Your mouthwash is out to get you!

By Jody Rohlena on November 16, 2012 11:18:46 am

Thinkstock86529025_SSBLOG_HEALTH_everydayproductsWell, not on purpose, but the Internet is full of reports from people who claim that their mouthwash stained their teeth brown or affected their sense of taste, at least temporarily. Many blame Crest Pro-Health.

According to the American Dental Association, the ingredient responsible is cetylpyridinium chloride, which is also found in Cepacol Antibacterial and other products, including prescription rinses. If you’ve noticed these symptoms, stop using your mouthwash. If things return to normal, then skip mouthwash in the future.

Regular flossing, brushing, and professional cleaning are all you probably need to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

This is just one surprising side effect we uncovered in our recent story “Hidden hazards of 10 everyday products.” Download ShopSmart hidden hazards story here. Some others to beware of:

Contact lenses. Never rinse your case with water and replace it every three months. Otherwise you risk transferring harmful microorganisms to your lenses, and your eyes.

Hair spray. The aerosol kind can trigger respiratory problems, especially if you spray in a small room (like a bathroom). Try the pump kind instead.

Lip balm. If you think you’re addicted, it may be that ingredients in the stuff are drying out your lips, making you need to apply it all the time. Try using plain petroleum jelly or a lip balm with no added fragrance or color, such as Dr. Bronner’s Organic.

Cotton swabs. Guess what? A little ear wax is healthy; it protects your ears. And using cotton swabs can introduce bacteria and lead to infection, or even puncture ear drums if you go in too far.

Other everyday products with hidden risks include vaginal douches, acid reducers, eye drops, and hydrogen peroxide and other first-aid treatments for cuts. All of these products should be used sparingly, or in the case of douches and eye drops, not at all. They’re not necessary and they can potentially be harmful.

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Jody Rohlena

Jody Rohlena

Posted at 11:18:46 AM in
Consumer protection | Cosmetics | Family | Featured | Fitness | Health | Health & Safety | Jody Rohlena | Safety | Shopping

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Adriano Marinelli

07:55:22 PM on Mon Nov 26 2012

you do not provide the research to support your criticism of common health practices. For example, you disapprove of the use of Qtips and mouth wash, but don't provide the research behind your position.

Robin Melen

01:57:55 PM on Tue Nov 27 2012

Dear Adriano,
Thanks for your post. Our summary of our recent story "Hidden hazards of 10 everyday products" was just that, a summary. The full article contains the research behind our cautions. In the case of cotton swabs, a recent study at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit found a direct link between their use and ruptured eardrums. Skip them, says the study's author. As for mouthwash, the American Dental Association is very explicit about the problematic ingredients, and the public-health dental consultant we interviewed, Jay W. Friedman, D.D.S., M.P.H, told us that most of these products are essentially worthless. So save your money!

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