Mouthwash is typically used to kill the bacteria in your mouth and leave you with a cool and refreshing breath afterwards. Some mouthwashes only use peppermint oil to mask the smell that bacteria growth produces. Others that are labeled “antiseptic” are actually eliminating the bacteria within your mouth.

The most common ingredients in mouthwash are alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and sodium fluoride. Alcohol tends to dry out one’s mouth which can exacerbate bad breath. Thus, it is recommended that you use a mouthwash that has little to no alcohol in it.

Other than antiseptic mouthwash, there is also fluoride mouthwash and combination (or total) mouthwash. A fluoride mouthwash will protect your teeth and reduce tooth decay. A combination mouthwash will not only prevent tooth decay but also freshen the breath.

Keep in mind that mouthwashes should be used in addition to daily brushing and flossing, and should not be thought of as a replacement.

Below you will find some additional articles on the various types of mouthwashes and how they benefit you.

You can also check out our articles on bad breath (halitosis) and the various ways to treat and prevent it.


Is Alcohol-Based Mouthwash Bad for Oral Hygiene?

Mouthwash is often recommended for use as part of a complete oral care routine to help clean up the areas of the mouth that a toothbrush and dental floss cannot reach. However, not all mouthwashes are created equal. Many over-the-counter mouthwashes contain alcohol,...

When to Use Mouthwash Before or After Brushing?

To use a mouthwash before or after brushing is a debated topic among the dental care community. Some dentists claim that using mouthwash before brushing can improve the brushing process by stripping away some of the plaque that has accumulated on the teeth. This...

Benefits and Risks of Mouthwash – Is it Worth It?

You’ve probably heard from your dentist that there are three major things you should be doing for your teeth to eliminate plaque and bacteria. Those three things are brushing, flossing, and rinsing your teeth with mouthwash. Out of these three activities, using...

Can Antiseptic Mouthwash Replace Flossing?

Flossing can be a tedious and repetitive task, and someone somewhere must have come up with a decent alternative for it… right? How about antiseptic mouthwash – that should be enough for someone to replace flossing with, right? Unfortunately, the answer is no. “But I...