Current scientific knowledge provides clear evidence that alcohol-based mouthwashes can be beneficial in a daily oral health routine, including dental hygiene and plaque control. Several issues are worth discussing, in spite of the wealth of supporting evidence. Despite some undesirable effects to some people, like burning sensation, and some contraindications, like the use by infants, alcohol addicts and patients with mucosal injuries, there is no reason to avoid the use of alcohol-containing mouthwashes as long as they are used following proper guidance by dental professionals and the manufacturers' instructions. The alleged correlation between oral cancer and alcohol-based mouthrinses presents so little, weak, inconsistent and even contradictory evidence in the literature that any kind of risk warning to patients would be uncalled for. Antimicrobial mouthrinses are safe and effective in reducing plaque and gingivitis, and should be part of a comprehensive oral health care regimen that includes brushing, flossing and rinsing to prevent or minimize periodontal disease.