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“A quick 30-second rinse with a mouthwash can help prevent plaque buildup, gingivitis, cavities, bacteria, and provides cosmetic benefits like better breath and whiter teeth,” New York-based cosmetic dentist Lana Rozenberg, DDS told Insider.
Mouthwash should never replace a solid brushing and flossing regimen, which is the only way to take care of your teeth and gums long-term. And while using mouthwash isn’t a must, it can still be an effective supplement to an oral health routine.
The gargle can more easily access parts of the mouth brushing and flossing can’t, like the gums and soft tissues, explained Amanda Lewis, DMD, a cosmetic dentist in Dallas and founder of flossing brand Lewie. She recommended rinsing with a mouthwash after brushing to cover all your bases.
Every dentist I talked to for this guide recommended, among other buying tips, going with an alcohol-free mouthwash to avoid a burning sensation and irritated cheeks and gums. For some, a fluoride mouthwash is best and because things like taste are what really make a happy customer, I tried eight leading mouthwash brands that fit our expert’s guidelines to narrow down which are best.
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Here are the best mouthwashes
Best fluoride and for bad breath: Therabreath Healthy Smile Oral Rinse, available at Amazon, $17.44
Therabreath Sparkle Mint is an alcohol-free, fluoride mouthwash that targets bad breath-causing bacteria and leaves your breath feeling perfectly minty, making it our top overall pick for any person.
Best remineralizing mouthwash: Lumineux Oral Essentials, available at Amazon, $11.99
Lumineux Oral Essentials restores lost minerals to our teeth, while also cleaning and freshening our breath.
Best whitening: Colgate CO Antistain, available at Co. by Colgate, $16.10
Later, Stains! Foaming Anti-Stain Mouth Rinse by Colgate CO Antistain creates a layer to help prevent immediate stains, and it’s small enough to stash in your bag for use on the go.
Best non-mint natural mouthwash: Closys, available at Amazon, $11.49
If you hate mint, try Closys Ultra Sensitive Unflavored where you get to control the flavor levels via natural ingredients.