Best Mouthwashes 2021

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Medically Reviewed
by Dr. Lara Coseo
Michael Bayba
Written by
Michael Bayba
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Evidence Based
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7 sources cited
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In addition to your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and routine dental exams and cleanings, mouthwash is an integral part of your oral health routine. A quick 30-second rinse can help prevent plaque buildup, gingivitis, cavities, bacteria, and provide cosmetic benefits like better breath and whiter teeth.

There are so many types of mouthwash available it can be hard to know which mouth rinse is best for you. That’s why our NewMouth health team has compiled a list of the best choices for each type of mouthwash. All of our picks have the ADA Seal of Acceptance (American Dental Association) and approved by a licensed dentist.  

The active ingredient(s) are the most important component of mouthwashes, as they will have different effects on your mouth.

Best Overall (Editor's Pick)Crest Pro-Health Multiprotection Rinse

Best for Gingivitis Gum PerioShield Oral Health Rinse

Best for Bad Breath TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse

Best for Teeth WhiteningSolimo Whitening Mouthwash

Why You Should Trust Us 

All medical content on this site, including this guide and other product reviews, is written by our team of experienced writers and researchers. All NewMouth writers vet products that are recommended and reviewed in the industry. In cases where this is not possible, our team will:

  • Compare positive and negative reviews on the products
  • Talk to company leaders to ensure their products are safe and effective
  • Look into costs to ensure customers are getting the best quality products at reasonable prices
  • Read research studies to compare the pros and cons of each product

Every piece of content is heavily reviewed before publication. All content on NewMouth is also medically reviewed by a licensed dentist, specifically any content where we recommend products. Our dentists are specifically instructed to flag any recommendations they don’t agree with. Any products that don’t meet their professional standards are removed.

Many of the products we recommend have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. These products are proven to be effective in preventing gum disease, cavities, and other oral health conditions.

When we recommend products that do not include this seal of acceptance, we conduct further research to ensure reputability. This may include speaking with company leaders, reading hundreds of customer reviews, and ensuring they provide quality customer service.

9 Best Mouthwashes of 2021

Crest Pro-Health Multiprotection Rinse

Crest Pro-Health Multiprotection Rinse

The active ingredient is cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), which is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent. This means it fights bad breath, tooth decay, gingivitis, receding gums, and bleeding gums. It’s alcohol-free, so it’s safe for anyone with dry mouth and doesn’t burn your gums. If you’re looking for a simple solution to enhance your overall oral hygiene, this is a great choice.

Cost: $

GUM PerioShield Oral Health Rinse, 10 Ounce Bottle

GUM PerioShield Oral Health Rinse

Delmopinol hydrochloride is the main ingredient in this unique mouthwash. It’s the only mouthwash that the FDA classifies as a Class II medical device, rather than an “over-the-counter drug.” Delmopinol hydrochloride can prevent plaque and bacteria from attaching to your teeth, making it our top choice for an anti-gingivitis mouthwash. It also is excellent at fighting and preventing plaque.

Cost: $$

TheraBreath Gluten-Free Fresh Breath Oral Rinse

TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse

A dentist made this mouthwash for his daughter, who suffered from halitosis (bad breath). Sodium chlorite is an oxygenating ingredient that specifically targets and kills bad breath bacteria. There’s no alcohol, artificial flavors, or artificial colors. It’s been clinically proven to freshen breath for up to 24 hours.

Cost: $$

Colgate Optic White Mouthwash

Colgate Optic White Whitening Mouthwash

Colgate Optic White Whitening Mouthwash contains 2 percent Hydrogen Peroxide. This can slightly help remove surface stains. However, whitening results from mouth rinse alone will not be as effective as an LED whitening kit or Whitestrips.

Because it does help prevent new stains, whitening mouthwash is best used in addition to another whitening product.

Cost: $

ACT Total Care Dry Soothing Mouthwash

ACT Dry Mouth Soothing Mouth Rinse

Best Mouthwash for Dry Mouth

If you suffer from dry mouth it’s important to choose an alcohol-free mouthwash that contains xylitol. Xylitol increases saliva production, while alcohol can dry out your mouth and make your symptoms worse (it also can cause a burning sensation in your gums and tongue). ACT Dry Mouth checks both of these boxes and can help prevent dry mouth symptoms for hours after rinsing. 

