A new study looking at the effect of mouthwash on the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 found that mouthwashes that contain CPC (cetypyridinium chloride) were able to kill the virus within 30 seconds in a lab.
Preliminary findings from researchers at Cardiff University reported that certain kind of mouthwashes (looking at well-known brands from Dentyl to Listerine) were effective when exposed to the virus in saliva for 30 seconds. Per the results, over-the-counter mouthwashes that had at least 0.07 percent CPC showed “promising” results for being able to kill the virus in the lab setting.
“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,” Dr. Nick Claydon, a specialist periodontologist, told the BBC.
Researchers note that while this is promising for looking at ways to potentially reduce harm by people carrying the virus, there’s no evidence yet that the findings (provided they check out in clinical trials) will tell them more about treating respiratory symptoms of COVID-19.
Dr. Richard Stanton also told BBC that the latest study “adds to the emerging literature that several commonly available mouthwashes designed to fight gum disease can also inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (and other related coronaviruses) when tested in the laboratory under conditions that are designed to mimic the oral/nasal cavity in a test tube.”
While previously there were myths floating around about Listerine being able to kill the virus, this study specifies that very specific mouthwash formulas are seeing potential in this area in these lab results — but that there’s still a lot to be understood about how they might work in the human body and what it could (if at all) mean for community spread.
So even if you’ve got a CPC-containing medicine cabinet staple, don’t expect your morning swig and/or gargle of mouthwash will not be taking the place of your other safety precautions (masks! social distancing!) anytime soon.
Before you go, check out our favorite all-natural cold remedies for kids: