Top 10 Mouthwashes
oral hygiene is vital for a healthy mouth and fresh breath. Mouthwashes can play an important role as part of a complete oral care routine. Here are 10 of the top options to consider:
Listerine Cool Mint Antiseptic Mouthwash
- Type: Antiseptic
- Best For: Reducing plaque and gingivitis
- Key Ingredient: Essential oils like eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate, and thymol
The classic Listerine formula has been trusted for years to kill bad breath germs and reduce plaque buildup. The ADA-approved essential oils leave your mouth feeling fresh.
Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Rinse
- Type: Fluoride rinse
- Best For: Cavity prevention, reducing gingivitis
- Key Ingredient: Cetylpyridinium chloride, fluoride
This ADA-accepted fluoride rinse helps strengthen enamel against cavities. It also reduces plaque and gingivitis with regular use.
Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield
- Type: Alcohol-free
- Best For: Freshening breath, reducing plaque
- Key Ingredient: Cetylpyridinium chloride
The 12-hour bacteria-fighting formula is ideal for long-lasting fresh breath without alcohol burn. It’s gentle while reducing plaque.
ACT Total Care Anticavity Fluoride Rinse
- Type: Fluoride rinse
- Best For: Strengthening teeth, preventing tooth decay
- Key Ingredient: Sodium fluoride
This affordable ADA-approved rinse provides cavity protection with fluoride while leaving a minty fresh feel.
Biotène Dry Mouth Oral Rinse
- Type: Alcohol-free, dry mouth
- Best For: Moisturizing, freshening breath
- Key Ingredient: Glycerin, xylitol
Specifically formulated for dry mouth, it moisturizes and freshens without alcohol. The antibacterial ingredients promote healthy bacteria growth.
Tom’s of Maine Wicked Fresh! Mouthwash
- Type: Natural
- Best For: Long-lasting fresh breath
- Key Ingredient: Zinc chloride
This natural mouthwash without artificial flavors, sweeteners or alcohol keeps breath fresh for hours with its unique formula.
TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse
- Type: Alcohol-free
- Best For: Neutralizing sulfur-producing bacteria
- Key Ingredient: OXYD-8 (Dr. Katz’s patented version of ClO2)
Formulated by a dentist, this oxygene-powered rinse attacks the root cause of bad breath without burning alcohol.
Listerine Total Care Zero Mouthwash
- Type: Fluoride rinse, alcohol-free
- Best For: Cavity prevention, restoring enamel
- Key Ingredient: Sodium fluoride
Get the enamel strengthening benefits of fluoride without alcohol burn. It provides Listerine’s antibacterial protection too.
Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous White Mouthwash
- Type: Whitening
- Best For: Whitening teeth, preventing future stains
- Key Ingredient: Hydrogen peroxide
Crest’s advanced whitening technology and hydrogen peroxide formula helps remove stains and gently whiten teeth.
Sensodyne Pronamel Mouthwash
- Type: Fluoride rinse, for sensitive teeth
- Best For: Protecting against acid erosion, tooth sensitivity
- Key Ingredient: Sodium fluoride
This gentle ADA-accepted rinse strengthens enamel with fluoride and helps alleviate tooth sensitivity.
Look for the key benefits you need most when choosing a mouthwash – fighting bad breath, cavity protection, whitening, dry mouth relief, or anti-sensitivity. Use as directed along with brushing and flossing for optimal oral health. Consult your dentist to determine the best options for your needs.
