* Prices may differ from that shown
Some years ago I started to use AloeDent toothpaste. I liked its flavour which was strongly minty but without the sweetness which many pastes have and also the lack of 'frothiness'. Regular use seemed to help improve my gum health markedly. Brief periods of using an alternative paste were accompanied by a return of the gum problems so this confirmed my suspicions that the AloeDent was suiting me very well. When I spotted a bottle of AloeDent mouthwash in a store I was delighted. If this wash had the same flavour and effect as the paste it would suit me perfectly.
~What's in it?~
Some people have allergies or intolerances - so I will include the full ingredients list:
Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis, Sorbitol, Polysorbate 20, Citrus Patadisi (Grapefruit Seed Extract), Mentha Piperita, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Aroma, Menthol, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea tree oil), Phytonadione (Vitamin K), Escin (horse chestnut), Centella Asiatica (Indian pennywort), Xylitol, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Citric Acid, CI75810
The manufacturers highlight some of the ingredients and offer a brief description of the benefits they are said to offer:
*Aloe Vera : for its soothing qualities
*Vitamin K, Grapefruit Seed Extract and Tea Tree Oil : for their antibacterial and antiseptic qualities
*Escin (from Horse Chestnut seed) and Indian Pennywort : for healthy gums
*Peppermint Oil and Menthol : for a natural, minty taste.
(When I review personal care items, I try to mention whether the product contains parabens - preservatives used widely in cosmetics. I have friends who have sensitivities to parabens and therefore need to check the ingredients before trying a product. This product does not contain parabens (a few mouthwashes do contain these). However, AloeDent mouthwash contains sodium hydroxymethylglycinate (a mouthful all on its own!). This may be added to products as an alternative to parabens but unfortunately, it appears that some people are susceptible to irritation from this component too.)
~What does it look like?~
The clear, colourless bottle contains 250ml of the emerald green liquid. The label displays an image of a cut aloe leaf and provides a list of the positive effects which the manufacturer's claim the mouthwash offers, namely; strong teeth, healthy gums, fights plaque, bad breath and tartar. Apparently the basis of these claims is that it "protects against bacteria" which is one of the underlying causes of such problems. A logo depicting an opened pot and bearing the cipher "12M" indicates that the product should be used within twelve months of opening. It also carries the instruction that users should "fill the cap rinse around mouth thoroughly and spit out".
~What does it taste like?~
The bottle's label announces that this mouthwash is "Extra Strong - Minty Fresh". They're not kidding. Familiar with the fairly strong mint flavour of the toothpaste, I expected something similar from this wash but I was surprised at the intensity of the mint/menthol taste. It gives a really powerful hot-yet-cold minty feeling in your mouth. If that were the only aspect of the flavour I could quite like it. It certainly offers the freshness I am looking for in a mouthwash. But there is an aftertaste - a quite different flavour - and the most diplomatic word I can use to describe this is 'challenging'! Have you ever eaten a fresh grapefruit, but accidentally taken a piece of membrane or pith into your mouth and chewed it? You know that mouth-puckering, dry, sour taste? Well that is how I would describe the aftertaste of this mouthwash. That bottle stood on the bathroom shelf for weeks before I mustered up the courage to give it a second try! I did try again though, and persisted in doing so, simply because I had been so pleased with the results of another product in the same range. Frankly, if flavour alone had been the deciding factor then it would have been discarded.
~Does it work?~
It works well in terms of delivering a long lasting freshness. I also noticed an extremely clean feeling in my mouth after using it. My gum problems stayed away but there is no practical way of determining whether that was the result of using the toothpaste alone or if the mouthwash gave additional gum protection.
~A personal note.~
Since childhood I had been plagued with frequently recurring throat infections and this persisted well into adulthood. However, after I adopted a regime recommended by an ENT surgeon I have never looked back. The advice was to adopt a stringent approach to mouth hygiene - brushing my teeth and using a mouthwash after every occasion of eating a meal or snack no matter how small. But there was a proviso. When using a mouthwash with this frequency, it should be chosen with care. I was advised to avoid a wash containing fluoride and under no circumstances should it contain alcohol. These criteria are not impossible to meet, but they certainly do limit the options. AloeDent mouthwash contains neither fluoride nor alcohol and it is also free of saccharin which means it could be a reasonable choice for such frequent use. On the other hand one of the ingredients - the sodium hydroxymethylglycinate can cause skin irritation to those sensitive to it as already noted.
~Which shops stock it...and for how much?~
As with the other items in the AloeDent range, this mouthwash appeared first on the shelves of 'healthshops' but is now more widely available. Waitrose and Holland & Barrett sell it instore and it is availailable from several online retailers including Amazon. The price is around £3.49 at these outlets. At the moment Waitrose online are offering it for £2.32. (I don't know whether that offer price is also available in Waitrose stores.)
For any further information, the distributor's address is:
William Ransom & Son
Alexander House, 40a Wilbury Way,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG4 0AP
Tel: +44 (0)1462 437615
Fax: +44 (0)1462 420528
The company website is: www.williamransom.com/home.asp?nid=152&pid=3
An additional website gives further information about the product range:
Given the price, which is considerably higher than average for a mouthwash, and the very strong and distinctive flavour, I would not recommend this mouthwash for general family use. I would class it as a product with a 'niche market'. I am not disappointed with the results of using the wash but I am on the lookout for something with similar characteristics but a more agreeable taste!
(NB: this review has appeared on other sites under the same username.)