TheraBreath vs. CloSYS: A Side-by-Side Mouthwash Comparison

As someone who is very particular about maintaining fresh breath and oral hygiene, I’ve experimented with my fair share of mouthwashes. In my journey, two brands that have left a lasting impression are TheraBreath and CloSYS.

therabreath oral rinse and closys sensitive mouthwash

Both of these mouthwashes have gained popularity due to their unique formulas and proven effectiveness. TheraBreath, developed by Dr. Harold Katz, focuses on neutralizing bad breath by eliminating volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). On the other hand, CloSYS, formulated by Dr. Perry Ratcliff, prides itself on its patented Cloralstan™ formula, which aims to kill 99% of harmful bacteria within seconds.

In this blog post, I will share my personal experiences with both TheraBreath and CloSYS, comparing their taste, effectiveness, and overall experience. So, whether you’re a long-time user of one brand or someone who’s looking to try a new mouthwash, join me as I dive into the world of these two oral care giants.


TheraBreath has been a well-known mouthwash since 1994. Its formula consists of a blend of ingredients, such as Sodium Chlorite, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Peppermint Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, and Water.

Notably, it is alcohol-free, which can be a relief for those who experience burning sensations when using alcohol-based mouthwashes.

The key active ingredient in TheraBreath is OXYD-8, an oxygen compound that targets odor-causing bacteria in the mouth, preventing them from producing sulfur compounds responsible for bad breath.

Moreover, TheraBreath prides itself on being vegan, cruelty-free, and free of gluten. It also contains no artificial colors or sweeteners, making it a great choice for those seeking a more natural option.

CloSYS, on the other hand, is a chlorine dioxide-based mouthwash with a pH-balanced formula. Its ingredients include purified water, stabilized chlorine dioxide, trisodium phosphate, citric acid, flavor, and sucralose. Like TheraBreath, CloSYS is free of alcohol, which makes it gentle on sensitive mouths.

In addition to being alcohol-free, CloSYS’ formula is also free of sulfates, triclosan, and other harsh ingredients that can cause irritation. This makes it one of the gentlest mouthwashes available on the market.

Taste, Flavors, and Mouthfeel

Starting with TheraBreath, I’ve been using it since 2018 and it has become an essential part of my daily routine. The mouthwash is quite thin, resembling water rather than the slightly thicker consistency of regular mouthwashes. One thing I appreciate about TheraBreath is that it doesn’t have that medicinal taste that many other mouthwashes have.

The variety of flavors TheraBreath offers is impressive, with options such as Icy Mint, Sparkle Mint, Rainforest Mint, Tingling Mint, Peppermint, Mild Mint, and Clean Mint. Each flavor leaves a fresh and pleasant taste in my mouth without causing any dryness.

I particularly like the Mild Mint (green bottle) for its gentle flavor and lack of burning or tingling sensation. The Icy Mint (blue bottle) has a more familiar mouthwash taste and feel, with a mild tingle and a strong icy flavor.

On the other hand, CloSYS is a much milder mouthwash compared to the ones you typically find in stores. It’s also clear in color, similar to TheraBreath. However, CloSYS only offers two flavors: unflavored and gentle mint. I would love to see more options, but the gentle mint flavor is quite nice. It has a very subtle taste and leaves a cool, clean sensation in my mouth, likely due to the mint.

One thing I appreciate about CloSYS is that it doesn’t burn my mouth, making it safe to use more often as desired. It does have a slight chlorine-like odor and taste initially, but that disappears as soon as I start swishing it around in my mouth. CloSYS is also gentler on my gums compared to alcohol-based brands.

A few friends of mine mentioned losing their sense of taste while using CloSYS, but I haven’t experienced that issue myself.

Effectiveness for Bad Breath

The optimal saliva pH range lies between 6.2 and 7.6, and when you indulge in acidic foods and beverages like fruit juices and soft drinks, your mouth’s pH level can drop, leading to tooth enamel damage, cavities, and a higher risk of bad breath. That’s why it’s crucial to reestablish a neutral pH balance as quickly as possible after eating or drinking.

TheraBreath has a pH of 9.82, making it extremely effective at neutralizing acids and maintaining healthy mouth chemistry for long periods of time. With TheraBreath, I noticed a difference in my breath within just 30 seconds of use, which was impressive. However, I found that the freshness didn’t last the full 24 hours as advertised, but it did manage to keep my breath fresh for up to 12 hours.

