Choosing a Mouthwash: 4 Things to Look For

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Ever felt overwhelmed when choosing a mouthwash? You’re not alone. Mouthwashes are antiseptic rinses used to decrease bacteria and plaque in your mouth. They can help to prevent tooth decay and strengthen tooth enamel, as well as assist in whitening your teeth. 

When walking down the aisle at the chemist or supermarket, you’re likely to be presented with a seemingly never-ending range of mouthwashes to choose from. You may have found yourself wondering which one is best for you… or what they even do! 

Knowing what to look for when choosing a mouthwash can be a little challenging.  At Boon Dental, we have some useful advice to help you along your journey of choosing a mouthwash.

Mouthwash and your oral health

Mouthwash can offer additional benefits to brushing and flossing. It can help by reducing the risk of gum disease, cavities, bad breath, dry mouth and pain from oral sores. It also has the ability to whiten and brighten your teeth. Below we take a closer look:

Mouthwash can help your teeth become whiter

Who doesn’t want a mouth filled with healthy pearly whites and a bright smile? Tea, coffee, the occasional red wine and some foods can all stain your teeth over time. Most whitening mouthwashes are easy to get over the counter. While you are between professional cleans, whitening mouthwashes combined with a great oral hygiene regime can keep discolouration at bay. At Boon Dental we provide a comprehensive dental check-up and clean as well as professional teeth whitening options

The best whitening mouthwash contains active ingredients to help remove surface stains. Whitening products usually contain the bleaching agent hydrogen peroxide. But is a whitening mouthwash unhealthy for your teeth? Hydrogen peroxide levels in whitening products are usually too low to cause any real damage. Overuse of hydrogen peroxide can cause tooth sensitivity though. So, it is important to read the directions for use. 

Mouthwash compliments brushing and flossing

As we all know, brushing twice a day and flossing are essential oral hygiene habits. Brushing and flossing are ideal for cleaning your teeth and gums but may miss some bacteria, for example in between your teeth and on the soft tissues in your mouth. Adding mouthwash to your routine can help prevent several dental problems. 

Mouthwash uses

Choosing a mouthwash that compliments your specific oral health needs is important. The following are some common issues people face that may be aided by the use of specific mouthwashes: 

Bad breath

The surface of your tongue can trap bacteria that produce bad breath, this is halitosis. This can be hard to live with and even cause social anxiety. Mouthwashes have the ability to mask bad breath but cannot cure the root of the problem. You should seek medical advice if symptoms persist.

Dry mouth

A dry mouth may be due to health conditions, lifestyle choices or breathing with your mouth open. There are mouthwashes catered towards people who suffer from dry mouth. It’s best to use mouthwashes containing xylitol to relieve the symptoms of a dry mouth. It’s also recommended to use products that are alcohol-free. Like bad breath, you should seek medical advice if symptoms persist.

Plaque or gum issues

Mouthwash can help prevent dental issues when used in conjunction with daily brushing and flossing. Gum disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults and begins with irritation, swelling, and redness in your gums. It’s helpful to choose mouthwashes that contain cetyl pyridinium chloride and essential oils when gum issues arise. These substances work by reducing the microbial load, which is the number of organisms contaminating your gums.

What should I look for when choosing a mouthwash?

When choosing a mouthwash, certain ingredients and chemicals all do different things to help your specific needs. These are some important things to look out for when selecting the best mouthwash for you:


Fluoride works with calcium and phosphate to create a defence system to prevent cavities from forming. Fluoride mouthwashes are great for those with sensitive teeth.

Cetylpyridinium Chloride

Cetylpyridinium chloride is a compound that decreases the ability of dental plaque to form and mature. It also works to prevent the bacteria that cause gum disease.

Essential Oils

Essential oils like eucalyptus and peppermint oils are often used in mouthwashes. This is due to their anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties.

Carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide

Whitening mouthwash uses hydrogen and carbamide peroxide which are teeth whitening agents. These work by breaking down complex molecules in the teeth leading to a reduction in surface stains.

Boon Dental Is Here To Help You

We hope that you now feel a little more confident in choosing a mouthwash for your needs. At Boon Dental, we aim for all our patients to achieve and maintain optimal oral health. This includes giving you the best dental advice to be able to take care of your teeth at home, in between dental visits. 

If in doubt about what mouthwash is best for you, ask your dentist at your next check-up at Boon Dental located in Wentworth Point and Ropes Crossing. We’re more than happy to help you with all your dental needs. Contact us to make an appointment.