You're probably choosing a mouthwash primarily so that you can have ‘sweet kissing’ breath, but a good mouthwash is part of your arsenal for protecting and maintaining healthy teeth and gums as well as a good way to promote fresh, clean smelling breath. There are several different kinds on the market, so choosing one can be confusing. There are several things to keep in mind that will help you find one that's worth the cost:
Look for a mouthwash with fluoride, which helps prevent cavities by strengthening the teeth. If you use mouth wash more than once a day, you should also get one that's fluoride free, as you shouldn't use a fluoride rinse more than once a day.
Check the alcohol content. Lower alcohol content means you won't get that dry mouth feeling some mouthwashes give you if they have too much alcohol. Having a dry mouth means you don't have enough saliva, which actually protects your teeth. A dry mouth also leads to unpleasant breath odor.
Be sure to look for a mouthwash with anti-plaque or plaque fighting ingredients. Not all mouthwashes loosen and remove plaque; some are simply mouth rinses. This is fine if you simply want fresh breath, but fighting plaque build-up is one of the most important functions of a good mouthwash.
Choose a flavor you like; you'll be more inclined to rinse frequently if you aren't turned off by the taste.
Be sure you're choosing a mouthwash with anti-bacterial ingredients; these can reduce plaque build-up and help prevent gum disease such as gingivitis.
If you prefer a natural mouthwash, there are several brands available. These don't contain any alcohol and use essential oils such as clove oil for flavoring. If you want to avoid alcohol, natural mouthwashes are a good alternative, although not all of them have plaque fighting ingredients in them.
Now that you're done choosing a mouthwash, be sure you're using it properly. Use a mouthwash every day if you want it to effectively control plaque and bacteria; it can get into tiny spaces between teeth brushing can't reach. Using it only once or twice a week greatly diminishes its effectiveness. Use a capful of mouthwash and swish it around your mouth for at least 30 seconds to give it enough time to work then spit it out. Be strong! Remember, you're not only freshening your breath, you're helping keep your teeth and gums healthy. Both your partner and your dentist will thank you!