Cost: $

Listerine Total Care Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash

Listerine Total Care Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash

Best Anticavity Mouthwash

A good anticavity mouthwash must have fluoride in it. Listerine Total Care is a great anticavity fluoride mouth rinse that fights tooth decay, strengthens your tooth enamel, and freshens your breath. Be sure to brush your teeth before using (to remove plaque) and don’t eat or drink anything for at least half an hour after using it. This is so that the fluoride can fully coat and soak into your enamel.

Cost: $

ACT Total Care Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash

ACT Total Care Sensitive Formula

Best Mouthwash for Sensitive Teeth

If you have sensitive teeth, your mouthwash should be alcohol-free and strengthen your enamel and dentin (erosion of enamel and exposure of dentin are the most common causes of tooth sensitivity). ACT Total Care Sensitive mouthwash has gentle cleaning properties. Plus, it has sodium fluoride as its active ingredient, which will help strengthen your enamel.

Cost: $

ACT Restoring Anticavity Fluoride Mint Burst Mouthwash

ACT Restoring Anticavity Fluoride

Best Fluoride Mouthwash

ACT Restoring Anticavity Fluoride rinse contains sodium fluoride and can work to prevent and even repair minor cavities. This special alcohol-free mint flavor formula means you have to be a bit more careful than other mouthwashes. Directions say to use 10 milliliters (as opposed to 20) three or four times a week.

Cost: $

JASON Healthy Mouth Cinnamon Clove Tartar Control Mouthwash

JASON Healthy Mouth Cinnamon Clove Tartar Control Mouthwash

Best Natural Mouthwash

JASON Healthy Mouth mouthwashes have no artificial colors, parabens, GMOs, sulfates, gluten, petrolatum, or animal products. Their blend of essential oils and natural ingredients includes tea tree oil — known for its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, cinnamon oil, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, and grapefruit seed extract to clean, protect, and freshen your mouth.

Cost: $

Mouthwash FAQs

Do mouthwashes really work?

Mouthwashes offer additional benefits by reducing the risk of bad breath, cavities, gum disease, and can help treat dry mouth and pain from oral sores.

Can mouthwash get rid of gum disease?

Yes, therapeutic mouthwashes can help control and reduce plaque and gingivitis. However, it may require additional treatment. Be sure to talk to your dentist if you think you may be at risk for gum disease.

What is the best mouthwash to kill bacteria?

Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection mouthwash kills 99% of bacteria that causes plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath.

Does whitening mouthwash actually work?

Whitening mouthwash can help whiten your teeth, however it is not as effective as other whitening treatments, such as professional teeth whitening or at-home whitening kits.

Resources

Karadas, Muhammet, and Omer Hatipoglu. “Efficacy of Mouthwashes Containing Hydrogen Peroxide on Tooth Whitening.TheScientificWorldJournal vol. 2015 (2015): 961403. doi:10.1155/2015/961403 

Dodwad, Vidya, and Bhavna Jha Kukreja. “Propolis mouthwash: A new beginning.” Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology vol. 15,2 (2011): 121-5. doi:10.4103/0972-124X.84379

Sabau, Raluca, et al. “Effect of Essential Oil Mouthwash on Halitosis.” Revista De Chimie, vol. 68, no. 3, 2017, pp. 518–421., doi:10.37358/rc.17.3.5492.

Ouhayoun, J.-P. “Penetrating the Plaque Biofilm: Impact of Essential Oil Mouthwash.” Journal of Clinical Periodontology, vol. 30, no. s5, 2003, pp. 10–12., doi:10.1034/j.1600-051x.30.s5.4.x.

“Herbal Products as Mouthwash.” International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), vol. 6, no. 7, 2017, pp. 1334–1337., doi:10.21275/art20175623, https://www.ijsr.net/archive/v6i7/v6i7_01.php

Yaghini, Jaber, et al. “Gingival Inflammatory Indices and Dental Stain Index after Using Aloe Vera-Green Tea Mouthwash, Matrica Mouthwash, or 0.2% Chlorhexidine Mouthwash Compared with Placebo in Patients with Gingival Inflammation.” The Open Dentistry Journal, vol. 13, no. 1, 2019, pp. 214–220., doi:10.2174/1874210601913010214.

Jeddy, Nadeem et al. “Comparison of the efficacy of herbal mouth rinse with commercially available mouth rinses: A clinical trial.” Journal of oral and maxillofacial pathology : JOMFP vol. 22,3 (2018): 332-334. doi:10.4103/jomfp.JOMFP_303_18

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