What Is A Good Mouthwash?

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Thinking of buying a good mouthwash to go with your oral health routine? In this post, you are going to learn what a good mouthwash is and how to choose a good mouthwash.

What is a good mouthwash?

So if you want to know how to choose a mouthwash, you will love this post.

Let’s dive right in.

What is mouthwash?

A mouthwash is a liquid sold in the stores which contain concentrated ingredients like alcohol and other antibacterial contents to help clean the mouth. Users can gargle or swish around in their mouths for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then spit out into the sink.

Why is mouthwash important?

A mouthwash may be prescribed by a dentist for various reasons like problems relating to gum diseases like tooth decay and cavities. You can use it on the dry mouth or for anti-inflammatory purposes after a dental operation. The main reason for personal use is for curing of bad breath.

Types of Mouthwash

Generally, there are 2 types of mouthwash – cosmetic and therapeutic mouthwashes.


This type of mouthwash, like TheraBreathe Oral Rinse, only treats bad breath temporarily.

It only masks the bad breath and does not solve the root of the problem. After a while, your bad breath may return. As such, it is only useful for instant breath pick-ups.


Therapeutic mouthwashes will address the root causes of bad breath. At the same time, it protects against tooth decay and can reduce the chances of getting gum diseases. Anti-plaque properties will help to limit build-up of plaque leading to the prevention of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).

Other types of mouthwash include those that can desensitize, useful if you are dealing with sensitive issues.

If you need a boost of fluoride (if deficient in waters in your residence), you can find mouthwash with the content of sodium fluoride.

A whitening mouthwash can claim to whiten teeth due to its hydrogen peroxide content.

Ingredients of a Mouthwash


This is the very first ingredient that you will see in a typical bottle of mouthwash. Alcohol works to reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth but it also drys out your mouth.

In fact, it is eroding the protective layer of your enamel, so it can contribute to loss of plaque and cause tooth decay in time to come.

In order to extend shelf life, acidic agents have been added to stabilize the contents throughout the distribution channel until they arrive in the stores.

What is a good mouthwash?

There they will wait until you buy a bottle, and then it will sit at your countertop. These acidic agents, being acid, will definitely harm your teeth.

It is true that a good mouthwash can reduce the bacteria in your mouth, but there are also good bacteria that you need in your system. Mouthwash can clean out the good bacteria along with the bad ones.

Ingredients That Fight Bad Breath

These will include

Some of these are fluoride (prevent cavities), Thymol, Triclosan, Chlorhexidine (prevent dental plaque)

How Does Mouthwash Work?

If you are using mouthwash daily, bear in mind that it is never a replacement for proper toothbrushing, flossing and keeping your dentist’s appointments.

In fact, doing a mouthwash rinse can really be omitted if you already have good oral hygiene.

If you do use, follow the following guidelines.

1. Rinse in your mouth for a minimum 60 seconds. Anything below that, you will not be reaping the benefits as the chemicals need time to sink in and work their way among the gum and gaps of teeth.

2. Refrain from eating or drinking after 30 minutes, so as to allow the ingredients of the mouthwash to do its work effectively during that period.

When Should You Use Mouthwash?

You can use it once to twice a day. It is best not to use it immediately after brushing as you do not want your fluoride in toothpaste to be compromised by any cleaning agent in the mouthwash.

As such, the middle of the mornings is usually good as it starts your day fresh. You can do it mid-day like after lunch, where the mouthwash can do a clean up of plaque builds from leftover food particles.

It also depends on your dental condition. If you are suffering from serious gum diseases or recovering from dental surgeries, follow your dentist’s advice. It could be to use as often as twice a day.

If you are managing fine with twice-daily toothbrushing and diligent on your flossing, it may be fine to do three times a week.

Here is a video of how you can use mouthwash as a quick freshen up during the day.


1. Who can use mouthwash? Can children use mouthwash?

Adults with chronic bad breath and those that desire to achieve excellent oral health conditions can reap wonderful benefits if they include mouthwashes in their oral routine. Children above the age of 6 could be allowed to use mouthwash under their parents’ supervision.

2. Can Listerine get rid of plaque?

Being a market leader in the mouthwash industry, Listerine works to remove bacteria and reduce plaque. It uses essential oils of eucalyptus, menthol and also combined with thymol and methyl salicylate to combat hard-to-reach plaque and germs that can cause gingivitis and bad breath.

3. How long does mouthwash last?

Usually, they have a shelf life of 3 years from manufacturing. If you are using three times a week, one bottle should last you minimum a month of usage.

4. Can you soak your retainer in mouthwash?

I don’t see why not, as long as you don’t do it too often. Always remember to dilute it with water, and give your retainers a good rinse and brush it with soft bristles. You may only soak for 30 minutes.

5. Does mouthwash kill your taste buds?

Due to the nature of alcohol in the ingredients, it may cause a stinging sensation. Users have reported their taste of food have toned down if they used mouthwash in the mornings. Another option is to go for non-alcohol mouthwashes. Or simply use at nights before sleep.

Alternative Mouthwash Options

If you want to avoid buying a store-made mouthwash, here are 5 alternatives to having your own mouthwashes.

1. Use a Salt Solution

This is easy to make. Just a tablespoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Gargle in your mouth for 30 secs, reaching and swishing as far back to your throat.

This is excellent to remove the inflammation in your mouth and gums, especially if you have a sore throat.

