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Act Fluoride: Alcohol-Free?

Bob F., a regular Mouse Print* reader, recently bought a bottle of Act fluoride mouthwash/rinse for kids. The front label of the bottle clearly stated that the product was “alcohol-free.”

Act front

When he looked at the ingredients statement, however, he was taken aback.


Act ingredients

The first inactive ingredient listed was “benzyl alcohol.” What?

Clearly, any parent would be concerned about a child swallowing this candy-flavored liquid if it contained alcohol.

But that is not the case here. When most consumers think of alcohol, they think of the alcohol in liquor. That is actually ethyl alcohol or ethanol. Benzyl alcohol in ACT is chemically different. It is a flavor enhancer and preservative.

So, Act is properly labeled as “alcohol-free” because it does not contain the common type of alcohol that you find in other mouthwashes like Listerine.

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8 thoughts on “Act Fluoride: Alcohol-Free?”

  1. If I were a parent of a small child I would be more concerned about the rest of the ingredients. Fluoride itself is a poison that has recently been implicated in the increase of thyroid problems. The rest of the chemical soup that completes the ingredients list is stuff I’d never feed a kid. Or a grownup for that matter. You want to prevent cavities? Quit feeding your kids sugar. The makers of this toxic chemical crap should be ashamed of themselves!

  2. Actually, the label says, “alcohol free,” not “alcohol-free.” So, the label is saying that the alcohol is free, not that the product is free from alcohol.

  3. As a retired dentist, I can state that the amount of fluoride in this product, and in other consumer product, is not, in any way harmful. Numerous studies over decades have shown not the slightest evidence that there is there is any link whatsoever to illness, or any harmful health condition. Any connection to thyroid disease has been thoroughly disproven. I do agree that fluoride can be harmful IF used indiscriminately or given in OVERDOSE. This would not occur, if used according to directions. A dentist would have nothing to gain by promoting the use of a fluoride containing product.

  4. Thank you @Len for your informative comment. With all the hoax and pseudo-science malarkey spread around the Internet these days it’s good to have an experienced knowledgeable professional provide useful accurate information

  5. As an Endocrinologist, Robt’s comments about fluoride are nonsense. I’m guessing he is also against vaccinations.

  6. Kudos to Mr. Consumer for recognizing–and pointing out–that beverage alcohol is an entirely different beast from benzyl alcohol. As a scientist I grow weary of reading alarmist diatribes based on a lack of chemical or other scientific knowledge. There are plenty of things to be concerned about in the consumer marketplace (no, fluoride is not among them) without being distracted by fictional ones.

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