Two small bottles of mouthwash sit on a desk counter.

Your Guide to Mouthwash

Mouthwash is not a substitute for daily brushing, but it can help with a number of oral health issues like cavity protection, bad breath management and so much more. But what mouthwash is right for you and your needs?

Here is a guide to mouthwash to make sure you end up with the perfect rinse:

What Mouthwash is Right for Me?

For Children

Children under the age of 6 should not be using mouthwash as they could swallow it instead of spit it out. Most mouthwashes contain fluoride, which is good for permanent teeth, but not always good for developing teeth if consumed in large amounts.

Therefore, when children are old enough, they should be advised to swish and swallow, which at first may need to be supervised.

Mouthwashes for children contain no alcohol but are fluoridated to aid in protecting your child’s teeth against cavities. Although these mouthwashes are more child-friendly, they should still not be swallowed, and therefore your child may require supervision while using mouthwash.


Some people are more prone to cavities, and if you are one of these people, you will want to get more fluoride in your diet, through water that contains fluoride or mouthwash. Fluoride is a natural mineral that strengthens tooth enamel and builds up the tooth’s natural protection against destructive acids.. Additionally, if you have deep crevices in your teeth where cavity creating bacteria like to sit, a mouthwash can help you clean those hard to reach areas and keep the protection going long after brushing.


If you’re looking to freshen your breath, even if you don’t suffer from dry mouth and bad breath, look for a mouthwash that contains chlorine or zinc. These ingredients neutralize odours but aren’t harsh as they do not contain alcohol.


Chronic bad breath, plaque buildup, gingivitis, and gum disease are caused by bacteria that eats away at teeth and gums. An antibacterial mouthwash can help reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth by around 75%. You can buy antibacterial mouthwashes over the counter and through prescription, which are generally reserved to treat cases of extreme gingivitis and other oral diseases.

Gum Disease

If you suffer from gum disease, your dentist will likely recommend a prescription mouthwash, which has very strong bacteria fighting power. These mouthwashes generally contain chlorhexidine which can help to treat redness, swelling, and bleeding caused by oral bacteria. Unfortunately, this type of mouthwash can stain your teeth but it is the most effective mouthwash to treat gum disease and similar conditions.

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