How to Select the Right Mouthwash

Daily brushing and flossing are two of the most essential steps in your oral health care routine. But how do you fit the right mouthwash into that mix? Better yet, how do you select the right rinse? The dental experts at Dobson Ranch Dental Care can help guide you in the decision-making process based on the current health of your teeth and where you can make improvements. 

What Are the Different Kinds of Mouthwash Rinses?

When you visit the dental care section of the pharmacy and see all of the different kinds of mouthwash labels, it can be a little overwhelming. If you’re struggling with making a selection, here are the different kinds of mouth rinses to be on the lookout for: 


Fluoride is essential to preventing tooth decay, which is why you want to look for this type of mouthwash if decay is a significant health concern. It can also help strengthen any enamel that you still have, which provides additional whitening and protection. If your daily toothpaste has fluoride in it, then this kind of mouthwash may not be necessary to your oral care routine but is still something to consider when shopping for a rinse. 

Anti-Plaque or Anti-Gingivitis

While brushing and flossing regularly will keep your teeth strong and healthy, adding an anti-plaque or anti-gingivitis mouth rinse to your routine can help kill any lingering germs and bacteria that can lead to bad breath and periodontal or gum disease. Flushing your mouth with this kind of rinse is especially recommended for those who already struggle with gingivitis, as it can help heal your gums and prevent further bacterial growth. However, if you have serious dental concerns, your Mesa dentist can prescribe a more powerful mouthwash.

Breath Freshening

Both fluoride and anti-gingivitis mouthwashes will help kill the bacteria that cause bad breath but, in some cases, you might need something a little more tailored to help you reduce other mouth odors or halitosis. However, your dentist will inform you that the effects of these rinses are temporary and are only good for short-term uses. They also have very limited impact on your overall oral health, so if you’re looking for long-term solutions, seek out a fluoride rinse instead.

What Label Information to Look For

When reading over the labels on different bottles of mouthwash, you might get a little overwhelmed. But before you get too frustrated, remember that you’re looking for only a few key ingredients, which include: 

  • Antimicrobial agents, which help reduce plaque, decrease the effects of gingivitis, and control bad breath.
  • Astringent salts and odor neutralizers, which help break down the bacterial compounds that result in bad breath and plaque.

You should also look for the ADA symbol, which indicates that the rinse has been tested by an outside scientific community and meets all of the American Dental Association requirements for a mouthwash. This symbol is a key indicator that the mouthwash is safe and effective.

How Often Should You Use Mouthwash?

Mouthwash is meant to be used daily, if not twice a day, after each brushing. In order to get the best results from your rinse, you should swish about 20 mL in your mouth for 30 seconds. You want to make sure that the mouthwash reaches all of your teeth, gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth. Killing germs in these areas will help prevent tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis. 

Finding the right mouthwash for your personal dental care doesn’t have to be stressful but, if you need recommendations, the dental experts at Dobson Ranch Dental Care will be happy to help you. And if you’re looking for a new dentist or need cosmetic dentistry performed in Mesa, AZ, give our office a call today at (480) 838-8558. Our team of experts is here for you in every stage of your oral health care.