The best mouth­wash

First For Women - - Health -

Though an­ti­sep­tic rinses are of­ten touted as a su­pe­rior op­tion, the al­co­hol many con­tain re­duces saliva pro­duc­tion. “That’s a prob­lem since saliva helps buf­fer acids in the mouth,” says Dana Fort, D.D.S., a den­tist in Chicago. “With­out suf­fi­cient saliva, acid lev­els can climb to a point that al­lows odor-caus­ing bac­te­ria to thrive, which con­trib­utes to cav­i­ties.” A bet­ter bet: an al­co­hol-free swish with zinc. “Prod­ucts con­tain­ing zinc thwart the growth of bad bac­te­ria,” notes Fort. And a study in the Euro­pean Jour­nal of Oral Sciences found that zinc also re­duces bac­te­rial pro­duc­tion of the sul­fur com­pounds that make breath smell. A drug­store op­tion that fits the bill: Ther­aBreath Plus Max­i­mum Strength Fresh Breath Oral Rinse.

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