Alcohol VS Non Alcohol Mouthwash: Know the Difference

The question is, alcohol vs non-alcohol mouthwash – which kind of mouthwash should you use?

Ever had one of those days when you’re talking to someone and you see their face sort of wincing and you notice that it’s because of your rank breath, so you do your best to try to continue the conversation with your hand covering your mouth in hopes of not letting that foul breath pass through the other guy or girl’s nostrils?

I know, right?

That is one bad experience and one that you don’t even need to go through yourself to understand. But, the solution to that stinky predicament is pretty simple: proper daily dental hygiene.

And one of the most important parts of this is using a trusty mouthwash that suits your oral needs.

That’s why we here at Beautisdom have come up with this intensive guide to find out which mouthwash will make sure that your breath is fresh all day, every day.

What’s The Difference Between The Two?

For starters, choosing the right kind of mouthwash is not as simple as you might think.

Sure, there’s whether you like it minty or not, or whether you want it to focus on gum protection or plaque prevention, but the primary question you should be asking yourself is whether you should go for either an alcohol mouthwash or a non-alcoholic one.

The difference between the two, simply put, is the base that each uses: one has, as mentioned, alcohol in it and the other uses none.

We’ll get to its specifics throughout this comparative guide we prepared just for you.

Alcohol Mouthwash

Let’s start with the alcoholic variety.

Despite its name, which could lead you to think that this particular variety of mouthwash is somehow related to inebriation, you should know that alcoholic mouthwashes are perfectly safe to use by people of all ages and, as long as you use it as instructed by your orthodontist or its label, won’t get you drunk.

As an aside, though, alcoholic mouthwash contains ethanol, which is the same type of alcohol you find in liquor, but do not even think of trying to guzzle a bottle of mouthwash down.


  • Now, alcohol mouthwash uses the aforementioned ethanol as the primary ingredient that eradicates germs and bacteria in your mouth when you gargle with it. As such, it is definitely an effective way to keep off issues like plaque, which could lead to more serious dental problems like gingivitis or periodontitis.
  • Alcoholic mouthwash’s ethanol not only kills all those pesky germs and bacteria but also helps process other ingredients in it, such as oils like eucalyptus and thymol, which allows them to be more potent in providing additional antibacterial properties.


  • There are certain varieties of alcoholic mouthwash available in the market with very high amounts of ethanol in them. Now, this cannot seriously harm you, but the high ethanol levels of a given mouthwash could cause the inside of your mouth to feel a prickly sensation, which could be uncomfortable.
  • The ethanol in alcohol-based mouthwash ekes out the water in your mouth, which leaves it dry after gargling.
  • Some brands of alcoholic mouthwash have chlorine in it, which could cause teeth stains and damage to your taste buds with long-term use

Non-Alcoholic Mouthwashes

As opposed to alcohol mouthwashes reliance on ethanol as its active ingredient, non-alcoholic varieties make use of alternatives to kill those darn bacteria and germs. One such ingredient and one of the most common is baking soda, which is an all-natural scrub that can remove stains from your teeth and gums.


  • Given that this variety does not contain any alcohol, they are indeed safe for people with diabetes; women who are expecting; and, of course, people with an unhealthy addiction to alcohol. If you fall within any of these categories, then go with non-alcoholic mouthwash right away; it’s a safer option.
  • Without ethanol, you won’t get that stinging sensation when you gargle with non-alcoholic mouthwash
  • This variety has more flavors available in the market, and that’s because it’s easier to blend tastes without alcohol
  • Unlike alcoholic mouthwash, this type won’t leave you with a dry mouth after use.


  • There are certain types of this mouthwash variety that has ginger or strong mint oils in them, which may not be pleasant to taste. So, make sure you look for one without them if they’re not to your liking.
  • Avoid non-alcoholic mouthwash varieties that contain benzakolium chloride or saccharin, since these ingredients may be harmful especially to people with diabetes.

The Verdict

We would no doubt recommend that you go with a non-alcohol mouthwash.

For one, it is safer to use, since it doesn’t have any ingredients that could potentially harm you should you have any health conditions you are currently unaware of.

Secondly, the sheer variety of flavors available for this kind of mouthwash makes sure that you don’t tire of your daily oral health routine, which makes it less of a chore.

Hey, dare we say you might even look forward to the next time you gargle.

But, perhaps the most definitive reason we can give as to why you should opt for non-alcoholic mouthwash is due to the fact that it’s more effective in removing bacteria from your mouth.

You see, saliva works as a natural cleanser for our mouths, and since alcoholic mouthwash leaves you dry, it also tends to make your teeth and gums more susceptible to these unwanted particles given the absence of saliva.

So, wondering if you should opt for an alcoholic or non-alcoholic mouthwash?

We hope this guide helps you in making the right decision.

All we can say is, keep yourself safe and free from harmful bacteria and germs with proper daily oral health maintenance.