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Why Does Mouthwash Burn, and How to Avoid It

Photo: hello strawberry mouthwash

As our vocation would suggest, we’re big fans of all things oral care. Seriously, try to name a more dynamic trio than the brush, floss and mouthwash – go ahead, we’ll wait. See what we mean? But although we don’t think you can put a price on the blissful feeling of a clean mouth with fresh breath, and million-dollar smile, we do think it’s important that you don’t pay a steep price comfort-wise in achieving these things. If you’ve used a mouthwash that produces a burning sensation, you know what we’re talking about. “No pain no gain” is totally against our ethos – so we’re here to assure you that our mouthwash is effective and delish, without the stinging and burning. (Pilates class may be a different story.)

Why Do Some Mouthwashes Burn?

Alcohol! Alcohol is why some mouthwashes burn. Alcohol’s primary roles in mouthwash are to serve as a antiseptic and as a dissolving agent for active ingredients like essential oils.

Is Alcohol in Mouthwash Good? …Or Bad?? …Or???

Besides causing a potentially unpleasant burning sensation, alcohol in mouthwash can be less-than-great for your mouth. This is because alcohol has a drying effect on your teeth and gums and subsequently inhibits the flow of saliva. Saliva’s something of an unsung hero of the mouth – it has the important role of maintaining a proper level of moisture and whisking away bacteria. Too dry of a mouth means an increased risk of tooth decay and gingivitis – which are both issues we wouldn’t want you to touch with a ten-foot toothbrush. But is there a way around the alcohol conundrum?

What’s the Way Around the Alcohol Conundrum?

Funny you should ask. It turns out there are alternatives to using alcohol when dissolving ingredients into a mouthwash. Here at hello, we use other emulsifiers in place of alcohol. Fellow mouthwash enthusiasts rejoice– because you shall now be able to enjoy a good rinse without the wince!

A Mouthwash That Doesn’t Burn, AND Fulfills All Your Swishes

Creating a pain-free product always tops our list of priorities – but we’ve got some loftier aspirations too. That’s why we’ve developed a whole squad of tasty, fun and delightful mouthwash options. And because they don’t contain alcohol, it truly can’t hurt to try them all. Wanna be real moisturized and hemphasize the positive? This Hemp Seed Oil Mouthwash may interest you, friend. Embracing your dark side? Our popular activated charcoal rinse is for you. Care to pour yourself a lil’ cup of gum-healthifying and gingivitis-preventing, mouth-freshening goodness? Say hello to our Naturally Healthy™ Mouthwash. Like to stay fresh all the way from your fly kicks up to your bicuspids? Naturally Fresh™ is the one for you, chief. Not into the whole mint thing and feeling left out thus far? We’ve got you – that is, assuming you do dig strawberry or watermelon.

So there’s no need to grin and bear it – swish things up and find an alcohol-free mouthwash that makes you smile!

Oral Health
Lawrence Fung

about the author

Lawrence Fung is a dentist, entrepreneur, and one of our expert contributors here on the hello blog. After earning his DDS at the University of Southern California’s School of Dentistry, Lawrence served as a General Dentist in the US Navy for four years. Since then, he’s mixed his dental credentials with his love for startups by founding SiliconBeach.Dental, a new breed of dental clinic in LA that leverages tech to make high-quality care more accessible and friendlier than ever before. When he’s not challenging the dental status quo, Lawrence reps his beloved Trojans, crushes hotdog-eating contests, and loves yodeling.

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