Complete your oral care routine with mouthwashBy: Joyce Kahng, DDS •November 15, 2023
Looking for the most complete, at-home oral healthcare routine? Then you’ll want to add mouthwash.
Mouthwash is an important part of oral healthcare that people often ignore. If you want additional protection for your teeth and gums, though, you should consider purchasing a top-quality mouthwash.
Mouthwash is a liquid that is used to freshen your breath and keep your mouth clean. While it shouldn’t be used as an alternative to brushing and flossing, it is an excellent addition to your routine.
Mouthwash contains ingredients that help to kill bacteria and microorganisms that lead to plaque, tartar, gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. Some mouthwash also contains fluoride, which helps to strengthen your tooth enamel and avoid decay.
Fluoride mouthwash is an excellent choice for anyone looking to prevent cavities, enamel demineralization, and tooth sensitivity. Fluoride is a mineral that helps to strengthen tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay. Using a fluoride mouthwash in conjunction with brushing and flossing can help to provide extra protection against tooth decay.
Just remember that fluoride mouthwash doesn’t clean your teeth for you. You’ll still need to brush and floss before rinsing so that the fluoride can target your tooth surfaces more effectively.
Fluoride mouthwash is beneficial for kids and teens (assuming children are old enough not to swallow it), especially if they’re currently in braces. But adults with gum recession, dry mouth, or “weak teeth” can also benefit.
If you’re looking to brighten your smile, a whitening mouthwash may be a good option for you. These mouthwashes contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which helps to remove and prevent surface stains on the teeth. However, it’s important to keep in mind that whitening mouthwash can only help with surface stains and will not usually change the natural color of your teeth. It’s also important to use whitening mouthwash as directed to avoid overuse and potential sensitivity.
Most whitening mouthwash is ideal for stain prevention. If you’ve recently whitened your teeth with a home bleaching kit, this type of rinse can help you maintain your current level of brightness between checkups.
Antimicrobial mouthwash is designed to kill bacteria in the mouth, which can help to prevent gum disease and bad breath. These mouthwashes usually contain ingredients such as essential oils (and sometimes alcohol) for their germ-fighting capabilities. It’s important to follow the directions on the label when using an antimicrobial mouthwash and to keep it out of the reach of small children. You can also make your own DIY antimicrobial mouthwash by adding 2-3 drops of essential oils (such as mint) to a cup of water.
If you have a dry mouth, be sure to check the label on any antimicrobial mouthwash before you buy it. If it has alcohol, it will dry your mouth out even further.
Many people prefer to use alcohol-free mouthwash, as alcohol can be drying to the mouth and cause discomfort for some individuals (like denture wearers or people with xerostomia/dry mouth). Alcohol-free mouthwash may contain other ingredients such as cetylpyridinium chloride or fluoride to help prevent cavities and freshen breath.
A dry mouth can make you more prone to oral infections, cavities, and gum irritation. Dry mouth mouthwash is specifically designed for individuals who suffer from dry mouth, which can be caused by certain medications or medical conditions. These mouthwashes contain ingredients that help to lubricate the mouth and stimulate saliva production, which can help to alleviate dry mouth symptoms. They can sometimes feel a little slimy, depending on the brand, but they do help with lubrication so that it’s easier to eat and speak more clearly.
Mouthwash can be a helpful addition to a child’s oral hygiene routine, especially because of their limited dexterity and increased risk for tooth decay. But it’s important to choose a mouthwash that is safe for children to use. Children’s mouthwash may contain lower levels of fluoride or other active ingredients to ensure safe use (just in case it’s accidentally ingested). It’s also important to supervise children when using mouthwash to ensure they are using it correctly and not swallowing it. Just have them spit it out; they don’t need to rinse their mouth with water afterward.
Kids usually need to use a fluoride mouthwash if they’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. This will help limit the risk of developing white spots or white circles on their teeth, which is a result of enamel demineralization around their brackets.
In some cases, a dentist or dental specialist may prescribe a specific mouthwash for an individual’s oral health needs (like after periodontal therapy or oral surgery). Prescription mouthwashes may contain higher levels of active ingredients, such as chlorhexidine, and should be used as directed by a healthcare professional. Don’t use it more than directed, as the ingredients could lead to tissue irritation or tooth stain.
Some prescription mouthwashes aren’t for rinsing at all. Instead, your dentist may recommend dabbing a cotton swab, toothbrush, or cotton ball into the rinse and applying it to specific areas of your mouth.
