Social distancing may be the norm for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean that you should skimp on having fresh breath. In addition to brushing, flossing, and using a water pick, mouthwash should definitely be part of your arsenal against tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. The American Dental Association (ADA) advises that there are two types: Cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwash may give you minty fresh breath, but will not do much else. Therapeutics, on the other hand, will treat a number of symptoms: Beyond just freshening breath, there are versions that can help control plaque, fend off halitosis (chronic bad breath) supplement fluoride, whiten teeth, and much more. Although using mouthwash is no substitute for brushing or flossing, it can help reach areas that you might not be able to reach with either. While we do recommend checking with your dentist to be sure you’re using a product that is most appropriate for any issues you and your pearly whites may be facing, below are several that we’ve found that really make us smile.
Best Natural Mouthwashes
Hello Activated Charcoal Mouthwash
We’re suckers for charcoal face washes, masks, soaps, etc., so we perked right up when we saw this offering from Hello that features activated charcoal to help get rid of junk that causes odors, and tannins that can stain teeth.
Tom’s of Maine Wicked Fresh! Natural Mouthwash
Tom’s has been around since 1970 when Tom and Kate Chappell decided to launch a company that would make completely natural personal care products; something which was revolutionary at the time. While Colgate-Palmolive now owns and operates the brand, they’ve stayed true to the Chappell’s original mission, avoiding chemically derived, environmentally damaging ingredients and animal testing. The good news is that the Chappell’s are still around, now making Ramblers Way wool clothing that espouses those same good-for-you, good-for-the-planet values. Get a great deal from Amazon when you stock up on this 6-pack of 16-ounce bottles.
Best Sustainable Mouthwash: Klēn Mint Rinse Bundle
This natural product skips fluoride (for those who are suspicious of its side effects), but includes essential vitamins with the addition of aloe extract and tea tree oil to promote your oral microbiome; as well as goodies like green tea, peppermint oil, and thyme for a refreshing taste. We really like this planet-friendly bundle that includes a reusable bottle and a 16-ounce pouch of the rinse.
Best Mouthwashes for Teeth Whitening: Terra and Co Brilliant Black Oil Pulling
Another activated charcoal offering, this Ayurvedic product also includes coconut oil to naturally whiten teeth. “Pulling” is the ancient act of swishing oil around the mouth to strengthen teeth and gums; this product builds on that physical act with antibacterial and anti-fungal, properties. The chic black ultraviolet glass bottle helps protect the product, and is easily recycled once emptied. Check out the brand’s wellness set ($75) for the holidays that includes toothpaste, brush, floss, and a toiletries bag; and a portion of proceeds benefits the Los Angeles Downtown Women’s Center.
Best Mouthwash for Plaque Control: Olas BioActive Mouthrinse
Olas is formulated to strengthen your mouth’s own immunity, helping to cut back on the bacteria that lead to plaque; all while maintaining fresh breath. It includes exotic sounding ingredients like sea salts, marine collagen, blue-green algae extract, and CoQ10; while essential oils like rosemary, chamomile, and licorice root add to the taste.
Best Alcohol-Free Mouthwash: Aēsop Mouthwash
We’re big fans of Aēsop’s personal care line, and this mouthwash is no exception. It’s alcohol-free for those with sensitive mouths or who avoid alcohol, maintaining your mouth’s natural pH balance. It includes clove, anise, and spearmint for a refreshing finish.
Best Mouthwash for Bad Breath: TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse
Get product that knocks out bad breath at a knockout price: Two sixteen ounce bottles are only $14. TheraBreath’s dentist-formulated product is described as an oxygenating mouthwash, stimulating saliva flow and circulating its antibacterial properties throughout the mouth, while directly attacking bacteria.
Best Mouthwash for Fighting Gum Disease: Listerine Cool Mint Antiseptic Mouthwash
Sometimes it pays to stick with the classics. Listerine, originally developed in 1881, has been sold over the counter since 1914. Its antiseptic formula (with alcohol) kills the germs that lead to bad breath, plaque, and gingivitis. (Editor’s note: this is the one my dentist recommends.)
Best Mouthwash to prevent Tooth Decay: ACT Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash
Sodium fluoride, ACT’s active ingredient, strengthens teeth by actually forming tiny crystals on the enamel, making them stronger and more resistant to decay. While fluoride may be present in your toothpaste, or even local water sources, adding this additional treatment can help maintain dental health and fight off tooth decay. This wash is also alcohol-free, so it’s good for kids over six years old, as well as adults.
Best Mouthwash for All Around Oral Health: Marvis Mouthwash Concentrate
Marvis transforms your dental regimen into a grooming experience. Besides its charming packaging, reminiscent of a great cologne bottle (it’s imported from Florence, Italy, so of course it is); the mouthwash is itself a concentrate, so you’ll almost feel as though you’re mixing a morning cocktail when you’re using it. The cool peppermint taste is underscored with natural extracts xylitol and propolis.
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