Looking to buy the best mouthwash? Check out our guide below and you’ll be well-placed to select the correct one for you.
Although the British were once associated with terrible teeth, most of us now understand that brushing twice a day is beneficial, as is using the best mouthwash for you on a regular basis.
It prevents tooth decay, keeps our mouths clean and healthy, fights gum disease, and makes our breath smell better.
It’s also possible that the less well-behaved among us will try to use it to hide the fact that they’ve been smoking or drinking during lunchtime, but no one will be deceived.
So the real question isn’t whether you should use mouthwash, but rather which mouthwash is best for you.
Are you faced with a baffling array of choices?
We’re here to assist you.
How do you pick the best mouthwash for you?
How does a mouthwash work?
Mouthwashes share a few characteristics.
They’re all designed to prevent plaque buildup, and they usually have a strong mint flavour that’s meant to freshen your breath.
Fluoride is the main element, just like toothpaste.
This reduces the creation of acid, which protects the teeth from acid erosion caused by plaque bacteria interacting with carbohydrates in the mouth.
It can also be used to strengthen or replace any enamel that has been lost.
Fluoride levels in mouthwashes range from 200 to 250 parts per million (parts per million).
Additional active antibacterial or antiseptic ingredients, such as cetylpyridium chloride (CPC) and sodium bicarbonate, germicides like Triclosan, and sodium chloride, which can remove debris between the teeth and freshen breath, are found in some mouthwashes.
Should mouthwash contain alcohol?
Alcohol (particularly ethanol) is used as a carrier for the active components in several mouthwashes.
The amounts are minimal, and because you don’t swallow the mouthwash, you won’t become sloshed: your breath will have a slight increase in alcohol content, but this will drop away after approximately ten minutes.
Alcohol, on the other hand, can dry out your mouth, causing it to emit foul sulphur compounds that can exacerbate halitosis.
Alcohol mouthwashes have also been linked to an increased risk of oral cancer in several studies, though this hasn’t been proven conclusively.
You may prefer a non-alcoholic mouthwash for these reasons (or religious ones).
Gum disease or white teeth require a special mouthwash.
You’ll find mouthwashes that are specifically developed to fight gum disease or whiten teeth in addition to your typical mouthwashes.
Chlorohexidine or hydrogen peroxide are commonly used in the first category.
This is quite efficient, however it leaves a strong aftertaste and often a numb sensation in the mouth.
Worse, if you use a strong chlorohexidine mouthwash for an extended period of time, your teeth can become discoloured – but a “daily” mouthwash will have a lesser dose that should not create concerns.
Meanwhile, hydrogen peroxide can have its own negative side effects, such as swelling or irritation in the mouth in certain users.
It can help whiten teeth briefly because it’s a bleaching agent, but not as effectively as a good whitening toothpaste.
Several mouthwashes can irritate sensitive teeth, but there are some that are meant to preserve your sensitive nerves, either by using an active component like arginine to repair the enamel and cover them up or by utilising substances that numb the sensitive areas.
Mouthwash: How to Use It
It’s vital to remember that mouthwash isn’t a magic dental cure-all.
If you’re worried about gum disease, tooth decay, or bad breath, brushing twice a day, top and bottom, front and back, for two minutes each time is essential.
When you do use mouthwash, make sure you leave it in your mouth for at least thirty seconds before washing it out.
And try not to do it just after brushing your teeth, as you can be washing away the beneficial fluoride in your toothpaste.
The best mouthwash to buy
- LISTERINE Total Care Mouthwash 600ml is proven to provide 10-in-1 benefits for total oral care.The formula kills up to 97% of plaque and bad breath causing germs left behind after brushing
- LISTERINE Total Care provides 12 hour germ protection to help maintain oral hygiene and reduces plaque even below the gumline. LISTERINE Total Care works between the teeth and helps keep teeth naturally white
- For best results, use twice daily after brushing for 30 seconds
- LISTERINE Cool Mint Mouthwash for a cleaner fresher mouth than brushing alone. The formula removes up to 99% of bad breath and plaque causing germs left after brushing. Just 30 seconds of rinsing, twice a day
- Used twice a day LISTERINE Cool Mint is proven to: 1. Kill germs, Kills up to 99% of plaque causing and bad breath germs left behind after brushing
- 2. Reduce plaque, Reduces plaque by up to 56% more than brushing alone
- 3. Freshen Breath, Provides lasting fresh breath confidence
- 4. Maintain healthy gums, Helps kill plaque causing germs above and below the gum line to keep gums healthy
- Daily fluoride mouthwash for healthy gums and strong teeth
- Dual action to help protect against gum problems
- Clinically proven to help reduce plaque and prevent further build up (1)
- Helps to reduce bacteria which causes bad breath
- Alcohol free
- Cooling lasts 10x longer against brushing alone
- Great flavour, no burn and alcohol free
- 24/7 bad breath control
- Contains CPC (cetylpyridinium chloride)
- Suitable for vegan
- All-in-one protection for teeth, gums and breath
- Six key benefits in one family mouthwash
- 24 hours sugar acid protection formula
- Corsodyl mint and original mouthwash, Corsodyl 0.2 percent mouthwash (alcohol free) are medicines containing chlorhexidine digluconate for the treatment of early signs of gum disease; always read the label
- For the treatment of gum problems - bleeding gums, irritated gums and mouth ulcers
- Kills the main cause of gum disease (gingivitis) in 30 seconds (1)
- Promotes healing after dental surgery or treatment
- Intensive care to help stop bleeding gums, swollen and inflamed gums
- For healthier gums in as little as 2 weeks
- Invisible protective shield that prevents plaque germs
- Can also be used long term to prevent gingivitis from reoccurring
- Allowing gums to repair and restore themselves to a natural, healthier state
- LISTERINE Total Care Stay White Mouthwash 600ml, is proven to provide 10-in-1 benefits for total oral care. The formula kills up to 97% of plaque and bad breath causing germs left behind after brushing
- LISTERINE Total Care Stay White provides 12 hour germ protection to help maintain oral hygiene and reduces plaque even below the gumline. LISTERINE Total Care Stay White works between the teeth and helps keep teeth naturally white
- For best results, use twice daily after brushing for 30 seconds
- Contains fluoride to fight cavities and strengthen teeth
- Strengthens and protects gums
- Protection against bacteria and plaque
- Helps to prevent tooth cavities
- Protect your smile and the enamel on your teeth with Colgate FluoriGard Fluoride Rinse Mouthwash
- This alcohol free enamel mouthwash protects your teeth against cavities strengthens enamel
- The mouthwash contains fluoride to help protect teeth by making enamel more resistant to acid attacks
- The fluoride mouthwash prevents mineral loss caused by plaque acids
- Colgate FluoriGard Fluoride Rinse Mouthwash promotes the remineralisation of early decay
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