There is no one-rinse-fits-all mouthwash. But, depending on what a person is looking for, there is a mouthwash to fit that requirement.
Homemade, Over the Counter, and Prescription are the three major categories of mouthwash. Within each category, there are a variety of rinses that target different dental and oral concerns.
Positives: These rinses use economical ingredients, do not contain fluoride, alcohol, or synthetic compounds. Adding salt to warm water helps with gum irritations and with healing after tooth or gum procedures. Other rinses add a few drops of different essential oils that target bad breath, and bacteria that leads to gingivitis and bacteria tooth decay.
Drawbacks: While cheaper than commercial natural mouthwashes, homemade rinses do not have any ADA approval.
OVER THE COUNTER MOUTHWASHES
This category includes different types of mouth rinses. Most commercial rinses contain alcohol, which can irritate some people and contribute to a dry mouth. Each type of mouthwash targets a different dental concern, has positive effects, and may have potential drawbacks.
Positives: Aims are to control bad breath and to whiten teeth.
Drawbacks: No protection against tooth decay or gum disease, will not cure bad breath, and fresh breath effects only last 30 minutes to 3 hours before needing to use again.
Positives: Aims to fight infections, control bad breath, and prevent plaque buildup.
Drawbacks: No protection against gingivitis and can cause teeth staining after long term use.
Positives: Aims to strengthen tooth enamel, fight bacteria buildup, provide fresh breath, and support healthy teeth.
Drawbacks: Does not protect against gum disease, and, if swallowed can be toxic.
Positives: A combination of therapeutic and fluoride rinses. Aims to strengthen teeth, and to fight plaque, gum bleeding, gum inflammation and swelling, gingivitis, and bad breath.
Drawbacks: Alcohol content may cause a burning sensation and contribute to a dry mouth.
Positives: Targets the same dental and oral concerns as conventional mouthwashes, but the ingredients in natural mouthwashes are plant based, and do not have alcohol, artificial colors or sweeteners, or stannous fluoride, which can stain the teeth.
Drawbacks: The majority of natural commercial rinses do not have the seal of acceptance from the ADA. However, Tom’s of Maine and The Natural Dentist, are two brands that have ADA seals of acceptance.
Commercial Brand Name:
Positives: Listerine is a brand name dental product line that currently has six different mouthwashes that target all of the major dental and oral concerns. There is one Listerine mouthwash, Zero Alcohol, which contains no alcohol.
Drawbacks: Five out of the six Listerine mouthwashes contain alcohol which can contribute to a dry mouth condition.
Positives: The mouth rinses prescribed by dentists are referred to as Magic or Therapeutic Mouthwashes, and are intended to treat specific oral conditions such as inflamed mouth tissues or ulcers. These rinses are more effective and stronger than over the counter mouthwashes.
Drawbacks: Prescription mouthwashes are not intended for long term usage. Also, prescription rinses may contain ingredients that can cause side effects, such as antibiotics, a mild anesthetic, an anti-inflammatory, or an antifungal. Some dental patients have experienced burning sensations or the development of rashes when using prescription mouthwashes.