Bad breath is a common problem that can make you feel embarrassed and uncomfortable in social situations. It can also be a sign of oral health issues.
I personally have struggled with bad breath for years, and I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who have the same issue. I’ve been working on my oral health for years now, and I’ve learned some valuable lessons about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to eliminating bad breath.
You can try a mouthwash made with natural antibiotics—ingredients that will fight off the bacteria in your mouth and reduce their numbers.
However, not all mouthwashes are created equal! Some brands contain alcohol or sodium lauryl sulfate as active ingredients—which are both drying agents that exacerbate dry mouth (and therefore make bad breath worse).
Mouthwash isn’t a replacement for brushing your teeth or flossing, but it can help get rid of bacteria when used regularly. You should always be doing both of these things if you want to have the best oral health possible.
After testing out several different brands of mouthwash that claimed they could help with bad breath, I decided to share my findings with you in case other people are looking for a solution.
Here are the six best options I found:
1. TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse
The first time I saw it, I was at Fred Meyer looking for a mouthwash that would help me get rid of my coffee breath in the morning. I saw this product and decided to give it a try. It’s been great ever since!
I’m a big fan of minty mouthwashes that aren’t too strong—if they’re too strong, they tend to burn my mouth and leave me feeling like I need an ice cream cone afterwards!
The mouthwash doesn’t dry out my mouth like Listerine does—it actually seems to moisturize! And it doesn’t burn at all like Listerine does either.
It has xylitol in it, which is an ingredient that inhibits S. mutans growth by starving the bacteria, so you don’t get cavities or tonsil stones as often as you would without using this product regularly.
It has several flavors to choose from, so you can find one that suits your tastes (my personal favorites are icy mint and mild mint). The cooling sensation it provides is also enjoyable.
You only need to swish around one capful of mouthwash each morning and night, which means it’ll last you forever (a little goes a long way). And if you ever had tonsil stones or felt like your throat was dry at night because of smoking or drinking alcohol? This stuff will fix that right up!
Their lozenges are also great if you have a dry mouth at night (or if you want something minty to suck on while driving). My favorite flavor is mandarin mint—it’s so refreshing and tasty!
The only downside is that these bottles don’t last long; I wish they were bigger so I could afford to use them more often! They’re also a bit costly for regular use, but totally worth it for how long their effects last.
2. SmartMouth Zinc Activated Mouthwash
SmartMouth is great for people who want something less aggressive than Listerine but still want some fresh breath protection on hand when they need it.
The first thing you need to know about SmartMouth is that it comes in two separate liquids: a blue liquid and a clear liquid. You mix these two liquids together right before use so that they work together to achieve their intended effects—and it works!
Unfortunately, the dispenser on this bottle is completely ineffective at pouring an equal amount of both liquids each time you use it. The blue liquid in my pack dispensed easily, but the clear one didn’t. So I had to transfer its contents into separate bottles. The lids don’t close once opened, so you end up with a mess every time.
It has a slight minty flavor, and while it does make your mouth feel slightly tingly for a few seconds like hydrogen peroxide does if you’ve ever swished with it—it goes away shortly after. It also has a little bit of a metallic aftertaste possibly from the zinc, but nothing too bad or unbearable.
The best part is that this mouthwash seems to reduce tartar buildup. I like knowing that my teeth are getting extra protection against plaque and tartar with just two daily use! What’s even more exciting is how quickly it gets rid of my husband’s cigar breath every night before bed. It also comes in a travel-size bottle—so you can take it with you wherever you go!
However, it can stain your tongue and teeth blue or green sometimes (depending on the flavor). The only downside of this mouthwash is its cost—it’s expensive! But if you’re looking for something that works well, I would definitely recommend trying this out.
3. CloSYS Non-Irritating Mouthwash
I first saw an ad for it on TV and decided to give it a try. At first, I was concerned that it wouldn’t live up to its claims—but after using CloSYS for a couple of months now, I can safely say that my worries were unfounded!
There are two flavors available: unflavored (which is what most hygienists recommend), and gentle mint! The gentle mint flavor tastes minty without being overpowering, which is nice if you’re used to strong flavors like Altoids or Listerine.
The best part about this mouthwash is that it’s non-irritating, which is something that can be hard to find if you have sensitive gums or have recently started using floss or dental tools to help keep your gums healthy.
The only drawback is that it does have a slight chlorine odor and taste to it; some people might not like that aspect of it, but personally, I think it’s fine.
CloSYS is alcohol-free and pH-balanced, so it’s gentle on teeth and gums while still killing germs that cause bad breath. It doesn’t foam or bubble up in your mouth, and it won’t make eating breakfast feel uncomfortable.
