Enter any upscale pharmacy and what you are likely to see on the front desk are bottles of assorted mouthwash, with detailed explanation of what they do and how to use them.

For many people, the mouthwash is an integral part of their oral cleansing routine, whether in the morning or at night as they prepare for bed.

Of course, dental health specialists do prescribe them when necessary, and, like other medications, they are meant to be used under the supervision of a competent physician for a specified period.

A dentist, Dr. Mabel Phillips, warns that it is an abuse of drugs when you use mouthwash indefinitely, as they could do more harm than good.

She says, “Sure, your breath will be fresh for a few minutes, but trust me, the bacteria returns very quickly.”

Experts lament that most over-the-counter mouthwashes contain alcohol, with nasty consequences for the user.

“Alcohol dries out your mouth and makes it a conducive arena for bacteria to thrive. Again, alcohol and smoking have been linked to oral cancer,” Phillips warns.

She says some mouthwash have a high percentage of alcohol that can have a negative effect of drying the mouth, especially for people who are undergoing cancer treatment, as well as those who are using hypertension drugs. Those using antidepressants and those who are diabetic are also warned against mouthwash use.

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