Product Type: Corsodyl Oral Care
Newest Review: ... difference in price. If a friend asked for advice about bleeding gums I'd say that Corsodyl worked and he or she should give it a go. But... more
Have you ever noticed how hard it is to smell your own breath?
Member Name: beckyX
Date: 12/08/10, updated on 03/06/11 (283 review reads)
Advantages: Breath smells nice, antibacterial
Disadvantages: Bit pricey for an everyday mouthwash, antibacterials not good for everyday use
When I was growing up, because it was a)medicated and b)very expensive, corsodyl was the mouthwash for the grownups only, so I'm not really too sure how kids would find something like that - pretty grim I would imagine. We children (who were of course keen on emulating the dental habits of our elders) had to make do with some bright green minty fresh thing, toothpaste and disclosing tablets. To be fair, I'm sure as much of the mouthwash we used was sloshed over the sink because we couldn't pour straight as in our mouths, so this was probably for the best.
The active ingredient in corsodyl is chlorhexidine digluconate, which is an antibacterial agent. This is useful in fighting the bacteria which lead to plaque formation and bad breath. It's also what you use if you are prone to oral thrush (a fungal infection). People with gingivitis (a gum disease) are also often told to use this. The strength of the regular version is 0.2% w/v chlorhexidine digluconate, but there is also an everyday use mouthwash that has 0.06% w/v. Being antibacterials, do remember NOT to drink the mouthwash but to spit it out! That said, I've never come to any harm with the little bit that I usually end up choking on when I gargle.
Personally, I'm none too keen on medicating with antibacterial agents all the time and so I don't routinely use the full strength. I keep a bottle around to use if I'm "under the weather" in some way - say I've got a few mouth ulcers, or I've just had a particularly intensive clean at the dentist's.
This is an occasional use mouthwash for most people - you have it a couple of times a day for a week or so at a time. I find it really handy that the lid of it doubles up as a measuring device and a cup.
You get warned when you use products with chlorhexidine digluconate that over long term they cause teeth staining. I do have staining to my teeth, but this seems to be at least as much due to my excessive coffee drinking habit as it does to my use of mouthwash, so I can't personally speak for or against this. However, it is something to bear in mind.
As mentioned before, the original flavour of corsodyl is in my opinion truly grim. I hate aniseed flavoured products at the best of times and when you factor in the other ingredients, this tastes seriously medical. My usual description for a wide range of things I hate the taste of is "It tastes like something died". However, due to the extra-special medical taste of corsodyl, I'll make an exception there: It tastes like something died, was stuffed with aniseed balls and was preserved in formaldehyde in a marsh for twenty years.
Fortunately for me, the minty flavour of corsodyl is much nicer, so I strongly recommend that variant over the original. I still think it has an antiseptic feel to it, but it's a lot nicer than, say, TCP, so it'll do me. There is another minty variant, Corsodyl Daily Defence, which has much lower amounts of chlorhexidine digluconate in it, making it suitable for everyday use - I tend to get this one as an everyday mouthwash when I see it on special offer. I can usually smell when someone has had mouthwash because it gives their breath a bit of a medicalised tang to it, but it's not unpleasant, so overall I think that's a good thing.
Other than the flavour, the mouthwash otherwise largely resembles water - it's not gloopy and if you get the minty one, it's not brightly coloured. The original one has red E number colourings that can cause asthma attacks in people with coal tar dye sensitivities; I have asthma brought on by some colourings and the mouthwash has never been a problem for me.
The 300ml bottle (pretty small) costs about £3, meaning that this isn't a cheap option. It is, however, not really intended as an everyday mouthwash, so I don't find that too expensive for a medicated mouthwash. I try to buy it when it is on special offer, which seems to crop up only once every few months. The daily defence version is a similar price (£3-4) for a much larger 500ml bottle. If you were prone to gum problems, that's probably not too expensive for an everyday mouthwash with a bit of protection, but I generally would only buy that if it were on special offer.
As well as the aforementioned Chlorhexidine Digluconate (which is 0.2% w/v), the ingredients for the original version of corsodyl are: water, Ethanol 7% v/v, Macrogolglycerol Hydroxystearate, E124, Aniseed Flavouring,Peppermint Oil. The ingredients list for the minty version is much the same, but it doesn't have the colourings in or the aniseed flavouring.
===Use as a detergent===
I have conclusive first hand experience that mouthwashes do not make a good laundry detergent. Once decanted into a travel bottle, however, my mother's mouthwash (which I assume was corsodyl as that is what she usually buys) did strongly resemble the unusual travel detergent that my mother packed for our holiday together. Confusing the two is how I discovered the complete lack of clothing cleaning properties of mouthwash; however, it does leave clothes smelling delightful. Fortunately, I discovered this by the smell of the otherwise not very clean clothing and lack of lathering, not by glugging down the detergent.
This is my preferred mouthwash for having for a week or so of intensive treatment to deal with mouth ulcers or dental problems. The rest of the time, I stick with whatever is on special offer and don't generally go for a special antibacterial brand.
Summary: Reasonably priced antibacterial mouthwash that is good for when you have ulcers or gum trouble