2. Oil Pulling

What is a good mouthwash?

I talked a lot about Oil Pulling and how it can be added to your oral health routine.

Oil Pulling is an Ayurveda method of swishing a suitable oil like coconut or sesame seed oil in your mouth for 5 to 20 minutes.

The oil will attract the bacteria inside your mouth due to the oily nature of these bugs.

After swishing, the coconut oil will pull out all the bad bacteria from the nooks of your mouth. You then spit it into a trash bin and continue brushing as usual.

3. Homemade Baking Soda Solution

The good thing about this baking soda solution is that you can add your own favourite essential oils.

Add a teaspoon of baking soda to 8-ounce water with and you will have a homemade safe alkaline mouth rinse that cost less than a slice of pizza.

Top it up with a good few drops of peppermint oil and that will surely last you a few good rinses.

4. OraWellness Healthy Mouth Blend

This is by far my own favourite. 100% organic and contains the good essential oils of peppermint, spearmint, and clove that have antibacterial and immunity-boosting properties. I did a full review of my experience here.

What is a good mouthwash?

My alternative to using mouthwash – I use OraWellness Healthy MouthBlend instead.

5. AutoBrush Foaming Toothpaste

Have you heard about using toothpaste as a mouthwash?

The AutoBrush Foaming Toothpaste, while it is used on the AutoBrush silicone bristles, can also function on its own as a mouthwash.

Just spray into your mouth and swish like you would in oil pulling or mouthwash, and then spit out into the sink. Rinse as usual.

Then you get fresh breath seconds!

Summing Up

Regardless of which mouthwash options you choose, be it store-bought, homemade or alternative types of mouthwashes, there is one that you will like.

Mouthwashes are good complements to a healthy oral routine and can definitely enhance your overall dental health.

Let me know in the comments below if you are a current user of Mouthwash, which brand you use and how you are liking it?

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6 thoughts on “What Is A Good Mouthwash?”

  1. I came across your website whilst looking for ways to improve the dental hygiene of my family. I am guilty of often buying a mouthwash and then never actually using it as part of my daily routine. You have raised some really interesting points that I never knew before, such as there being a cosmetic and therapeutic, and also not using it straight after brushing.

    From what you are saying, I have good dental hygiene as a whole (have never had to have work done in 30 years), brush twice daily, don’t always floss so could do with starting this more regularly. Would a mouth wash be beneficial as i am concerned by the tooth decay that you mentioned and the acidic agents, or would I be better continuing doing the same as at present?

    I am very interested by the oral wellness healthy mouth blend though so will look in to that further too.

    • Thank you Emma for stopping by my website! I appreciate that very much! 

      Congratulations to you taking so good care of your teeth, that you do not need to have any work done. This must be due to your diligence and the correct diet, well done. 

      Yes, personally I also have not used any mouthwash until I started to explore ways to keep my oral health of my family and myself in the best condition. 

      So I would say, yes, at this point, not a must for mouthwash to be an essential part.

      And yes, I can say my favourite Orawellness Healthy Mouth Blend has played a big part in keeping my teeth great and my breath fresh at most times. So happy that you will consider it! 

      Where do you live, by the way? 

  2. Hello dear, thanks for sharing these concise information with us, I was actually doing some research online when I saw your post, I am Really glad I got to see it, I believe everyone needs a mouth wash as to make the mouth feel refreshed and smells good, thanks for sharing these info, I will surely do some recommendations

    • Thank you for dropping by, and yes you will definitely need to select a good mouthwash after carefully examining the ingredients.  

  3. Hey nice article you have there. The importance of having a good breath is very Paramount, hence the need of having an healthy gum is inevitable. Nevertheless, there is a questions that seeks for answer to me: can mouth wash be effective in the prevention of oral cancer, dry mouth and tongue bacteria?. Anticipating answers

    • Thank you for your questions! I will answer in 3 parts below: 

      1. Can mouth wash be effective to prevent oral cancer?  

      Oral cancer occurs in people with poor oral habits, excessive alcohol, and tobacco consumption with malnutrition. 

      Studies do show that these cancer patients have used mouthwash on somewhat a regular basis. However, health authorities have stated that unlikely alcohol mouthwashes cause cancer.

      Evidence pointing to the prevention of any cancer is to have a healthy diet, a good amount of exercise, and sleep. 

      So there are no studies that using mouthwashes can prevent oral cancer. It is more about being aware of what oral habits that you have, that will help you combat illnesses. 

      2. Can mouth wash be effective in the prevention of dry mouth? 

      Most mouthwashes contain alcohol which actually reduces saliva formation, leading to dry mouth. 

      So the way to overcome having a dry mouth is to choose a non-alcohol based formulae. An example can include Xylitol such as Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse or ACT Total Care Dry Mouth Mouthwash.

      The best important thing is to determine what causes the dry mouth in the first instance and find a relevant solution for it.

      3. Can mouth wash be effective in the prevention of tongue bacteria?.

      Yes, mouthwashes can be effective to remove bacteria in the mouth and that includes the surfaces of your tongue.

      However, to clean the tongue more effectively, I will still suggest using a tongue scraper.  I have a review on the best tongue scraper that I have used. Using a tongue scraper is 75% more effective than a toothbrush. 

      I hope that I have answered your questions adequately, please let me know if you have further questions. 


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