You’ve got bad breath. Maybe it’s the garlic you ate last night, or maybe it’s the morning coffee that just won’t come out of your system. Either way, you need a mouthwash that will help get rid of the stank and keep it away.
A lot of mouthwashes on the market claim to do this—but not all of them actually work. Some leave your mouth feeling dry and irritated, and some don’t even manage to kill off the bacteria that caused your bad breath in the first place!
Fortunately for you, we’ve put two popular mouthwash brands to the test, TheraBreath, and Smartmouth, to see which one is best for fighting bad breath.
Let’s find out which one is right for you!
The TheraBreath line of oral care products is the brainchild of Dr. Harold Katz, founder of TheraBreath and a graduate of UCLA School of Dentistry.
Therabreath has been around since 1994 and is made up of a blend of ingredients, including Sodium Chlorite, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Peppermint Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, and Water. It’s also alcohol-free.
The OXYD-8 is the active ingredient in this product. It’s an oxygen compound that interacts with the odor-causing bacteria in your mouth to prevent them from producing sulfur compounds that cause bad breath.
Smartmouth is a mouthwash that claims to prevent bad breath for up to 24 hours. The company behind the product has been around since 1993 and its formula uses ingredients like Glycerin, Zinc Chloride, Flavor, Sodium Benzoate, Benzoic Acid, Sodium Saccharin, Sodium Chloride, Benzyl Alcohol, Poloxamer 407, and Purified Water.
Smartmouth claims that their mouthwash is specially formulated to stop bad breath at its source. It contains two liquids, the Sulfur Eliminating Solution and the Zinc Ion Activating Solution.
The Sulfur Eliminating Solution eliminates sulfur gases that cause bad breath, while the Zinc Ion Activating Solution releases billions of ions to inhibit oral bacteria from consuming protein particles that produce sulfur gases. This allows you to enjoy fresh breath throughout the day.
Taste, Flavors, and Mouthfeel
Therabreath has several flavors to choose from, including Icy Mint, Sparkle Mint, Rainforest Mint, Tingling Mint, Peppermint, Mild Mint, and Clean Mint. They all have a pleasant taste that leaves your mouth feeling fresh without drying it out—and no alcohol taste!
Plus, Therabreath does not burn when you swish it around in your mouth. You’ll feel a cooling sensation in the back of your throat after using Therabreath (which we found refreshing). They definitely did their research on how to make this product as effective as possible while still being gentle on your teeth and gums!
Smartmouth has three different formulas—Original, Dry mouth, and Clinical.
The Original formula is minty without being so strong that it burns your mouth. It doesn’t have the same medicine-y flavor as Listerine, which is a big plus.
The Dry mouth version helps eliminate dry mouth as advertised, which is great for those who suffer from that issue.
The Clinical version is stronger, but the taste is still pleasant. It also has a foamy aftertaste, which can be unpleasant if you’re not expecting it. In addition to eliminating bad breath, the clinical version keeps your gums and teeth healthy.
Effectiveness for Bad Breath
Protecting your teeth and fighting bad breath is all about maintaining a saliva pH between 6.2 and 7.6. Since most foods and drinks we consume increase our mouth’s acidity, it’s vital to bring the pH back to a neutral state as soon as possible after eating or drinking.
Research has shown that the cause of halitosis can be traced back to the oral cavity in up to 85% of cases. Drinking acidic beverages, such as fruit juice and soft drinks, can lower the pH level of your mouth. This causes tooth enamel breakdown and cavity formation—and makes you susceptible to bad breath!
TheraBreath is an alkaline mouthwash with a pH of 9.82, meaning it effectively neutralizes the acids in your mouth and helps maintain a healthy pH balance for extended periods.
In contrast, SmartMouth formulas are all slightly acidic with pH ranging between 5.0 and 5.43—although they may provide temporary relief from bad breath, their acidic nature could potentially contribute to an environment that promotes the growth of bacteria, leading to a host of other oral health problems.
