The Best Mouthwash

Updated on 2 March 2023

After 7 hours of research, comparing 32 popular mouthwashes and testing 11 of them, we consider Elmex Sensitive to offer the best value for money at the moment and is likely to be suitable for most people.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best high-end

Elmex Sensitive (400 ml)

Its flavour is not very strong and has the same taste as the brand toothpastes. From our point of view, it is the most suitable for the general public. It is also the only one in the selection without alcohol.

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Elmex Sensitive

In our tests, this mouthwash proved to be effective in eliminating the beginnings of a mouth ulcer. Although its appearance may be disconcerting at first glance, the cap proved to be practical, as the inside of the bottle allows you to measure out the recommended 20 ml (you can make up to 20 mouthwashes). As far as use is concerned, it is quite classic: you keep it and rotate it for 30 seconds in your mouth, then spit it out, and this twice a day. It is not recommended for children under 6 years old and you will have to put it in a high place, as its lid is not equipped with any particular safety system. As for the taste, the product is minty without being too strong and is not chemical. Finally, its composition is free of allergens, conservatives and alcohol, but it is not perfect.

 

 

Best budget

Listerine Cool Mint (250 ml)

This brand has a proven track record in the field. The intense mint flavour of this product is unrivalled when it comes to long-lasting breath freshening.

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Listerine Cool Mint

If you’re a fan of intense mint, this mouthwash should work for you, as long as you’re not overly sensitive to any burning or tingling sensations. In fact, it has the strongest flavour we’ve tested. This makes it effective in ensuring long-lasting fresh breath and a healthy mouth feel. On the other hand, it is rather cumbersome, as the cap does not allow the recommended 20 ml to be filled. This bottle can be used for up to 12 mouth rinses from the age of 12. The cap has a secure opening. Finally, its composition is a little less exemplary than the other products in our selection, but it does not contain any allergens.

 

Best mid-range

Vademecum Expert Complet 7 (1500 ml)

Formulated with 7 plants, this mouthwash has the advantage of having a slightly more neutral taste, which will appeal more to people who do not like mint. In addition, it has a secure opening.

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Vademecum Expert Complet 7

Of all the products we tried, the taste was the one we liked the most. It is not as minty and has a much less chemical taste and smell than others. The aftertaste is also less present and pleasant in the mouth, but this implies, consequently, a less long-lasting fresh breath. Because of its colour, we thought it might colour the tongue, but in the end this was not the case. For adults only, just pour 15 ml into the cap per dose, so you can use it for more than 30 mouth rinses. The bottle can be used for just over 30 mouthwashes. Although its composition is not the best, it has the advantage of being free of allergens and preservatives.

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best high-endBest budgetBest mid-range
Elmex Sensitive (400 ml) Listerine Cool Mint (250 ml) Vademecum Expert Complet 7 (1500 ml)
Its flavour is not very strong and has the same taste as the brand toothpastes. From our point of view, it is the most suitable for the general public. It is also the only one in the selection without alcohol. This brand has a proven track record in the field. The intense mint flavour of this product is unrivalled when it comes to long-lasting breath freshening. Formulated with 7 plants, this mouthwash has the advantage of having a slightly more neutral taste, which will appeal more to people who do not like mint. In addition, it has a secure opening.
£ 9.99 on Amazon £ 2.34 on Amazon See the price on Amazon

 

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How did we test?

We tested the mouthwashes according to their specific instructions for use. We took the time to identify, judge and compare their smell, taste and intensity of aftertaste as judged by 2 or 3 of our editors, for greater diversity.

We then judged the practicality of the bottle and checked whether the lid had a measurer or not. After 2 days of use, we assessed, in the second instance, whether there had been any beneficial effect with regard to possible cuts or onset of mouth ulcers. Finally, we analysed the composition of all tested products.

 

How to choose your mouthwash?

Mouthwash was originally developed to meet special needs (after surgery or medical procedures, or when wearing braces), but has now become an integral part of our daily oral care. Although it should never replace meticulous tooth brushing (twice a day), it can be a good complement to achieve the best possible hygiene.

