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Therapeutic Mouthwash Vs. Cosmetic Mouthwash

Excerpt: Did you know there are two different categories of mouthwash – therapeutic and cosmetic
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Mouthwash is a liquid solution that is designed specifically to fight off tooth decay and maintain your oral health. It should be part of everyones oral healthcare routine.

Did you know there are two different categories of mouthwash – therapeutic and cosmetic! Cosmetic mouthwash is mainly targeted toward aesthetics. Its goal will be either to assist in making your teeth whiter and your breath smell fresher! Therapeutic mouthwash is targeted toward benefiting your health, this includes things like added fluoride, and other ingredients to combat tooth decay and gingivitis!

Mouthwash  – Tips To Choose The Right One

If you are just choosing a typical standard mouthwash, then you shouldn’t have to worry too much about the ingredients, the main thing you will want to be aware of is getting mouthwash with or without alcohol. Alcohol can also cause a burning sensation in the alcohol mouthwash vs. non-alcohol mouthwash brands, and if you have someone with a history of addiction in your household, non-alcohol mouthwash is safer just in case. Alcohol-free mouthwash is not as effective at removing bacteria as its alcohol-added counterpart, but it still does help.


However, if you are looking at specialty mouthwash, you may want to ask your dentist if that product is worth using

in your specific situation. For example, if you get a fluoride mouthwash, it may cause you to consume too much fluoride which could end up in fluorosis.

If you have weaker tooth enamel, then a whitening mouthwash may cause you discomfort or increased sensitivity due to its effect on the tooth enamel. However, if you are careful with your pick of mouthwash, it can make your mouthwash experience much easier.
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Benefits Of Mouthwash

Mouthwash has a few different types based on the needs of the user. You can get a standard mouthwash that is only aimed at cleaning the mouth, or you can get specialty mouthwash that has added ingredients

Fluoride Mouthwash

There is fluoride mouthwash that contains added fluoride, this is useful for people living in areas where it may be difficult to get enough fluoride, or their teeth are naturally weaker. 

Whitening Mouthwash

Whitening mouthwash has been made to help whiten, and remove some extrinsic stains on your teeth. Whitening mouthwash will not be as effective as strips, take-home kits, or in-office procedures, but they do provide some benefits. 

Tartar & Plaque Reduction Mouthwash

Tartar & plaque reduction mouthwash is also available which can help directly reduce the chance of plaque build up. Plaque is a sticky colorless substance that will eventually harden into tartar and can cause tooth decay and gingivitis.


Using mouthwash in general, also has a couple of direct oral benefits. Mouthwash stimulates saliva production, which helps in food digestion, 

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Common Ingredients In Mouthwash

A lot of different brands that produce mouthwash use similar ingredients, here they are:


If you buy a fluoride mouthwash, it will have fluoride in it, were as standard mouthwash does not. Fluoride has topical benefits, meaning it can be absorbed by the tooth enamel, without you having to digest it. Fluoride is used mainly to strengthen and fortify your teeth which will prevent decay and breaks.

Cetylpyridinium Chloride

Cetylpyridinium chloride is a chemical that is used to fight the build-up of bacteria. If you are prone to gum disease, or currently have symptoms of gum disease you will want to make sure your mouthwash has this ingredient listed.


Chlorhexidine is used to fight against gum disease as well. It’s mainly prescribed to patients who are suffering from gums that are tender, or redder than usual.

Carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide

These ingredients are common in whitening mouthwash, they are used to help fight against stains caused by extrinsic factors. If you have stains that are caused by medical conditions, or your teeth are deeply stained, whitening mouthwash may have little to no noticeable effects.


Mouthwash might taste good, but you should never swallow your oral care products. Fluoride and hydrogen peroxide in particular can potentially cause you harm if you ingest too much of them on a regular basis. If you have children nearby you should keep the mouthwash out of reach as well. Children are much more sensitive to these ingredients than adults.

Frequently Asked Questions

Check with a dentist first and they will be able to give you a better answer.

Most people will not need to try anything other than the standard mouthwash, but if you want to see what the different types do, then try some! 

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