“A short 30-second rinse with a mouthwash can help prevent plaque accumulation, gingivitis, cavities, and germs, as well as providing cosmetic benefits like improved breath and whiter teeth,” said Lana Rozenberg, DDS, a cosmetic dentist in New York.
Mouthwash should never be used in place of a good brushing and flossing routine, which is the only method to keep your teeth and gums healthy in the long run. It’s also not necessary to use mouthwash.
According to Amanda Lewis, DMD, a cosmetic dentist in Dallas and inventor of flossing company Lewie, the gargle may more easily access sections of the mouth that brushing and flossing can’t, such as the gums and soft tissues. To make sure you’ve covered all your bases, she suggests rinsing with mouthwash after brushing.
If you’re looking for the best mouthwash, bear in mind that, among other things, dentists now advocate choosing an alcohol-free alternative because alcohol can burn and irritate the cheeks and gums. Some people prefer fluoride mouthwash, and because flavor is such an important factor in customer satisfaction, I tested eight popular mouthwash brands that satisfied our expert’s criteria to determine which one you should buy.
Therabreath Sparkle Mint
Cons: There are none.
Our top overall selection for everyone is Therabreath Sparkle Mint, an alcohol-free, fluoride mouthwash that tackles foul breath-causing bacteria while leaving your breath pleasantly minty.
Three of our experts, including the best mouthwash for bad breath and the best fluoride mouthwash, suggested Therabreath as the best mouthwash available.
Because of the sodium chlorite, an oxygenating element that precisely targets and destroys bad breath bacteria, Brian Luong, DMD, a dentist in Santa Ana, CA, loves it for individuals who can’t handle alcohol in a mouth rinse, and Dr. Rozenberg likes it for bad breath prevention.
It doesn’t have any artificial tastes or colors, and it doesn’t have any mouth-burning alcohol.
This mouthwash is named Sparkle Mint, and it leaves your mouth feeling just like that: It wasn’t as peppery as some of the others I tried, and the mint flavor was just great. When I tried it, there were no strange or chemical-laden aftertastes, making it the best choice.
Finally, Therabreath’s lid doubles as a cup (a feature not seen in other mouthwashes), making it convenient and easy to portion.
Lumineux Oral Essentials
Cons: Aftertaste is mildly chemical.
Lumineux Oral Essentials cleans and freshens our breath while restoring minerals to our teeth.
Minerals are required by our teeth in the same way that vitamins are required by our body. Certain mouthwashes can help remineralize your teeth, which is a procedure that restores the minerals in your teeth. While certain toothpastes include these ingredients, using a remineralizing mouthwash can also help.
Dr. Rozenberg explains, “Lumineux Oral Essentials is a dentist-formulated mouthwash manufactured with Dead Sea salt, which is well-known for its strong mineral content.” “This mouthwash also contains holy basil oil, an adaptogen (a chemical that helps the body adapt to stress, according to research), and aloe vera juice, which is known for its soothing and healing characteristics.”
In terms of flavor, I found that this mouthwash had a “genuine” or natural mint flavor, but it also had a very minor chemical aftertaste. However, it wasn’t powerful enough for me to advise against using it, especially given the preceding advantages.
Later, Stains! Foaming Anti-Stain Mouth Rinse by Colgate CO Antistain
Cons: The foaming can be strange.
After that, Stains! Colgate CO Antistain Foaming Anti-Stain Mouth Rinse produces a layer to help prevent initial stains, and it’s tiny enough to keep in your bag for on-the-go use.
There are a plethora of options for brightening your teeth these days, ranging from everyday whitening toothpaste to at-home whitening strips to costly but effective in-office treatments. Colgate CO Antistain foaming mouthwash is designed to help prevent future stains, so you don’t have to undo all of your hard work to get pearly whites.
“This may be able to assist avoid stains because of the elements that are humectants, primarily the Glycerine… this type of ingredient can function to create a smooth surface over a period of time,” Dr. Lewis adds.
