Best mouthwash for oral hygiene, tried and tested 2024

Swirl, whirl and protect

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Saskia Kemsley3 minutes ago
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When we think of sour sweets, we can feel the mouth-wateringly tangy sensation coat our mouths without ever popping a fizzy skittle. Similarly, when we think of rinsing our mouths with mouthwash, many of us can recall an intense, lasting stinging which feels as though someone has pressed the sustaining pedal on alcohol wash-induced pain.

As young children, our sensitive gums rejected the feeling of intense mouthwash, yet advertisements suggested that it was the only way to protect our teeth and gums, as well as banish bad breath for good. The landscape of mouthwash manufacturing has changed greatly since those teenage visits to the orthodontist, and you needn’t endure burning sensations to enjoy a holistic approach to dental hygiene.

What are the benefits of mouthwash?

From freshening breath to providing a lasting, protective layer of fluoride which helps to strengthen enamel, using mouthwash daily is suggested by dentists for a myriad of reasons. Some mouthwashes prioritise healing gums and preventing gingivitis, while others deliver antimicrobial effects and soothe dry mouths while whitening the teeth. With certain mouthwashes, you can enjoy a combination of all these hygiene-boosting benefits.

We spoke to Kristoffer Vural, Founder of luxury oral care brand Selahatin for some insight into what makes a brilliant mouthwash.

What ingredients, good and bad, should individuals look out for when choosing mouthwash?

“Stay away from alcohol in mouthwashes as it will make your mouth dry,” warns Vural, as alcohol-based mouthwash is known for reducing the production of saliva. “As for ingredients to use, both Selahatin and dentists recommend utilising fluoride in mouthwashes. However, as a brand, Selahatin is not only focused on the clinical ingredients. We have a collection of artisanal mouthwash aromas that are made to enhance your well-being on an emotional level. We combine emotion and function so that we can transform a routine into a ritual.”

How often should mouthwash be used?

“If you use toothpaste with fluoride in the morning and in the evening, you don't have to use fluoride-based mouthwash daily if your dentist hasn't recommended it. Since our mouthwash has a refreshing taste and feel, we do recommend using it after lunch, before going on a date, or before going out for the evening.”

Why does mouthwash often sting, and can this be prevented?

The short answer is that alcohol in mouthwash causes that horrible stinging sensation.

“Large companies that are dominating the oral care field don't prioritise the experience of using mouthwash. Their product lines haven't changed in 70 years, and they only seem to be made to give the user an intense feeling rather than a genuine clean. Selahatin has opted for products that take the user experience very seriously. They are generally more mellow while still providing a fresh feeling.”

What are the best ways to ensure that mouthwash actually works?

“If you are talking about working from a clinical perspective, fluoride is the best way to get results. If you are talking about working from a well-being or an emotional level, you should look out for our artisanal aromas that can really stir your fantasy and maybe even provide some escapism.”

Is flavoured mouthwash bad for you?

“No, in fact, it can be good for you. In our artisanal aromas, we often utilise essential oils which have inherent benefits –such as peppermint and eucalyptus which are antimicrobial.”

Those with intense gum sensitivities might opt for a mouthwash without essential oils to avoid potential reactions.

Best mouthwash for oral hygiene at a glance

Keep scrolling for a selection of the best high street and artisanal mouthwashes on the market.

Shop now

Clinisept+ Mouthwash 400ml


Best for: pre- and post-procedural care

An award-winning mouthwash for an award-winning smile, Clinisept+ has been developed with dentists and professionals alike to deliver professional results. Formulated without alcohol, the mouthwash provides antimicrobial protection against gingivitis and tooth decay without any stinging or irritation.

Clinisept+ also contains no chlorhexidine and no artificial colouring or flavourings. It has been approved by clinics for use before and after dental procedures as it cleans effectively without harsh chemicals, making it brilliant for recovering teeth and gums.

Buy now£23.99, Amazon

Selahatin Of Course I Still Luv You – Mouthwash


Best for: a holistic, aromatic approach to mouthwash

Though Selahtin’s mouthwash bottle looks more like 200ml of luxury perfume than an accoutrement for your daily dental routine, it contains 225ppm of fluoride for a refreshing, reinvigorating and protective feel. Anti-inflammatory and moisturising, what makes mouthwashes by Selahatin unique are the premium essential oils which deliver masterful swirling aromas from the moment you wake up.

‘Of Course I Still Luv You’ contains notes of verbena, bergamot, cardamom, pine, green mint, peppermint and menthol for a deliciously refreshing take on oral hygiene.

Buy now£33.90, Trouva

Gem Coconut Mint Mouthwash


Best for: tropical coconut dreams

Alcohol-free and boosted by naturally anti-microbial ingredients such as propolis and neem, Gem’s Coconut Mint Mouthwash doesn’t just look good on your bathroom shelf. Say goodbye to that burning sensation and hello to silky smooth pearly whites all day long.

Buy now£6.67, Boots

Spotlight White Teeth Wash 500ml


Best for: whitening mouthwash

This brilliantly effective whitening mouthwash is powered by active seaweed particles and hydrogen peroxide for an unbeatable gleam. Formulated to repair and protect oral tissues while removing staining and other nasties, Spotlight’s mouthwash may not be the best tasting on the market but it certainly delivers pearly white results.

Buy now£12.99, Lookfantastic

Colgate Fluorigard Fluoride Rinse (Alcohol Free) Mouthwash 400ml


Best for: a dentist’s classic

To this day, Colgate’s Fluorigard is recommended to patients with new braces for an unbeatable all-over clean. Alcohol-free and formulated to prevent cavities with a healthy dose of fluoride, this classic mouthwash prevents mineral loss while also promoting the remineralisation of teeth following signs of early decay.

Buy now£6, Boots

Waken Mouthwash Peppermint 500ml


Best for: a value-for-money, natural mouthwash

Aesthetically pleasing, kind to the environment and vegan-friendly – what more could you ask for from a drugstore mouthwash? Waken’s formulation contains a blend of natural peppermint as well as fluoride for a refreshing clean. It’s also housed in sustainable packaging made from sugarcane and recycled plastic. Other flavours include lemon and mint, spearmint and a peppermint whitening mouthwash.

Buy now£5, lookfantastic

CB12 Sensitive 250ml


Best for: halitosis and sensitivity

The sheer power of CB12 is hinted at in the name. Formulated to neutralise bad breath for up to 12 hours while reducing oral sensitivity, this fantastic mouthwash will allow you to enjoy an ice-cold glass of water in no time at all. Minty yet gentle, CB12 Sensitive leaves your mouth fresher than a stinging alcohol-based option without any of the pain.

Buy now£6.50, Boots

Oral-B Gum & Enamel Care Fresh Mint CPC Mouthwash 500ml


Best for: good value, clinically proven care

A simple yet effective alcohol-free option, Oral-B’s Gum & Enamel care mouthwash protects gums and strengthens enamel in one fell swoop.

Buy now£3.33, Boots