Mouthwash Increases Risk of Cancer


For the love of your friends and colleagues, freshen your breath, but pass on the Listerine unless you want a little cancer to go with that minty mouth. An Australian study of 3,200 people has found that alcohol-based mouthwashes actually increase your risk of developing oral cancer, and that risk increases nine-fold if you smoke or drink. It’s thought that the ethanol in the mouthwash helps cancer-causing chemicals like nicotine absorb into the skin.

Listerine has long been considered a smart part of a healthy dental care regimen. We’ve all seen the cute cartoon animated commercials where germs are sent scrambling. But this may be one case where the cure is worse than the disease. Thankfully, you’ve got better options:

- Jason’s Healthy Mouth mouthwash is free of alcohol, saccharin and anything else you wouldn’t want swishing around your mouth. Try a 16 oz bottle for $7.36.

- Prefer DIY? Here’s an easy single-serving recipe:

2 oz. of water
1/4 tsp. baking soda or sea salt
1 drop peppermint oil
1 drop tea tree oil

Mix, rinse, and spit. Ahhhh…now you can smile and breathe easy.

Image: razee