10 Best Mouthwashes In 2021 To Clean And Protect Teeth And Gums
TBH, mouthwash is not the funnest oral hygiene accessory. The annoying burning sensation that occurs with swishing can be uncomfortable. But you have to admit, the way your breath stays fresh and your mouth stays clean feels sooo much better than brushing on your own.
According to Ruchi Sahota, DDS and the American Dental Association (ADA) dentist, mouthwash can not only brush twice a day and floss regularly, but it can also be a game-changing addition to your daily teeth cleaning. Gary Glassman, DDS, agrees. “It’s the perfect way to end your daily oral fitness and get extra protection,” says Glassman.
But how exactly does it work? You can think of mouthwash as a nuisance. “There is no way to completely remove all of the bacteria that are naturally found in our mouths,” explains Sahota. “So we want to disturb it, we want to move it.” And that’s exactly what mouthwash does.
The irrigation targets plaque, or the invisible film of bacteria that sits on our teeth and can turn into hard tartar that causes gum disease, gingivitis, bone loss, and periodontal disease, if only it sits there. Absolutely worth the swishing.
What should I look for when choosing a mouthwash?
That may depend on what your goals are. Some mouthwashes have whitening properties, others are specially formulated for gum care. However, there are certain things to keep in mind when choosing a solid mouthwash.
Mouthwash is effective because of its antiseptic ingredients, such as Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), Sodium chloride, menthol, Eucalyptol, Hydrogen peroxide, and fluorideGlassman explains that they all serve to destroy bacteria that are harmful to you.
Fluoride also strengthens the tooth, says Isabel Suastegui-Mursuli, DDS, a dentist in the Chicago area.
Until recently, it was also suggested that your mouthwash contained the ingredient chlorhexidine, which also helps break down bacteria, but that’s no longer the case, says Suastegui-Mursuli. “The latest research suggests that chlorhexidine should be avoided. While it reduces unwanted bacteria, it also reduces the natural, beneficial flora of your mouth.”
Although it’s a common ingredient, alcohol isn’t necessary, notes Suastegui-Mursuli, and an alcohol-free mouthwash might be a better alternative. While alcohol can kill germs, it can potentially do more harm than good by killing some of your good bacteria as well.
Oral hygiene goals
When choosing a mouthwash, you should also consider what oral hygiene issues you face most often, whether it is bad breath, dry mouth, yellowed teeth, gum problems or something else. For example, if you are dealing with bad breath, you may want to choose an option that targets plaque. “Bad breath usually comes from gum problems, and the main problem with gums is plaque. Plaque is simply bacterial feces. I know, not very appetizing,” says Suastegui-Mursuli. In addition to your regular flossing and brushing, which you shouldn’t skip over with suastegui mursuli, even if you’re using mouthwash, mouthwash can be a good addition to help fight off unwanted bacteria and create fresher breath. Remember, mouthwash on its own cannot solve the problem, says Suastegui-Mursuli. “If you just use mouthwash, it’s like taking a shower and not using soap: you get a rinse, but you don’t get really clean.”
One thing not to worry about when shopping for mouthwash: the price. More expensive doesn’t mean better. “Price doesn’t matter, just the ingredients. Read the label to look for fluoride, cetylpyridinium chloride, and hydrogen peroxide,” says Suastegui-Mursuli.
ADA seal of approval
However, there is a way to ensure that the method you choose is worth it. Look for a seal of approval from the American Dental Association. “The ADA seal of approval is the only seal you need to see. It means that the product has been thoroughly tested and has been shown to be effective,” says Suastegui-Mursuli.
What’s the best way to use mouthwash?
It is best to use mouthwash after your brush and flosssays Suastegui-Mursuli. “You should brush and floss your teeth twice a day if your gums are healthy and three to five times a day if they are infected and inflamed. Every time you brush and use floss, you can use mouthwash afterwards, if you can.” want.” She adds that 5ml, which is roughly the size of a cap, is enough for an effective wash.
