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What's The Best Mouthwash?

My clients are always asking which is the best mouthwash.   The truth is, it depends on what problem you are tying to address.  

Mouthwash is not one-brand-fits-all.  

I'll tell you another secret…not everyone needs mouthwash.  I don't use it everyday, and you may not need to either. You may only need it for a few days or not at all.

Mouthwash it is great for certain scenarios and could be just the thing to improve a specific problem.

I recommend certain brands for:

best mouthwash

There are mouthwashes made specifically to improve these specific dental problems.

You will be much happier with the result if you choose the right one vs just picking the brand with the best advertisement or whatever happens to be on sale.

For gingivitis or gum disease:

My first OTC choice is Listerine because of the studies that show how well it works. Not everyone can use it.   Listerine has a strong flavor or as one of my clients said, "it burns like hell."  You could dilute it with some water until you get used to the flavor but again, it's not for everyone:)

If you find Listerine too strong, there are some other options...

Crest ProHealth mouthwash is a good choice if Listerine is not tolerable.

Prescription rinses containing chlorhexidine are effective for severe gum inflammation. Short term use is recommended to minimize side effects.

More about mouthwash for gum disease here.

For dry mouth:

Biotene mouthwash improves dry mouth. Dry mouth is a common side effect of most medications and a chronic condition for many.  Learn how Biotene works here.


Biotene is thicker than other mouthwash brands becasue it contains some of the enzymes that are in saliva.


It takes some getting used to but does improve dry mouth.


Biotene mouthwash is fluoride free and can be used more frequently throughout the day to relieve your dry mouth compared to mouthwashes with fluoride that can only be used 1-2 times a day.  Learn more ways to relieve dry mouth here.


For cavity prevention or sensitive teeth:

Fluoride mouthwash is good for reducing your tooth decay rate and decreasing tooth sensitivity.  If you have a new cavity every time you get your teeth checked or extra sensitive teeth you may need some extra fluoride.  ACT is the most well known and comes in a variety of flavors to please every age.

Fluoride strengthens your enamel making it stronger and more resistant to bacteria and acids that cause tooth decay.  

Or…. you could save a step in your daily routine and use Colgate Prevident gel in place of your toothpaste.  Like ACT rinse, Prevident has more fluoride than other products and strengthens your enamel. Learn more ways to prevent cavities here. 

For mouth irritations:

best mouthwash

Hydrogen peroxide mouthwash is very inexpensive and has no alcohol, it helps to decrease bacteria in your mouth and improves minor mouth irritations.

Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle and dilute with water before rinsing.

For bad breath:

Oxyfresh is ideal for bad breath and killing bacteria. Its active ingredient Sodium chlorite works to neutralize bad breath and improve the health of your gums.  

If you have a dry mouth you most likely have bad breath, Biotene mouthwash will improve both your breath and your dry mouth. 

Bad breath is complicated and not always caused by dental problems.

More about bad breath causes here.

It's complicated...

Still not sure?  If you contact me on this page, I can help you find the best mouthwash for your needs.

Next ~ Best Toothpaste

Reviews  |  ACT  |  ProHealth  |  Biotene  |  Magic  |  Listerine  

Hydrogen Peroxide  

Salt Water |  Fluoride  |  About alcohol  |  Chlorhexidine


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