February 7, 2023

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If you’ve ever walked into a drugstore and stared up at the shelves in the dental care aisle, completely at a loss as to which mouthwash to buy, you’re not alone. There are many brands and types of mouthwash available, and it can often be difficult to figure out which is the best for you—as well as your wallet.
To that end, the Forbes Health editorial team has put together a list of the best mouthwashes for 2022, using recommendations from dentists on our Forbes Health Advisory Board. Considering data points such as price, added fluoride and user rating, we’ve compiled a ranking of quality mouthwashes, all backed by medical professionals.
All prices are accurate as of the publication date.
ACT Kids Anticavity Fluoride Rinse
Regular fluoride use is very important for a child’s dental health, and one of the most effective ways to prevent tooth decay. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends kids between 6 months and 16 years receive a small amount of fluoride every day. When it comes to a dental mouth rinse for kids, ACT Kids Anticavity Fluoride Rinse is the top pick from Forbes Health Advisory Board Member Stacey Zirilli, D.M.D., an experienced general dentist practicing in Connecticut, due to the fact that it has “an effective concentration of sodium fluoride (0.05%) and is made in flavors kids will love,” she explains. The rinse also has “an easy-squeeze dosage cup so that kids can dispense it themselves,” Dr. Zirilli adds, which can help kids feel more in control of their daily oral health routine.
Listerine Total Care Alcohol-Free Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash
Zero alcohol mouthwash isn’t just for kids. “This newer line from Listerine has the same great Listerine flavor without any alcohol, as well as added fluoride,“ says Dr. Zirilli. Although the fluoride concentration in Listerine’s Total Care Alcohol-Free mouthwash is a bit lower than the fluoride concentration in other top mouthwash brands, Dr. Zirilli maintains that it’s still a great choice to prevent cavities in most adults. However, individuals who have a higher risk of cavities may want to seek out a mouthwash with more fluoride, she adds.
Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash
Another alcohol-free mouthwash, Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash is also peroxide-free, according to Dr. Zirilli. This mouthwash comes in a variety of iterations, from gum care to clinical to extra deep clean. The active ingredient in this mouthwash is cetylpyridinium chloride, an antibacterial agent that inhibits gingivitis and is often used in alcohol-free mouthwashes.
ACT Total Care Mouthwash
“ACT Total Care has been really effective for my patients and it is always my first recommendation to help prevent cavities before they start, and for treating incipient caries (small cavities that your dentist is monitoring) as well,” explains Dr. Zirilli. Due to its high concentration of sodium fluoride (0.05%), ACT Total Care is also “great” at preventing regular cavities and remineralizing enamel, she adds
ACT Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash
Another ACT brand snagging a spot on our list, ACT’s Anticavity Fluoride mouthwash is alcohol-free, and is recommended by Teresa Yang, D.D.S., a general dentist and dental writer based in California and a Forbes Health Advisory Board member. ACT’s Anticavity Fluoride mouthwash is especially good for individuals who find themselves to be cavity prone, says Dr. Yang, due to its higher concentration of sodium fluoride (0.05%).
Biotene Oral Rinse Mouthwash for Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a condition that involves not having enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. Chronic dry mouth can be caused by a wide variety of medications (such as those for depression and high blood pressure), certain conditions like diabetes, radiation and chemotherapy and nerve damage in the head or neck. Because of the variety of causes, dry mouth is common, especially in older adults. Biotene Oral Rinse Mouthwash for Dry Mouth “has been a proven performer in the dry mouth space for many years,” explains Dr. Yang, who recommends it for anyone dealing with chronic dry mouth. “I always recommend this mouthwash to my patients if they are experiencing dry mouth,” Dr. Zirilli agrees, continuing, “the effects can last up to four hours after rinsing for just 30 seconds.”
Colgate Total Gum Health Mouthwash
“This mouthwash has a great taste and is great for killing bacteria in the mouth to help prevent gingivitis and plaque accumulation,” explains Dr. Zirilli. Another mouthwash that contains cetylpyridinium chloride instead of fluoride, Dr. Zirilli recommends individuals use this mouthwash alongside fluoridated toothpaste for best results.
For our best mouthwashes of 2022 ranking, the Forbes Health editorial team received recommendations from a panel of dentists who are members of the Forbes Health Advisory Board. Star ratings were determined by the editorial staff and are based on considerations such as cost, user rating and if the mouthwash contains fluoride or not.
Mouthwash is often seen as a helpful addition to tooth brushing, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). While it can’t—and shouldn’t—replace daily brushing, mouthwash may be able to reach areas in the mouth that are not “easily accessed by a toothbrush,” according to the organization.
There are two main types of mouthwashes: Cosmetic and therapeutic. According to the ADA, there are distinct differences between the two:
Rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash directly after brushing can actually do more harm than good, according to the Oral Health Foundation. This is because whether it’s with water or mouthwash, rinsing right after brushing can strip your teeth of the beneficial fluoride in your toothpaste.
If you want to use mouthwash, the Oral Health Foundation recommends spacing it out from the time you brushed your teeth.
If you are interested in finding the best mouthwash for your personal health history, it’s always best to talk with your dentist. They can help you make an informed decision, especially if you are living with specific conditions, such as bleeding gums or dry mouth, or if you have a high risk of developing cavities.
Information provided on Forbes Health is for educational purposes only. Your health and wellness is unique to you, and the products and services we review may not be right for your circumstances. We do not offer individual medical advice, diagnosis or treatment plans. For personal advice, please consult with a medical professional.
Forbes Health adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers.
Jessica is a writer and editor with over a decade of experience in both lifestyle and clinical health topics. Before Forbes Health, Jessica was an editor for Healthline Media, WW and PopSugar, as well as numerous health-related startups. When she isn’t writing or editing, Jessica can be found at the gym, listening to a health or true prime podcast, or spending time outside. She also really enjoys bread (even though she’s not supposed to eat it).
Sarah is an experienced writer and editor enthusiastic about helping readers live their healthiest and happiest lives. Before joining Forbes Health, Sarah worked as a writer for various digital publications including LendingTree, theSkimm, CNBC and Bankrate. When she isn’t writing or editing, you can find Sarah with her nose in a book or enjoying the outdoors with her French bulldog, Honey.


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