An oft-forgotten step in an oral care routine is using mouthwash. Can you remember the last time you swished? Mouthwash is important for overall oral health for many reasons and can add an extra layer of defense for your teeth and gums.

Choosing the right mouthwash for you can sometimes be an exercise in trial and error, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some things to look for when choosing your mouthwash.

For Kids

Starting your children with a mouthwashing habit can benefit them in the short and long term. If they become used to using mouthwash when they brush, they will continue that habit into adulthood, leading to fewer dental and oral issues.

For young brushers, you don’t want a mouthwash with alcohol, as that will cause burning. Many adult mouthwashes are too strong for young mouths. Try a kid-friendly mouthwash; many brands now have these options and carry them in the dental aisle.


If you are focused on avoiding chemicals, there are plenty of all-natural options. These typically have plant-based ingredients, like xylitol or essential oils like tea tree and spearmint. It’s important to note that these are usually free of fluoride.


For a little boost in your mouthwash, try one with fluoride. This naturally-occurring mineral can help to rebuild weakened tooth enamel, slow the loss of minerals from tooth enamel, reverse the early signs of tooth decay, and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth.

Brands are now coming out with products that are advertised as having fluoride, but many products already have it in their formula. Check the ingredients on the bottle to see if your mouthwash includes fluoride.


There are many great options for mouthwashes meant to help whiten your teeth. These are often clearly marked as a whitening product. When coupled with whitening toothpaste or whitening treatments, it can be an extra defense against tooth discoloration.

Gum Health

When you’re brushing your teeth, are you thinking about your gums? Without healthy gums, your oral health will suffer. Gingivitis and bacteria can creep in quickly, especially without proper brushing technique. If you notice your gums are red, swollen, or tender, try a mouthwash focused on gum health.


In the last decade, alcohol-free mouthwashes have made their mark on the mouthwash market. The biggest benefit in choosing an alcohol-free mouthwash is that it’s more gentle. You won’t have that same burning as you would with a traditional mouthwash. This is another great option for kids. These are also great if you frequently have dry mouth.

Still unsure what to use in your daily oral hygiene routine? Our Long Beach dental hygiene team have all the tips you need to help you along your journey towards better oral health. Book your dental exam today by calling 562-434-6414 or by requesting an appointment here.