will help strengthen the enamel. Therefore, it will help keep your teeth more resistant to decay.


Despite the benefits, there are some cons to consider:

  • Mouthwash can reduce good oral bacteria.

Mouthwash kills all the bacteria inside your mouth, the bad and the good. Naturally, good bacteria in your mouth help balance your oral pH level. Lack of pH balance in the mouth can increase the risk of gingivitis and cavities.

  • Mouthwash dries out your mouth.

Our mouth has a natural way to prevent cavities by saliva called remineralization – a process in which our mouth needs a sufficient amount of saliva. Mouthwash disrupts saliva production and dries out your mouth. Thus, mouthwash can significantly interfere with saliva in protecting the teeth.

  • Mouthwash can lead to mouth ulcers.

The disruption of the mouth’s natural balance of bacteria can lead to the formation of mouth ulcers. The mineralization process from saliva protects your teeth, gums, and the inside of your cheek from ulcers. 


What are some common ingredients found in mouthwash?

The ingredients in the mouthwash aim to help clean your mouth and fight harmful bacteria. But that’s only sometimes the case. Sometimes the ingredients in mouthwash can do more harm to your oral bacteria balance and health. Here are a few ingredients in mouthwash that can be harmful:


  • Alcohol

Many types of mouthwash contain about 26% alcohol in the form of ethanol. Alcohol dries out the mouth by reducing the production of saliva. A lack of saliva can lead to several oral health problems, including cavities, gingivitis, and mouth ulcers.

  • Chlorhexidine

One of the main ingredients in mouthwash is Chlorhexidine. Chlorhexidine works as an antiseptic to kill all the bacteria in the mouth, including the good bacteria. 

  • Parabens

Paraben is a chemical substance likely to cause an allergic reaction in people who use it in contact with the skin. In this case, it is the gums and the inside cheek.

  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine

This ingredient in the mouthwash may induce contact dermatitis, allergic reactions, and skin discomfort. 

  • Chlorine Dioxide

Chlorine Dioxide in mouthwash is a disinfectant used as a bleaching agent and an antibacterial compound to help whiten teeth. Chlorine Dioxide can cause mild irritation, nausea, and short-term vomiting.

  • Formaldehyde

Another ingredient in mouthwash that can induce skin irritation is formaldehyde. Other than skin reactions, formaldehyde can also increase cancer risk and respiration problems.

  • Saccharin

To make mouthwashes ‘taste’ pleasant when rinsing, Saccharin is commonly used as a sweetener. Saccharin can have harmful effects when breathed in. Exposure to Saccharin can irritate the skin, like itching and skin allergy.



Gargling with mouthwash is an excellent additional habit for oral cleanliness and health. But you need to use it carefully and choose a mouthwash that benefits your need. If you need help deciding which mouthwash best fits your oral condition, contact Eastman Dental, and our dentist will help recommend suitable mouthwash for you.