Researchers from the U.K. feel they have found a way to help kill the coronavirus: Mouthwash. According to previous studies on similar viruses, some oral hygiene products helped prevent the spread of virus-causing germs. These results have pushed scientists to call for testing on the current coronavirus strain.
Even without testing, there are some facts that support mouthwash as an effective prevention method. The coronavirus is suspected to replicate in the throat and salivary glands. As mouthwash is known to kill germs in the mouth, it makes sense that it would fight virus-causing germs.
Ethanol, which is present in mouthwash, has been known to kill previous coronavirus strains at a concentration level of 60 percent or more. In some cases, ethanol as low as 20 percent prevented further spread. Most mouthwashes only contain 14 percent to 27 percent. Whether those amounts are high enough to kill the current coronavirus strain is unknown.
Other than practicing social distancing, staying at home as much as possible, and using masks and gloves for protection, experts have continuously recommended the public practice good hygiene and keep surfaces clean to prevent the spread of germs. It would fall in line, then, to also practice good oral hygiene to help kill germs before they spread.
Some scientists do point out that while mouthwash does kill germs in the mouth, it does nothing for the lungs or nasal cavities. With this fact in mind, it seems that though mouthwash may certainly be helpful, it cannot be relied upon as the only prevention method.
In fact, there is no one prevention method that can eradicate all risks. A more effective method is to use a combination of preventative measures, including washing and sanitizing hands often, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, practicing social distancing, using protective masks and gloves, and using mouthwash. When it comes to protecting yourself and loved ones, the more prevention, the better.