Why Mouthwash May Be the Next Household Item in Short Supply

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Mouthwash might just become the hottest product of the winter season. Based on a new study conducted by Cardiff University in Wales, there is an indication that over-the-counter mouthwashes containing 0.07% cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) can help destroy the coronavirus.

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While this is only one study that has not yet been peer reviewed, and additional reports will be needed to support these results, researchers reported that CPC-based mouthwashes can kill the coronavirus in saliva within 30 seconds. This supports another 2020 study that saw CPC mouthwashes reducing one's viral load.

"If these positive results are reflected in Cardiff University's clinical trial, CPC-based mouthwashes ... could become an important addition to people's routine, together with hand washing, physical distancing, and wearing masks, both now and in the future," Dr. Nick Claydon, a periodontologist, tells BBC News.

However, mouthwash is ​not​ a treatment for the coronavirus, since it has no effect on your respiratory tract or lungs. It wouldn't hurt to add it to your hygiene routine, but the product should not be seen as a replacement for the CDC's COVID-19 guidelines.

In fact, according to the CDC's current guidance for dental settings, "There is no published evidence regarding the clinical effectiveness of PPMRs [preprocedural mouth rinses] to reduce SARS-CoV-2 viral loads or to prevent transmission." Yet, the CDC does recommend that mouth rinses are used because they are believed to reduce oral microorganisms when they contain an antimicrobial product like CPC.

Again, though CPC mouthwashes are not a treatment for the coronavirus, it's not a bad idea to add one to your routine. You can find 0.07% CPC in mouthwashes such as the Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash.

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Anna is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor who covers lifestyle and design content for Hunker. She's written for Apartment Therapy, the L.A. Times, Forge, and more. She previously worked as the lifestyle editor at HelloGiggles and deputy editor at So Yummy. Her email: anna.gragert@hunker.com