In our testing, both TheraBreath and SmartMouth effectively eliminated bad breath, and they did so more quickly than anticipated. Therabreath mouthwash showed noticeable results in just 30 seconds and lasted for up to 12 hours, allowing you to enjoy fresh breath throughout the day!
Smartmouth is recommended by several cigar guys for its ability to get rid of cigar breath so quickly. But it does have some drawbacks. It only works for about 6-8 hours at best, so if you’re looking for something that works longer than that, you’ll want to try Therabreath instead.
For best results, use Smartmouth after you’ve eaten something or had a cup of coffee. If you’re going to drink coffee, wait at least 30 minutes before using Smartmouth so that the liquid doesn’t interfere with the taste of your morning beverage. Swish it around in your mouth for 30 seconds and then spit it out.
Packaging and Ease of Use
Therabreath comes in 16 oz bottles and comes with a small dispenser cup for use. Their bottle has an orange seal, which means that the bottle has never been opened before. The seal under the cap on one of the bottles was off when we received it, but after looking at the reviews online, it seems like this is a common issue with their bottles.
However, now there’s a handy 3-ounce travel version—one that I find particularly useful for road trips or just keeping in my bag for a quick breath refresh during the day. (It takes up less space than their full-size bottle!)
Smartmouth’s bottle isn’t good for traveling because it may leak—especially when it’s being shaken around in a suitcase or backpack! However, the company does make travel packs of smaller sizes that are 0.6 oz each and we think they’re awesome.
The only downside is that their regular bottles don’t work well to distribute both liquids at once. The tops are badly designed, so only one side will pour out consistently and the other won’t. Also, there’s no cap, which makes it difficult for you to travel with this product.
However, they also offer two pump bottle versions of their mouthwash—one that eliminates sulfur odors and another that delivers zinc ions.
Prices and Affordability
If you’re looking for a mouthwash that’s affordable, TheraBreath is your best bet. It costs around $7.00 per 16 oz bottle, which is fair and gives good value. With regular use, you can get about one month out of each bottle.
You can find TheraBreath pretty much anywhere—it’s available at drugstores like Walgreens and CVS, as well as online stores like Amazon.
SmartMouth is a little harder to find than TheraBreath—some stores don’t carry it at all.
Smartmouth is a bit pricier than Therabreath, but not by much. A 16-ounce bottle of their original formula is around $9, while the clinical version costs around $14.
It also comes in travel packs, which contain 10 single-use packets of 0.6 ounces each and cost around $19.00. If you’re traveling or want to keep your breath fresh while away from home, these are a great option!
Which Formula Should You Buy?
You might be wondering: Which one is better? The truth is they’re both great products—and they both restore the balance of your oral microbiome while getting rid of bad breath at the same time. They are capable of removing coffee breath, and their minty, alcohol-free formulas will counteract onion and garlic smells.
TheraBreath has several flavors to choose from, so it’s easy to find one that you like. It also doesn’t burn like some other brands do—you won’t have any problems with sensitive gums or teeth.
It also has a great minty taste that isn’t overpowering or unpleasant. Finally, it’s fast acting: just 30 seconds after swishing a bit of TheraBreath around in your mouth will give you fresher breath that lasts up to 12 hours!
SmartMouth is another great choice if you’re looking for something that can get rid of heavy cigar breath or dry mouth quickly. It also comes in travel-friendly packs, so you’ll always have it with you on vacation or business trips!
Bear in mind that SmartMouth often costs more than TheraBreath, but its effects are not as long-lasting. If your primary objective is to prevent bad breath in the long term and maintain a healthy mouth pH, TheraBreath’s alkaline solution seems to be more efficient than SmartMouth’s mildly acidic options.
In the end, it’s up to you. It’s important to find a mouthwash that works for you and your needs, as every mouthwash is different. I encourage you to read the labels of both products and decide which product is right for you. And follow their directions to achieve the best results. It could be a game-changer!
You should also consult your dentist if you have any issues or questions since they can help determine if it is a health concern that you need addressed or done away with immediately.