Now, how long that effect lasts is debatable; according to Dr. Lewis, it is dependent on a person’s salivary output as well as how much they eat and drink. However, if you’ve invested money and time in improving your smile, using this mouthwash before a coffee date or wine with friends may be beneficial. Colgate CO Antistain foaming mouthwash is extremely convenient to carry in your handbag or glove box because it’s just little larger than your palm.
It’s worth noting, though, that this feels more like a mousse for your mouth than standard mouthwash. It’s strange, but it’s also a less wet and sloshy feeling. When I tried it, I noticed that the formula was softer than other mouthwashes, and that it didn’t strive to clear my sinuses like other brands did.
Closys Ultra Sensitive Unflavored
Cons: Adding flavor drops requires an additional step.
If you despise mint, choose Closys Ultra Sensitive Unflavored, which allows you to customize the flavor using natural components.
Check out Closys if you don’t like strong flavors but still want the advantages of mouthwash. You can use the mouthwash on its own or modify the flavor by adding a little amount of the accompanying flavor drops, which are manufactured with natural components like mineral oil and peppermint.
Furthermore, it is a high-quality mouthwash. “It includes chlorine dioxide, which destroys germs and oxidizes volatile sulfur compounds that produce foul breath,” says Phil Devore, DDS, of Image Dental in Las Vegas, who specializes in restorative, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. Meanwhile, Joseph Field, DDS, a dentist in Los Altos, CA, agrees, calling chlorine dioxide the “greatest over-the-counter mouth rinse” because it isn’t as damaging to the oral cavity as alcohol-based rinses.
When I tried this mouthwash, I enjoyed the flavor options and the entire product. But, as someone who already finds remembering to brush, floss, and use mouthwash a chore, having to add my own flavor drops was just one step too far for me to choose this every day. However, if you want a well-curated product or don’t mind a strong mint flavor, this mouthwash is ideal for you.
Which mouthwash is the best?
To address this question, I tasted a variety of popular brands and scored them on taste, consistency (not too watery or thick), and user-friendliness of packaging.
When deciding which mouthwashes were worth testing, I followed our expert’s advise, which states that when searching for the best mouthwash, we should all consider the following:
- Look for chemicals like Chlorine Dioxide or Sodium Chlorite that are antimicrobial (antibacterial).
- Avoid rinsing with alcohol. They irritate the mouths of most people, especially those with sensitive mouths, foul breath, mouth sores, or tooth sensitivity, and they provide no additional benefit over non-alcohol based rinses.
- Fluoride can help build your enamel and protect you from cavities, especially if your drinking water isn’t fluoridated or if you have a high risk of tooth decay.
- Look for menthol, eucalyptus, and/or aloe vera in a natural mouthwash.
- Chlorhexidine gluconate, ethanol (ethyl alcohol), hydrogen peroxide, and methyl salicylate should not be consumed in high doses since they are toxic.
What is a mouthwash’s purpose?
Mouthwash is a pleasant addition to your regular oral hygiene practice of brushing and flossing. Mouthwash is designed to help reduce bacteria, eliminate plaque, and prevent plaque build-up in the future. According to Dr. Devore, mouthwash is good enough at eliminating bacteria that it should be added to your routine — but it shouldn’t take the place of brushing and flossing.
Is it necessary to rinse after using mouthwash?
Dr. Lewis explains that rinsing after using mouthwash is not only unnecessary, but it’s also a bad idea. Some of the helpful substances for your teeth may be washed away. Instead, swish the mouthwash around for the suggested amount of time and spit it out.
Is mouthwash safe to use every day?
According to Dr. Lewis, you can use it every day until your dentist tells you differently. And, because mouthwash helps to eliminate bacteria in the mouth, most individuals should gargle every day.
Should you brush your teeth before or after using mouthwash?
Either option is acceptable. It has no effect on the effectiveness of mouthwash, according to our specialists. Dr. Lewis, on the other hand, prefers to perform it after brushing and flossing in order to gently wash away any loosened details from the cleaning process.
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