Bain de bouche
Although the mouthwash is designed for special needs, it has become part of our dental care routine. | Source: Selectos

However, the gap between the actions claimed by the brands and the results observed can sometimes be significant. Therefore, before buying a mouthwash, you should consider several criteria in order to choose the one that best suits your needs:  

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Mouthwash has several effects: it relieves your pain and gives you a fresh feeling. | Source: Selectos
  • The effectiveness: preventing inflammation and sensitivity, fighting cavities, plaque and tartar, whitening your teeth or making your breath fresher than a winter breeze are the promises brands make about mouthwash. While some of these claims are truly overrated, most products on the market can provide undeniable comfort, soothing your minor ailments and making you feel fresh and clean.
Bain de bouche
Fluoride strengthens the enamel and limits the formation of cavities. | Source: Selectos
  • The composition: most products are formulated with alcohol, which is used for its disinfecting and refreshing effects. Be aware that it can be irritating or drying in the long run. To prevent tooth decay, some products contain fluoride. Unfortunately, there is little information on its concentration (bearing in mind that it is unlikely to have any effect, and too much could be harmful). Finally, there is also chlorhexidine, a very powerful antiseptic found more in specific care products for occasional use.
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Mouthwash should not replace brushing your teeth, which should be done twice a day. | Source: Selectos
  • Precaution of use: due to the high concentration of alcohol, mouthwashes are not recommended for children under 6 or even 12 years of age, depending on the product. Be careful, of course, not to swallow the product and not to abuse it. Finally, remember that it does not replace brushing your teeth.

Note: for the best dental hygiene, do not hesitate to consult our comparisons of the best toothpastes and whitening toothpastes.

 

Other mouthwashes we recommend

Parodontax Daily (£8.99/500 ml upon publication): for long-lasting fresh breath and a limited dosage. We liked this mouthwash for the long-lasting freshness it provides. It is very minty, but not chemical and has a good aftertaste. As you only have to use 10 ml at a time (which can be measured out in the cap), the bottle allows you to make 50 mouthwashes. However, the composition is literally a sin… With PEG, sulphate, alcohol, synthetic dye, suspected endocrine disruptors and more.

Weleda Bain Bouche à la Myrrhe (£8.06/50 ml upon publication): a solution to be diluted. To use it, dilute 5 to 10 drops in half a glass of water. This means that you can make up to 5 litres of mouthwash with this little bottle, which is about 50 mouth-washes. As far as the taste is concerned, we found it quite special. Very slightly minty, it also smells of another scent that we could not identify and which must probably be myrrh. In any case, it did not convince us of its effectiveness, as it did not manage to cure the beginning of a canker sore. On the other hand, it is more pleasant to use if you have an aversion to mint.

 

Other mouthwashes we tested

Signal Integral 8 (£4.46/500 ml upon publication): Our mouth literally numbed with each use of this mouthwash. We could not feel anything. In short, if this sensation is considered normal at the dentist’s, we found it too disturbing, even dangerous, in everyday life.

Listerine Total Care (£9.71/3 x 250 ml upon publication): Almost sweet, it does not taste at all minty. On the other hand, its sensation in the mouth was very different depending on the person who tasted it : an impression of a numb mouth, the mouth grated and no longer smooth or nothing abnormal. However, it does not contain alcohol, so it should be less irritating. All in all, we have a rather mixed opinion on this product.

Oral-B Pro-Expert (£2.65/500 ml upon publication): Although its taste and aftertaste are passable, the smell of this mouthwash, which is very chemical, frankly disgusted us. Although effective in eliminating the beginnings of a canker sore, we do not recommend it because of its unpleasant smell and deplorable composition (alcohol, allergens, synthetic dyes, suspected endocrine disruptors, etc.).

Colgate Plax (£6.08/1000 ml upon publication): There is no line on the cap to tell you where you stop filling. In terms of use, the mint is very present and it is slightly chemical (especially the smell). The aftertaste is a bit more pronounced than with other products. Those who don’t like this scent should skip it.

Aera nature bio (£9.95/300 ml upon publication) : Although organic with a good composition, this mouthwash to dilute contains such a large amount of alcohol that our mouth suffered from irritation and the beginning of a burn. We therefore strongly suggest that you do not use the recommended dosage of 10 ml of product for 10 ml of water on the bottle and to use considerably more water if you still want to use it.

 

Translated by Selectos

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