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Did you know that Listerine was a surgical antiseptic that was distilled and sold as a floor cleaner and then a cure for gonorrhea? Then it was relabeled, re-marketed and sold to the public as what we now know as Listerine. Alcohol-based mouthwashes, including Listerine, increase the risk of oral cancer by 900%. It’s not just Listerine anymore though; it is most major brand mouth washes.

Acetaldehyde is a toxic byproduct of alcohol that may accumulate in the oral cavity. When you gargle with mouthwash, it is believed to be a carcinogen. Mouthwash containing alcohol should not be sold over-the-counter, and should be reclassified as prescription only with written health warnings.

Try this instead. Avoid eating a lot of sugar and junk food, take your probiotics and use herbal rinses with essential oils, such as thyme, peppermint, wintergreen, and eucalyptus for fresh breath. You can easily make one at home as well. Whatever you do, stay away from the alcohol-based brands.