What You Should Know About Choosing a Mouthwash

TeamGeneral Dentistry, Oral Health

Maybe you have been told you should be using a mouthwash. Or, maybe you feel that it is an important step in maintaining your oral hygiene. Whatever your reason, if you have ever stepped into the mouthwash aisle at your local drugstore recently, you have likely felt overwhelmed with options. 

You want a mouthwash that will benefit your oral hygiene, but determining what type of mouthwash works best for you is an entirely different story. Here’s what you should know about choosing a mouthwash. 

All Mouthwash is Not Created Equal

There are so many mouthwashes that will make a list of claims that you should be wary of until further inspection. For instance, there are whitening mouthwashes, plaque-removing mouthwashes, and more. Glancing at the package will help you determine what it wants you to know. Rather than just reading these words, look for the ADA (American Dental Association’s) Seal of Acceptance. As an independent organization, this seal will give you comfort in knowing that it has been tested and proven to be true. 

Then, look for one that is designed for either your oral health or what you are trying to achieve. 

Choosing the Right One for You 

There are different mouthwashes made for different things. Choose one that best fits your oral health goals. 

Gingivitis and Gum Disease. If you are currently dealing with gingivitis or gum disease or have been treated for periodontal disease, then a mouthwash designed for this may be a great option. Even those at risk should consider this mouthwash. 

Sensitive teeth and gums. Tooth sensitivity is quite common. And, there are mouthwashes out there that can help lower the severity of your tooth sensitivity. Many times it will state on the bottle when it will benefit sensitivity. If not, go ahead and look for one that has calcium phosphate, sodium fluoride, and stannous fluoride in it as they are all strengtheners that will help offer your teeth some protection. 

Dry Mouth. There are a few different types of mouthwash that are designed to help reduce dry mouth. And what you will notice is that they won’t contain alcohol. Why? Because alcohol will dry your mouth out more. So, look for a mouthwash that is alcohol-free or that states it is made for those with dry mouth. Keep in mind that there are prescription options available if the over-the-counter ones do not. 

Protection and Prevention of Dental Issues. If your teeth are in relatively good shape and you don’t have any oral health concerns, a general mouthwash will work just fine. These usually contain fluoride and will help make your teeth stronger. Thanks to additions like antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-plaque, and more, serious dental concerns can be addressed before they become too big of an issue - just by regularly using mouthwash. 

Mouthwash is Mouthwash

It is important that you use mouthwash as mouthwash - and not as a replacement for brushing or flossing. Your oral hygiene routine needs to contain all three things. You should be brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash twice a day, at least. 

Learn Oral Hygiene Best Practices at Emerson Dental


At Emerson Dental, we are not just your dental team when treating your teeth or dental issues, but we are also here to answer questions you may have. With a comprehensive exam, we can address any issues or concerns you may have and take steps to increase your oral health. So, whether it is how to choose the best mouthwash or how to most effectively floss, we are here for you. 

Let’s discuss how we can help. Call Emerson Dental today at one of our two convenient locations: 

Westford, MA 978-399-0017

Bedford, MA 781-394-9213

Or, request an appointment online.