The instructions on the label recommend swishing and gargling for 60 seconds, multiple times a day, but I found that using it twice a day was sufficient since it can be a bit pricey. I also discovered that using half a capful instead of a full capful is enough to get the job done, allowing me to make the bottle last longer.

CloSYS, on the other hand, works within the optimal pH range of 6.2 to 7.6—a balanced pH that keeps your mouth’s level from fluctuating too much while also making it less susceptible to decay and plaque buildup.

It is also fast-acting and efficient in eliminating bad breath. The product helps maintain a healthy pH level in my mouth, removing offensive odors rather than just masking them like some other products do.

Using it twice a day has been enough to get rid of morning breath for me. While it may not have strong teeth-whitening properties, it’s not marketed for that purpose. It’s a gentle mouthwash that leaves your breath smelling fresh without causing any irritation, which I think is perfect for people with sensitive mouths.

Packaging and Ease of Use

Starting with TheraBreath, I received my package intact and well-sealed. The mouthwash comes in a plastic bottle, available in 16oz and a handy 3oz travel size version. I find the travel size particularly useful for road trips or just to keep in my bag for a quick breath refresh during the day.

In my experience, a 16oz bottle lasts about a month, but I do wish they offered even bigger bottles. The medium-sized bottles are decent, but TheraBreath tends to run out more quickly if you follow the directions to use with two swishes (one for rinsing and one for gargling). If you’re unsure about committing to a larger bottle, I’d recommend trying the spray or the 3oz bottle first – I found mine at CVS.

Now, let’s talk about CloSYS. This mouthwash comes in a 32oz bottle and a 3.4oz travel-size version. The bottles are made of HDPE plastic, which is the most commonly recycled and reusable plastic, making it an environmentally friendly choice. The 32oz bottle lasts quite a long time – around 2-3 months based on using 1/2 oz twice daily – so it’s quite cost-effective. However, the large bottle is bulky and awkward to handle, making it less ergonomic than TheraBreath’s bottle.

My main complaint about CloSYS is the new lid and packaging design. The new style cap leaves foil around the lip of the bottle, and I’ve had issues with the foil not coming off completely. This is the second bottle I’ve received with this issue, and it’s quite frustrating as no one wants tiny pieces of foil in their mouthwash.

Prices and Affordability

When it comes to TheraBreath, I usually buy a 16oz bottle for $9.95 directly from their website. However, I’ve found that I can save a bit of money by purchasing it for around $7.50 from various online retailers.

I’ve also discovered that buying TheraBreath in bundles, like packs of 4 or 12, can save me even more money. In fact, the discounts get better with bulk orders. Personally, I like to order a two-pack from Amazon, keeping one bottle in my car and one in my bathroom. It’s also worth mentioning that TheraBreath’s website occasionally offers coupons, discounts, and promotional deals, which is always a plus.

Now, when it comes to CloSYS, the price is $13.66 for a 32oz bottle. But just like with TheraBreath, I’ve found that I can get it for around $11.00 from online retailers. Comparatively, CloSYS turns out to be less expensive than TheraBreath. Additionally, there’s a Subscribe & Save option that offers a 5% discount, which is quite helpful.

I remember CloSYS used to be a pricier mouthwash a few years ago, with prices around $25, but it has since dropped to around $11. I genuinely hope they maintain the same formula without making any alterations.

Which Formula Should You Buy?

If you’re wondering which mouthwash outshines the other, the truth is that they are both exceptional products. They meet my personal needs and help to restore the balance of the oral microbiome while effectively combating bad breath.

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In my experience, CloSYS is a bit gentler than TheraBreath, as it works by balancing the pH in my mouth. It’s perfect for me, as I was specifically looking for a product containing stabilized chlorine dioxide. However, CloSYS only offers two flavors, which may be limiting for some people.

On the other hand, TheraBreath has several flavors to choose from, making it easier to find one that I enjoy. I also find TheraBreath’s packaging and ease of use more user-friendly, especially the easy-to-handle bottle. CloSYS has a longer-lasting bottle, but its design is a bit awkward, making it less convenient to use.

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Although CloSYS is more reasonably priced than TheraBreath, both mouthwashes are gentle on my sensitive gums and teeth. They don’t burn like some brands do—and they’re both ADA-accepted.

It’s important to remember that most bad breath comes from the mouth, and these mouthwashes don’t just mask the odor but actually eliminate the germs causing it. Maintaining daily use is essential, as those germs can grow back if not managed.

If you’ve tried these mouthwashes and still struggle with halitosis, it’s worth discussing with your dentist or hygienist to check for signs of infection in your teeth or gums.

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