In the latest run of positive vibe COVID stories, a new study indicates that mouthwash can kill the novel coronavirus within 30 seconds of being exposed to it.

The scientists involved, who are based at Cardiff University, said that there are ‘promising signs’ that the over-the-counter product could nix the virus. This is in mouthwashes that contain at least 0.07% cetypyridinium chloride (CPC).

The study, it should be noted, is not yet peer-reviewed and comes ahead of a clinical trail also from Cardiff University, which will explore the impact of CPC-based mouthwashes on levels of the virus in the saliva of people with COVID-19, who are being treated at University Hospital of Wales. The results of this are expected in early 2021. (This trial will be funded by Venture Life Group, who make some mouthwashes. These include Dentyl, which was used in the earlier trial.)

a close up of a bottle: Dentyl PH Mint Alcohol Free Mint Mouthwash 500ml

Dentyl PH Mint Alcohol Free Mint Mouthwash 500ml


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As such, while this is a good indicator, these are early days for these findings.

Speaking on the findings, Dr Claydon, a specialist periodontologist, said: ‘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.’

The academic leading the study, Prof David Thomas, was optimistic about the findings, but noted that we need to see if mouthwashes can prove effective in patients, as opposed to in a lab. ‘Whilst these mouthwashes very effectively eradicate the virus in the laboratory, we need to see if they work in patients and this is the point of our ongoing clinical study,’ he said.

‘The ongoing clinical study will, however, show us how long any effects last, following a single administration of the mouthwash in patients with Covid-19. We need to understand if the effect of over-the-counter mouthwashes on the Covid-19 virus achieved in the laboratory can be reproduced in patients.’

Of the news, Sunny Sihra, Leading Dentist and Owner of The Simply Teeth Clinic told WH:

‘Whilst this news is exciting for many reasons, I don’t think people should start thinking that mouthwash will be able to safeguard them against contracting coronavirus. There are many reasons why mouthwash could help contribute towards reducing transmission, however I feel it’s still a largely grey area so it’s hard to say 100% if this is the case. I think generally it’s really important to ensure you are keeping on top of your oral health at this time, adopting a proper morning and evening routine with your teeth is imperative so you are not compromising your oral health.’

As to how you should be looking after your mouth? ‘You should be ensuring now more than ever that you are looking after your oral health, brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing and using a mouthwash,’ says Sihra. ‘You should be having a good amount of mouthwash, swilling it around the mouth a number of times, gargling it so it reaches the back of the throat and tonsils, and then after about a minute spit it out and wash out your mouth with fresh water, this will ensure it reaches all areas of the mouth.’

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