What to look for in an oral rinse

lady rinsing with oral rinse sml

Choosing a mouthwash to treat bad breath after eating an “everything” bagel is very different from selecting an oral rinse that will combat gingivitis. There is also a difference between products intended for adults and child-friendly options. Before you pick an oral rinse or mouthwash, talk with your dentist about your dental health

  • Cosmetic mouthwash
    Use to temporarily mask bad breath and give your mouth a clean taste—look for a flavor you like
  • Therapeutic oral rinse
    Use to eliminate bacteria that contribute to cavities, gingivitis, plaque, and bad breath—look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance and the particular therapeutic properties your dentist recommends for you
  • Anti-cavity/anti-microbial or fluoride rinse
    Use to lower your risk of cavities and strengthen your tooth enamel, especially if you have trouble brushing due to age, arthritis, or dental appliances—look for the ADA seal and a flavor you like (not intended for children under the age of 6, due to the danger of swallowing rinse instead of spitting it out)
  • Anti-gingivitis rinse
    Use to cut down on plaque that leads to gum disease—look for plaque-fighting properties
  • Alcohol-free rinse
    Use with children—look for fun colors and flavors too
  • Pre-rinse
    Use with children to show them where they need to brush—again, pick favorite colors or flavors
  • Use with children to show them where they need to brush more—look for a different color than the pre-rinse

Mouthwashes, rinses, and water picks should always be used in addition to thorough brushing and flossing, never as a substitute.

Scroll to Top