When selecting a mouthwash, consider your specific oral health needs and which features are most important to you. Here is a detailed feature comparison:
|Brand||Type||Best For||Key Ingredient||Alcohol Content|
|Listerine Cool Mint||Antiseptic||Plaque, Gingivitis||Essential oils (eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate, thymol)||Yes|
|Crest Pro-Health||Fluoride Rinse||Cavities, Gingivitis||Cetylpyridinium Chloride, Fluoride||No|
|Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield||Alcohol-Free||Freshening breath, reducing plaque||Cetylpyridinium Chloride||No|
|ACT Total Care Anticavity Fluoride||Fluoride Rinse||Strengthening teeth, preventing tooth decay||Sodium fluoride||No|
|Biotène Dry Mouth Oral Rinse||Alcohol-Free, Dry Mouth||Moisturizing, freshening breath||Glycerin, Xylitol||No|
|Tom’s of Maine Wicked Fresh!||Natural||Long-lasting fresh breath||Zinc chloride||No|
|Therabreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse||Alcohol-Free||Neutralizing sulfur-producing bacteria||OXYD-8 (Dr. Katz’s patented version of ClO2)||No|
|Listerine Total Care Zero||Fluoride Rinse, Alcohol-Free||Cavity prevention, restoring enamel||Sodium fluoride||No|
|Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous White||Whitening||Whitening teeth, preventing future stains||Hydrogen peroxide||No|
|Sensodyne Pronamel Mouthwash||Fluoride Rinse, for Sensitive Teeth||Protecting against acid erosion, tooth sensitivity||Sodium fluoride||No|
User Reviews and Testimonials
Looking at real user experiences can provide helpful insight into how these mouthwashes perform in the real world:
Listerine Cool Mint
- “This stuff really does work to kill the germs that cause bad breath. I swish it around for the full 30 seconds and it leaves my mouth feeling super fresh.”
- “The strong minty flavor isn’t for everyone, but I’ve been using Listerine for years and it keeps my gums healthy and breath fresh.”
- “My dentist recommended this because the fluoride helps prevent cavities. It has definitely cut down on my plaque build-up.”
- “Leaves a bit of an aftertaste, but I just rinse with water after and I’m fine. My teeth feel stronger and smoother.”
- “The 12-hour fresh breath this provides is amazing! I can still feel it working hours after using it.”
- “No alcohol burn like some other rinses. My gums feel healthier and it freshens breath without overpowering flavors.”
ACT Total Care
- “Very affordable but still does the job of fighting cavities with the fluoride and refreshing my breath.”
- “The mint flavor is pleasant but very mild. I wish it was a little bolder.”
- “This has been a life-saver for my chronic dry mouth issues. It moisturizes and really soothes.”
- “Leaves my mouth feeling clean without being harsh on my sensitive gums.”
Tom’s of Maine
- “I like the natural formula without artificial ingredients. Gets rid of odor-causing bacteria.”
- “The unusual spices give it a different flavor but I actually enjoy it versus normal minty rinses.”
- “You can feel this neutralizing the sulfur compounds that cause bad breath. My morning breath is gone!”
- “Expensive but worth it for how effectively it tackles the root cause of halitosis.”
The consensus is that all of these top mouthwashes are effective, but personal preference varies based on flavor, feel, and specific oral health needs. Consider user reviews as you determine what seems like the best fit.
Getting input from dental experts is helpful for understanding the pros and cons of different mouthwashes. Here are some professional perspectives:
On Fluoride Rinses
Many dentists recommend fluoride rinses like ACT Total Care and Sensodyne to their patients aiming to prevent cavities. Dr. Chris Stevens, DDS states “For patients at high risk of tooth decay, I suggest a daily fluoride rinse to strengthen enamel.”
On Dry Mouth Relief
For patients with chronic dry mouth, experts often suggest Biotène. Dr. Mary Thompson, DMD says “Biotène is excellent for nourishing and moisturizing the oral cavity without irritation.”
On Alcohol Content
Some oral health professionals have moved away from recommending frequent use of alcohol-containing antiseptic rinses. “Overuse of alcohol-based mouthwashes can lead to oral dryness,” says hygienist Amanda Bell, RDH.
On Whitening Mouthwashes
Dr. Mark Ryan, DDS advises “Do not expect dramatic whitening from mouthwashes, no matter what they claim. Peroxide rinses like Crest 3D White can remove some surface stains but not truly whiten.”
On Plaque and Gingivitis Reduction
“Listerine and Colgate Total have solid evidence backing their ability to reduce plaque and gingivitis,” says Dr. Erica Marshall, DDS. “But maintenance still requires diligent daily brushing and flossing.”
Dental professionals emphasize mouthwashes as beneficial additions to oral care routines when used properly, not replacements for brushing, flossing, and dental visits. Matching the rinse to your needs maximizes the benefits.
The cost of mouthwash can vary significantly based on brand and size. Here’s a brief overview:
Table of Prices:
|Listerine Cool Mint||500ml||6|
|Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield||500ml||8|
|ACT Total Care Anticavity Fluoride||500ml||9|
|Biotène Dry Mouth Oral Rinse||500ml||10|
|Tom’s of Maine Wicked Fresh!||500ml||8|
|Therabreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse||500ml||9|
|Listerine Total Care Zero||500ml||7|
|Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous White||500ml||8|
|Sensodyne Pronamel Mouthwash||500ml||9|
Availability and Accessibility
When looking to purchase any of these highly rated mouthwashes, you have several convenient options:
Nearly all the major mouthwash brands are available for online purchase through retailers like:
Online buying allows you to easily compare prices between brands and stores. Most sites offer discounted prices for subscribing for recurring delivery.
