According to a study by York and Scarborough NHS Foundation Trust and Public Health England, several shop-bought mouthwashes reduce the level of Covid-19 in a laboratory setting.
The scientists launched the research to establish whether using a pre-procedural mouthwash reduces the higher coronavirus infection risk healthcare professionals face due to working near patients’ airways.
The results may prove a huge step towards protecting healthcare workers, especially dentists.
“The findings that certain mouthwashes can kill the coronavirus has potentially positive implications for infection prevention and control, particularly in the dental profession,” said one of the team who worked on the study, Public Health England’s Dr Marian Killip.
“If confirmed by evidence from real world trials, this simple solution could make it far easier for dentists and hygienists to keep seeing patients safely during the pandemic.”
David Seymour, Consultant in Oral Rehabilitation for Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, also worked on the study. He said: “The mouthwashes that we found can kill coronavirus in a laboratory will now be studied in patients.
“This will tell us how well the mouthwashes perform in the real world and also how long the effects last.
“This simple procedure could be a useful mitigation against coronavirus for the dental sector and potentially other close contact sectors.”
The best performing mouthwashes will now be taken forward and used in a randomised controlled clinical trial to see how effective the mouthwashes are in patients and how long their effect lasts.