There are a ton of mouthwashes on the market. So, you’re probably wondering which is the right option for you. Below are some of the best mouthwashes available on the market…
TheraBreath is a highly-recommended option! This dentist-formulated mouthwash helps to not only fight bad breath in the moment but upwards of 12 hours! While TheraBreath is known for its ability to help with bad breath, it is also a great overall, alcohol-free daily mouthwash with antibacterial properties. The formula is free of additives and is ADA approved. For all of the outstanding benefits you get, the price is really affordable for just about any patient.
As of today, it can be found on Amazon for around $15.34 for a 2-pack.
Dental care isn’t just important for adults! Children also should be using mouthwash to ensure their ongoing oral health—even when they still have their primary teeth. Act Kids Anticavity Fluoride Rinse is a great option for children for a variety of different reasons. It has fluoride in it, which helps with tooth decay prevention. Act Kids Anticavity Fluoride Rinse is also alcohol-free and comes in flavors that children love (grape, watermelon, bubblegum, and pineapple punch). Just make sure they don’t swallow it!
As of today, it can be found on Amazon for around $4.50.
Elementa Silver is a premium mouthwash that contains top ingredients to improve your oral health and provide you with minty-fresh breath. The ingredient list is short and powerful: Nano silver, xylitol, calcium, water, and natural flavor. Calcium is extremely helpful for enamel support, and the nano silver particles help to target the bacteria that cause bad breath. If you suffer from a dry mouth, you’ll find xylitol will provide you with the relief you need by improving your saliva flow.
As of today, it can be found on Amazon for around $20.
CariFree Maintenance Rinse is another outstanding, premium mouthwash that helps to protect against tooth decay, neutralize pH, and increase your saliva flow. CariFree also helps to fight bad breath in a healthy way. This is a great option for patients with bad breath, low saliva, and/or those with a higher risk of tooth decay. While the cost is a little higher, the benefits made this mouthwash worth the price.
As of today, it can be found on Amazon for around $18.
There are a lot of advantages to ACT Total Care Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash that both include what is and what isn’t in the mouthwash. It contains fluoride, which is excellent for strengthening enamel, improving gum health, and preventing tooth decay. It doesn’t contain a lot of chemicals that other brands do, which is a major plus for those looking for less exposure to added chemicals. There is both an alcohol and alcohol-free version of ACT Total Care Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash.
ACT Total Care Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash Alcohol-Free is available on Amazon for around $7.
If you have a dry mouth, it can be difficult to find the right mouthwash to meet your needs. That’s where ACT Total Care Dry Mouth comes in. This alcohol-free mouthwash is very helpful with reducing dry mouth, while also fighting tooth decay. The mouthwash contains Xylitol, which is known for increasing saliva. Along with being a great mouthwash for those with a dry mouth, ACT Total Care Dry Mouth is an all-around good mouthwash.
ACT Total Care Dry Mouth can be found on Amazon currently for less than $7.
If you have sensitive teeth and you are looking for a mouthwash to meet your specific needs, CloSYS Ultra Sensitive Mouthwash may be the perfect choice for you. This alcohol-free mouthwash helps to fight bad breath, while also being easy on the teeth of those that have sensitive teeth. The main detractor for some is the cost, which can be a little higher than other options on the market.
CloSYS Ultra Sensitive Mouthwash can be found on Amazon for around $11.50 currently.
At-home care is extremely important for your overall oral health. You can’t be lazy at home and expect your dentist to take care of everything when you visit them twice a year for your cleaning. Without proper at-home care, you risk the formation of cavities, gum disease, root infections, and worse.
Make sure you brush, floss, and rinse twice a day, every day. Be thorough when you do. Brush and floss all four quadrants and take your time doing so. Not only does this make your dentist’s job much easier, but it also prevents oral healthcare problems that can be costly and even painful.
Along with taking care of your oral health at home, you need to also visit your dentist every six months for your cleaning and checkup. During your professional cleaning, your dentist will use special tools and techniques to ensure a deeper level of clean. They will also remove tartar that has built up to protect your teeth from decay and your gums from infection.
During the checkup portion of your visit, your dentist will perform a visual exam and will likely take x-rays as well. From there, they can determine if you are suffering from a cavity, gum disease, root infection, or any other oral health condition.
If you don’t have your next cleaning and checkup scheduled, make sure you do so today!
Now that you know the top mouthwash options, jump on Amazon, go to a pharmacy, or visit your closest grocery store and pick some up. It’ll save you a lot of pain, discomfort, and money down the line!
Complete your oral care routine with mouthwash!
DOCTOR + FOUNDER