I also appreciate that it’s American Dental Association certified for bad breath (as well as SLS free). The bottle itself is huge—you only need a capful per use!
As someone who used to have mild gingivitis, it completely reversed things for me in a short time frame.
I’ve also been using it as a pre-rinse before brushing with Parodontax toothpaste. The combination has helped my receding gums heal and improve gum health overall.
The price is reasonable—around $10 per bottle at my local drugstore—and the product will last for a long time.
4. Crest Scope All Day Alcohol-Free Mouthwash
I’ve always been a huge fan of Crest products. This mouthwash is so gentle on my sensitive teeth and gums; it leaves my mouth feeling clean without any burning sensation that some other brands can leave behind
This mouthwash is so gentle on your mouth, but still gets the job done when it comes to keeping your breath fresh all day long. It’s alcohol and dye-free, so it doesn’t burn or leave my mouth feeling dry.
The bottle is large and bulky to travel with, but it closes securely so there’s no worry about leaks or spills. Because it is clear, not colored, you don’t have to worry about getting that weird-colored residue on your teeth after using the product.
I also use this with my Waterpik sometimes when I want to get an extra boost in cleaning. It foams like soap in your mouth when you swish it around.
The mouthwash left my mouth feeling minty fresh, and I didn’t have to keep spitting after using it. The only downside is that sometimes it leaves a bitter aftertaste in your mouth for around an hour after using it. This may distort the flavor of food you eat for about an hour after using it, but fresh breath all day long is worth a little sacrifice!
One bottle of mouthwash lasts me a long time—I only need a capful each day to combat bad breath. At $4.99 per bottle (1 liter) this product is affordable, too!
5. Biotene Dry Mouth Relief Mouthwash
For years, I’ve been a loyal Biotène customer—and for good reason! My dental hygienist recommended it to me when I had bad breath issues, and she was right: this is an excellent product! It has a nice minty taste and leaves my mouth feeling clean and fresh.
It’s alcohol-free, which is good news if you’re trying to avoid alcohol in your diet or if you’re just not into the burn of most mouthwashes, and it’s not too thick either, so it goes down easy. You don’t need much to freshen your breath.
The taste is pretty mild and not too strong—I can use this mouthwash several times a day without becoming bored with its flavor. But the aftertaste is mildly medicinal.
It doesn’t burn when I use it, which is great because I have sensitive teeth. It is gentle enough for use by children, recovering alcoholics, and people who have dry mouths from medications or other causes―such as those using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).
This mouthwash contains beneficial enzymes like Lysozyme. It also contains Xylitol, a sweetener that helps keep your mouth healthy by inhibiting the growth of harmful oral bacteria such as S. mutans—commonly responsible for tooth decay. These components work together to keep your mouth healthy.
The price is very reasonable compared to other brands I’ve tried, so that’s another bonus! For only $7.99, you get 16 fl oz of product.
The only downside is that it has parabens in it—which is something to keep in mind if you’re trying to avoid them. But overall? This is an amazing product that works really well for me!
6. ACT Dry Mouth Mouthwash with Xylitol
I’ve been using ACT mouthwash for a while now, and I love it. This stuff is a lifesaver if you have bad morning breath or just want to keep your mouth feeling fresh.
It’s blue and minty—and it moisturizes your mouth without being too strong. It has a good pH level, so it doesn’t burn or make teeth sensitive after using it. Plus, it contains xylitol which helps fight bad breath.
Unlike Biotene, this product contains fluoride and protects your teeth while also preventing dry mouth. It doesn’t have any weird aftertaste, either.
My only complaint is that relief from dry mouth usually wears off after an hour. The larger bottles are cheaper per ounce and you don’t have to worry about running out as often. It’s not available in all stores, but you can get a 33.8 fl. oz. bottle for just $8.00 online!
The mouthwash itself is a little thicker than regular mouthwash, which makes me feel like it coats my teeth better than other options out there—and that’s what I need! Keep in mind that this mouthwash may stain your towel or vanity if you accidentally spill some, so be careful when dispensing it.
I hope this article has helped you to find the right mouthwash for your bad breath problem.
All in all, if you’re someone who suffers from chronic bad breath, mouthwash probably won’t solve your issue. Instead, I recommend that you see a doctor or dentist to determine what might be causing your bad breath. You may have an underlying medical condition that’s causing it, or it may be something as simple as plaque buildup on your teeth. Either way, it’s important to ensure that you get regular visits to a dentist—that’s the best way to supplement your oral care regime.