Your oral health routine doesn’t start or stop at the dentist. You need to brush, floss, and use mouthwash everyday. That last step – the mouthwash – can be somewhat painful. Unless, of course, you’re using an alcohol-free mouthwash. Alcohol-free mouthwashes help maintain your fresh breath and healthy gums without the burn of a mouthwash with alcohol.

“The burn does not mean it’s cleaning your mouth,” dentist Jessica Pharar, DMD, told 21Ninety. “It is very important to stop using an alcohol based mouthwash if it hurts.” 

Do Dentists Recommend Alcohol-Free Mouthwash?

Celebrity cosmetic dentist Daniel Rubinshtein, DDS prefers alcohol-free options.

“They are less irritating and better for those with sensitive teeth or those experiencing dry mouth issues or concerns,” Rubinshtein told 21Ninety. 

Both dentists agreed that while anyone can use an alcohol-free mouthwash, those experiencing a dry mouth can benefit the most from making the switch.

“Dry mouth actually can contribute to bad breath, and alcohol tends to dehydrate your mouth,” Dr. Rubinshtein explained.

If you have a dry mouth and are using an alcohol-rich mouthwash, you could be doing more harm than good.

Best All-Around Benefits

Listerine Zero Alcohol Total Care Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash

Both dentists recommended trying Listerine’s Zero Alcohol Total Care Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash. It offers six benefits for a well-rounded clean. This alcohol-free mouthwash provides 24 hours of cavity protection and kills the germs that cause bad breath. Plus, it helps restore tooth enamel, strengthen teeth, freshen breath, and clean your whole mouth of debris – and leftovers. It does all of this with a fresh mint taste that isn’t overpowering, too. 

Best Anti-Cavity Rinse

ACT Mint Fluoride Rinse

Photo Courtesy of Target

ACT’s Mint Fluoride Rinse is a cavity-battling suggestion from Dr. Pharar. It’s a fluoride-enriched alcohol-free mouthwash that features an easy-to-use cap. It dispenses the perfect amount of mouthwash every time. This zero-alcohol rinse protects, restores, and strengthens teeth. Plus, it prevents cavities from forming – saving you an unnecessary trip to the dentist. 

Best for Gum Health

Colgate Gum Health Alcohol Free Mouthwash

Colgate’s Gum Health Alcohol Free Mouthwash is an all-around fighter to keep your gums as happy as possible. And, it is one of Dr. Rubinshtein’s recommendations. This alcohol-free mouthwash is an anti-bacterial rinse that kills harmful germs, fights plaque between teeth and along the gumline, and offers up to 12 hours of protection against gingivitis-causing bacteria. Plus, your fresh minty breath will last beyond the bathroom with its powerful freshness. 

Best at Killing Germs

Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Alcohol-Free Mouthwash

Crest’s Pro-Health Multi-Protection Alcohol-Free Mouthwash kills all the germs you don’t want in your mouth. This Dr. Rubinshtein-recommended rinse eliminates 99 percent of germs that cause bad breath, gingivitis, and plaque buildup. With regular use, you’ll gain up to 24 hours of protection towards the bacteria that was destroyed during the rinse. That way, over time, the rinse will have less germs to fight off. 

Best Vegan

Hello Peace Out Plaque Alcohol-Free and Vegan Mouthwash

Hello’s Peace Out Plaque Alcohol-Free and Vegan Mouthwash is a gingivitis-fighting Dr. Rubinshtein-recommendation. Along with being alcohol-free, this rinse is free of dyes, sulfates, and artificial sweeteners and flavors. This mouthwash also contains coconut oil and aloe vera to help combat dry mouth. And, its dry mouth and plaque-battling formula has a natural mint flavor so you still leave your bathroom with fresh breath.

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