If you plan to use mouthwash more often, you can even do so every 20 minutes. “The latest research has shown that fresh bacteria develop in a mouth every 20 minutes. The mouth is a highway to your internal organs. The cleaner you can keep it, the better,” explains Suastegui-Mursuli. At the very least, washing up after your meal (if you can) is definitely a good idea.
Ready to wash up? These are the ten best mouthwashes for cleaning and protecting your teeth and gums as recommended by dentists.
Best for the whole family
Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash
If you’re looking for a mouthwash that the whole family can use, this is a great option. Not only does it fight gingivitis and plaque buildup, but it’s also alcohol-free, which makes it a great choice for kids and teens as well. “Alcohol is known to cause dry mouth and, if used in excess, can damage the oral cavity,” says Glassman.
Best for bad breath and sensitivity
CloSYS oral rinse
“Bad breath is a very tricky subject,” says Sahota. The dentist recommends this ADA-approved option if you’re having trouble managing a smelly mouth. The rinse is also ideal for people with sensitive gums and teeth. It’s unflavoured, non-burning, and can help relieve pre-existing mouth pain.
Best natural mouthwash
Uncle Harry’s Natural Miracle Alkalizing Mouthwash
This is one of Glassman’s top picks for natural mouthwashes. “It’s safe, non-toxic, and tastes like clove oil with a little mint,” says Glassman. It’s more expensive to use for mouthwashes, but it doesn’t have the stinging feel of a typical douche.
Best for lightening
Crest 3D Arctic Whitening Sinks
Do you want something that will give you fresh breath and brighter teeth? Glassman recommends Crest Arctic White to remove these pesky surface stains and prevent new ones from forming. “The gentle foam effect makes the teeth safely white and prevents future tooth decay,” he explains.
Best for plaque contol
Same antiseptic mouthwash
Another ADA-approved conditioner Sahota supports? Equates antiseptic mouthwash that is great for plaque control and gingivitis. There are also three tingly clean flavors: original, blue mint and spring mint.
Best for bad breath
Oral-B respiratory therapy Special care mouthwash
If bad breath is your problem, check out Glassman’s recommended mouth-B breathing therapy rinse. “I like the mild, great taste and it’s very refreshing,” says the dentist.
Best for preventing tooth decay
Act Total Care Clean Mint mouthwash
The name says it all: absolute care. This mouthwash from Act is an all-round winner, especially when it comes to preventing tooth decay, says Glassman. “The active ingredient is fluoride – to reduce tooth decay, strengthen tooth enamel and promote healthy gums,” explains Glassman.
Best for oral health
Toms from Maine Natural Wicked Fresh
Tom is from Maine
You’ve heard of Tom, haven’t you? Probs when it comes to natural deodorant. But the company also makes a natural mouthwash. This formula contains zinc, which neutralizes the odor caused by bad breath germs, explains Glassman. Plus, no burning, and it’s ADA approved.
Best for combating gum disease
Listerine Gum Therapy Rinse
Another ADA champion courtesy of Sahota. Inflamed gums are never a fun problem. Try adding Listerine’s gum therapy to your daily oral cleaning routine to help resolve the problem. The conditioner uses essential oils such as eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate, and thymol as active ingredients to ward off plaque, the main cause of gum disease.
Best for combating gingivitis
If you’re dealing with certain dental problems, your dentist may recommend a prescription mouthwash, such as Peridex, which is suitable for people whose gums are bleeding from inflammation. This prescription mouthwash will get rid of the bacteria that are causing the infection, thereby eliminating the bleeding.
Its disadvantage is that it can stain plaque, which can potentially stain your teeth, says Suastegui-Mursuli. But if you use it correctly, it shouldn’t be a problem. “The way to use Peridex is to rinse it off first so it can stick to and stain the plaque in your mouth. Once you see the plaque, it’s easier for you to know where to brush and floss, to get rid of them. Once you are done brushing and flossing, rinse again with Peridex. If you still see stains, brush and floss again, “says Suastegui-Mursuli.
It also offers a word of caution. “Do not eat or drink anything, including water, for an hour after using Peridex. Eating or drinking will eliminate the minty taste of the product and you will be left with its very strong, very medicinal aftertaste.”
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