4

votes

Is my mouthwash bad for me?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 03, 2012 at 5:44 PM

I was swishing with mouthwash this morning after my daily brush and floss and it hit me how absurdly sweet and artificial tasting the stuff was. I've cut out all other artificial sweeteners from my diet (including gum)...should I be finding an alternative mouthwash too? And toothpaste for that matter? There are plenty of medications you can absorb sublingually...so surely we should question anything we put in our mouths? Thoughts?

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on April 04, 2012
at 08:33 PM

It's the non-alcoholic Listerine 6-in-1 (the purple one). I still have my wisdom teeth. Using a dental mirror, I noticed that I had surface caries beginning on the back-side of the top wisdom teeth, and it was unscrapeable. After about a month with the rinse, brushing and scraping is having the desired effect. Luckily I caught it before it became a true/deep cavity.

Dcd6927a3606b66f3bfb1c5c28d67a6f

on April 04, 2012
at 07:56 PM

Oooh, what type of fluoride rinse do you use?? :)

Medium avatar

(10663)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:48 AM

But I get so many compliments on how white my teeth are...

2a0f1afde303eadc422d015fc22f7512

(1118)

on April 03, 2012
at 06:07 PM

so i'm seeing some debate around benefits of flouride...am I overthinking the possible negative impact of absorbing various chemicals and sweeteners through the exposure in my mouth?

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on April 03, 2012
at 05:59 PM

Oh man - never swallow large amounts of flouride. It works because it's a poison. I'm somewhat suspect of "it also kills the good bacteria" -- it certainly does, however flouride acts more on tooth enamel where S. mutans lives than it does elsewhere in the mouth. All the bacteria (good and bad) will suffer when exposed to flouride, but only the bacterium thriving off enamal are going to grow back less over time. But there's definitely going to be many reasons a dentist may suggest to stop or start a flouride regimen -- definitely listen to what they say.

  • 2a0f1afde303eadc422d015fc22f7512

    asked by

    (1118)
  • Views
    9.2K
  • Last Activity
    1279D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

7 Answers

2
2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on April 03, 2012
at 08:33 PM

I think the more appropriate question is, "Is my mouthwash good for me?"

Is there a decent health reason you need to kill all the flora in your mouth? Is there some benefit of using mouthwash that can be attained without swishing a nasty-tasting chemical cocktail for 60 seconds a day?

I like the idea of mouthwash because it gets crap outta my teeth, but floss does a better job without the chemicals. It makes my breath smell good, but if I brush/scrape my tongue, it's a similar effect. I don't need to kill every living thing in my mouth- there's good stuff in there. Unless you've got a Rx mouthwash or a very strong recommendation from a professional, I don't see how it's doing you any particular good that you couldn't achieve without it. If you live in the US, you're definitely getting enough flouride provided you drink tap water occasionally.

2
77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on April 03, 2012
at 05:49 PM

Good question. I've wondered about this myself. A dentist recently advised my wife not to use mouthwash. He or she said that it also kills the good bacteria and is likely to more harm than good. This makes me wonder if swallowing an anti-bacterial solution has negative effects on your gut. That said, I still use mouthwash a few times a week, but not daily like I used to.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on April 03, 2012
at 05:59 PM

Oh man - never swallow large amounts of flouride. It works because it's a poison. I'm somewhat suspect of "it also kills the good bacteria" -- it certainly does, however flouride acts more on tooth enamel where S. mutans lives than it does elsewhere in the mouth. All the bacteria (good and bad) will suffer when exposed to flouride, but only the bacterium thriving off enamal are going to grow back less over time. But there's definitely going to be many reasons a dentist may suggest to stop or start a flouride regimen -- definitely listen to what they say.

1
De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on April 03, 2012
at 07:41 PM

Yes mouthwash should not be used regularly. It kills most of the bacteria in your mouth as stated, which permits other organisms like yeast to thrive (thrush - not pleasant). Additionally, the alcohol dries out the gums which decreases your natural defense (saliva) to those organisms and irritates the gums (not sure what the implication is there specifically). Some of it is inevitably swallowed and it's not only not Paleo food it's not even really food! Avoiding sugar and carbs is a great way to control bacteria in the mouth and inflammation that results (aka Gingivitis later on in life). It should also prevent bad breath or if not try some mints.

1
50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on April 03, 2012
at 06:05 PM

I actually made my own toothpaste/mouthwash and have been decently pleased with the results. I use a mixture of coconut oil, some aluminum free baking soda and Oil of Oregano. I didn't measure, just threw it all together in a small mason jar but if I had to guess, I would say 3 parts CO to 1 part BS and then Oil of Oregano to taste/preference [ it can be strong for some ]

1
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on April 03, 2012
at 05:54 PM

Different people have different dental makeup. I didn't use flouride for years, and had no issues, then ran into some over the last year. I'm currently in a phase where I am using a flouride rinse; happily, I'm seeing quick results (< 1 month), and may discontinue use soon.

Think of flouride as potent medicine - to be especially used for acute conditions. Don't let the tinfoil hat brigade swarm you, and convince you that flouride is only bad for us, and is a government mind control method (seriously, people believe this).

The nice thing about flouride (besides it being a horrible poison that kills the S. mutans bacteria) is that it actively remineralizes tooth enamel. This is because flouride is highly reactive, and helps to bind minerals to teeth.

There are many things you can eat to grow strong bones and teeth, but flouride definitely is a useful tool against tooth decay itself.

Dcd6927a3606b66f3bfb1c5c28d67a6f

on April 04, 2012
at 07:56 PM

Oooh, what type of fluoride rinse do you use?? :)

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on April 04, 2012
at 08:33 PM

It's the non-alcoholic Listerine 6-in-1 (the purple one). I still have my wisdom teeth. Using a dental mirror, I noticed that I had surface caries beginning on the back-side of the top wisdom teeth, and it was unscrapeable. After about a month with the rinse, brushing and scraping is having the desired effect. Luckily I caught it before it became a true/deep cavity.

0
A0f2f0f632d42215944a798486bddde1

(1377)

on April 04, 2012
at 02:05 PM

Just swish with some warm water and sea salt (saltwater). It's much easier on your mouth than alcohol-based mouthwash, it's more effective at killing bacteria, and doesn't have any industrial/processed ingredients.

I agree that you might not want to do it every day, but it's great if you have a cold/sore throat coming on and I do it most nights before going to bed as I usually only brush/floss in the morning.

0
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on April 03, 2012
at 05:46 PM

I still use toothpaste, but it's a pretty boring variety. I don't use mouthwash; actually never have, even pre-paleo. My thoughts on that have always been that mouthwash is designed as a poison to kill the bacteria in your mouth and it's can't discriminate between bacteria and you. No sense in swishing poison in your mouth.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:48 AM

But I get so many compliments on how white my teeth are...

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!