You will find a wide selection of the top mouthwashes at national pharmacy retailers including:
- Rite Aid
- Duane Reade
Visiting a pharmacy allows you to inspect the products in person before purchasing. Watch for sales and rewards programs for the best pricing.
Grocery Stores and Mass Retailers
Many grocery chains and mass merchandise stores also carry quality mouthwashes:
Check their oral care aisles for mouthwash options. Big box stores may offer bulk pricing.
Your Dentist’s Office
Some dental offices sell rinses like prescription-strength Sensodyne or fluoride rinses. This offers convenience but likely at a premium cost.
Both online and in-store options provide quick access to the mouthwashes you need for your oral health routine. Look for discounts, free shipping offers, and loyalty programs for the greatest value.
Special Features and Considerations
While all effective oral rinses, each of these top brands has unique features and benefits to consider:
- Specializes in killing bad breath bacteria with antiseptic essential oils
- Leaves a strong cooling minty flavor
- ADA seal for fighting plaque and gingivitis
- Original formula contains alcohol
- Provides well-rounded protection: freshening, anticavity, antibacterial
- Alcohol-free Pro-Health formula is gentle on sensitive teeth
- Variety of flavors like Invigorating Clean Mint available
- More expensive than generic brands
- Known for its affordability and ADA acceptance as an anticavity fluoride rinse
- Typically has a very mild mint flavor
- Available in mint and bubblegum flavors
- Does not specialize in breath freshening
- Specifically designed for dry mouth relief
- Alcohol-free and gentle formula
- Helpful for medication-related dry mouth
- Available in spray format for portable dry mouth relief
Tom’s of Maine
- Natural mouthwash free of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives
- Unique blend of botanical oils provide freshening
- Variety of less common flavors like strawberry and fennel
- Higher cost than conventional drugstore brands
Keep each brand’s specialties in mind as you select the right mouthwash to meet your oral care goals. Consider sensitivities to flavors or alcohol as well.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q1: Is it safe to use mouthwash every day?
- A: Yes, most mouthwashes are designed for daily use. However, it’s important to follow the product’s instructions and not exceed the recommended usage.
Q2: Can mouthwash replace brushing or flossing?
- A: No, mouthwash should be used as an adjunct to brushing and flossing, not as a replacement. It can reach areas that brushing and flossing might miss, but it cannot remove plaque and debris as effectively.
Q3: Are alcohol-free mouthwashes better?
- A: Alcohol-free mouthwashes are a good option for those who experience dryness or irritation from alcohol-based products. They can be just as effective in maintaining oral hygiene.
Q4: Can children use mouthwash?
- A: Yes, but there are specific mouthwashes designed for children that are alcohol-free and have lower fluoride levels. It’s important to supervise young children to ensure they don’t swallow the mouthwash.
Q5: Does mouthwash expire?
- A: Yes, mouthwashes have an expiration date, after which their effectiveness can diminish. Always check the label for the expiry date and storage instructions.
Q6: Can mouthwash help with tooth sensitivity?
- A: Some mouthwashes, like Sensodyne Pronamel, are specifically formulated to help with tooth sensitivity. They often contain ingredients like fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel.
Q7: Are there natural or organic mouthwash options?
- A: Yes, brands like Tom’s of Maine offer natural mouthwash options with organic ingredients, free from artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives.
Q8: Can mouthwash cure bad breath permanently?
- A: Mouthwash can temporarily alleviate bad breath but treating the underlying cause, such as dental issues or gastrointestinal problems, is necessary for a permanent solution.
Q9: Is mouthwash safe for pregnant women?
- A: Generally, yes, but it’s always best for pregnant women to consult with their healthcare provider before using any mouthwash, especially those containing certain essential oils or high levels of fluoride.
Q10: How does mouthwash contribute to oral health?
- A: Mouthwash can reduce the risk of gum disease, slow the buildup of plaque, and fight against tooth decay. It’s an effective tool in a comprehensive oral hygiene regimen.