Choose the Best Mouthwash for You


There are hundreds of different types of mouthwashes out there on the market, all claiming to do different things. Whether your teeth need whitening or need protection from tooth decay there is a mouthwash that says it can help. Mouthwash cannot substitute for brushing and flossing, but it can assist with your dental needs. It is hard to find the right mouthwash for you and your smile. To help find the one for you, here is rundown of some of the different types of mouthwashes.

Cosmetic vs. Therapeutic Mouthwash

The American Dental Association breaks down mouthwashes into two categories: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwashes typically provide temporary effects such as whitening or breath freshening, but it doesn’t treat the underlining problem, it only gives a temporary solution. For example, a cosmetic mouthwash will give you fresh, clean smelling breath, but will not kill the bacteria causing the bad breath.

Therapeutic mouthwashes contain active ingredients intended to help control or reduce bacteria that causes gingivitis, plague, and bad breath. A therapeutic mouthwash will help kill bacteria causing bad breath.

Mouthwash for Children and Teenagers

Children over the age of 6 and teenagers should use a more child-friendly, non-alcoholic, mouthwash.  The ADA does not recommend children under the age of 6 to use mouthwash unless directed by their dentist, as mouthwash could be a swallowing hazard. Children under the age of 12 years old should be supervised while using the product. Supervising your child helps prevent the mouthwash from accidently being swallowed.

Mouthwash to help with a Sensitive Mouth

Someone who suffers from mouth sensitivity should avoid mouthwashes containing alcohol. The person may prefer mouthwash that is natural to help with the sensitivity. Natural mouthwashes usually are alcohol and fluoride free and plant-based. People who have had a dental procedure recently may be more sensitive during recovery, and may prefer a mouthwash that does not cause discomfort.

Mouthwash for Tooth Decay

A mouthwash containing fluoride can help prevent tooth decay. Look for a mouthwash that contains the ingredient sodium fluoride. Sodium fluoride is commonly used in toothpaste with the purpose of preventing tooth decay. A mouthwash with the ingredient will also aid in the prevention of tooth decay.

Anti-Plaque Mouthwash

To help prevent plaque build-up on your teeth, use a mouthwash that contains antimicrobial ingredients such as chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium. Along with brushing and flossing twice a day, these mouthwashes can help prevent gingivitis. Gingivitis is commonly caused by poor oral hygiene, which leaves the mouth open for plaque forming on teeth.

Whitening Mouthwash

If you’re looking to use mouthwash as part of your whitening routine, look for a mouthwash containing hydrogen peroxide. This type of mouthwash helps whiten and remove stains from your teeth over time.

Still Unsure?

If you’re still unsure of what mouthwash is right for you and your family, do not be afraid to ask your dentist or dental hygienist. They know your mouth best and can offer advice on which type of mouthwash is right for you and your mouth.