5 Best Fluoride Mouthwash 2023 (Dentist-Recommended)

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Dr. Matthew Hannan | My Dental Advocate
Matt Hannan, DDS
Updated: October 7, 2023
5 Best Fluoride Mouthwash | My Dental Advocate

Fluoride is often hailed as the unsung hero in our daily oral hygiene regimen. It helps combat tooth decay, strengthens enamel, and is fundamental in maintaining a healthy smile.

For anyone on a mission to improve their dental health, incorporating fluoride mouthwash into their routine is a brilliant way to up the ante.

Not only does it provide an extra dose of protection against cavities, but it also helps to keep your breath fresh and clean. But with so many options on the market, how do you know which one to choose?

As an experienced dentist with years of experience, I’ve tested and evaluated 200+ dental products. I strive to find the best products for achieving excellent oral hygiene, so let’s take a closer look at the 5 Best Fluoride Mouthwash from a dentist’s perspective.

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Buying Guide

  1. Best Overall: ACT Restoring Mouthwash
  2. Best Anti-Cavity: Listerine Total Care Anticavity Mouthwash
  3. Best Value: Colgate Total Mouthwash
  4. Best Whitening: Crest ProHealth Advanced Whitening Mouthwash
  5. Best Sensitivity: CloSYS Silver Fluoride Mouthwash

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What Does Fluoride Do?

Fluoride is a natural mineral widely recognized for its dental health benefits. It has been a cornerstone of public health policy for many decades, primarily due to its remarkable ability to prevent tooth decay. But how exactly does it achieve this?

Here’s a breakdown of the pivotal role fluoride plays in oral health:

Cavity Prevention

Fluoride is integral to oral care because of its potent anti-cavity effects. When you consume food, especially sugary treats and carbohydrates, the bacteria in your mouth metabolize these foods and produce acids. These acids start to eat away at the minerals in your tooth enamel, a process known as demineralization. Over time, if left unchecked, this can lead to tooth decay and cavities.

Fluoride intervenes in this process in two key ways. Firstly, it promotes remineralization, helping your teeth to rebuild the essential minerals worn away by these acids. Secondly, it inhibits the bacteria’s ability to produce acid in the first place. Together, these actions give your teeth a fighting chance against the constant onslaught of decay-causing elements.

Enamel Reinforcement

Tooth enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth. It’s your teeth’s first line of defense, but it isn’t indestructible. It faces a barrage of challenges daily – from acid attacks to physical wear and tear.

Fluoride aids in strengthening this enamel, making it more resistant to the daily grind. It achieves this by forming a new layer of fluorapatite on the surface of your teeth – a compound harder and more resistant to acid attacks than your original tooth enamel.

Sensitivity Reduction

If you’ve ever experienced a sharp, sudden pain while consuming hot, cold, sweet, or sour food, you’ve likely encountered tooth sensitivity. This happens when your tooth enamel wears down or your gums recede, exposing the underlying layer of your teeth called dentin. Dentin contains microscopic tubules that lead to the tooth’s nerve, and when these tubules come into contact with certain stimuli, it can trigger pain.

Fluoride can help combat this sensitivity. It works by accumulating in these exposed tubules within the dentin, effectively blocking the path to the nerve and reducing the painful response to certain stimuli. In this way, fluoride mouthwash can provide an added comfort layer for those struggling with tooth sensitivity.

Why Choose a Fluoride Mouthwash?

Fluoride mouthwash can be a beneficial addition to your oral hygiene routine. It acts as a third line of defense after brushing and flossing, targeting areas of your mouth that might otherwise be missed. Below are a few reasons why a fluoride mouthwash could be a game-changer for your dental health.

Supplemental to Brushing and Flossing

While brushing and flossing are fundamental to maintaining oral health, they don’t always reach every nook and cranny. Hard-to-reach areas, such as the back of your mouth, between your teeth, or under your gumline, may harbor plaque and bacteria, increasing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Fluoride mouthwash, with its liquid form, can access these areas, ensuring your entire mouth is treated with cavity-fighting fluoride.

Extensive Reach in the Mouth

Unlike toothpaste, which primarily targets the teeth, mouthwash can deliver fluoride to all surfaces inside the mouth, including your gums, the roof of your mouth, and the inner cheeks. This comprehensive coverage can be especially beneficial in managing oral conditions like gingivitis, where the gums also require attention.

Additional Freshness and Breath Control

One of the most immediate benefits of using mouthwash is a fresh, clean mouth and pleasant breath. While the primary function of fluoride mouthwash is to promote dental health, it also helps to eliminate bad breath, providing that extra burst of freshness. It’s important to remember, though, that while mouthwash can help mask bad breath, it shouldn’t replace a comprehensive dental routine aimed at tackling the root causes of halitosis.

Incorporating fluoride mouthwash into your oral hygiene routine is an effective way to safeguard your dental health. Its ease of use and the ability to reach all corners of your mouth makes it a convenient and practical choice. Remember, mouthwash isn’t a standalone solution but a valuable supplement to regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups.

Top 5 Best Fluoride Mouthwash

There’s no shortage of choices in dental care products, especially regarding fluoride mouthwashes. We’ve sorted through the top picks recommended by dental professionals to bring you this list of the top 5 fluoride mouthwashes that stand out in terms of effectiveness, taste, and value.

1. ACT Restoring Mouthwash (Best Overall)

ACT Restoring Mouthwash is a dentist-recommended fluoride mouthwash that contains zero alcohol, making it gentle and suitable for all. With 4 benefits in 1, it strengthens tooth enamel, remineralizes soft spots, prevents tooth decay, and freshens breath. Studies show that using this mouthwash can reduce cavities up to 70% more than brushing with fluoride toothpaste alone. Experience the trusted brand recommended by dentists for optimal oral health.

Zero Alcohol
ACT Restoring Zero Alcohol Fluoride Mouthwash

Help protect your teeth from weakening enamel and tooth decay with ACT Restoring Zero Alcohol Fluoride Mouthwash, Strengthens Tooth Enamel, Mint Burst.

This mouth rinse designed to help strengthen tooth enamel, remineralize soft spots, prevent cavities and freshen breath.

Anticavity rinses like ACT Restoring Mouthwash are up to 70% more effective at reducing cavities versus brushing with fluoride toothpaste alone.

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2. Listerine Total Care Anticavity Mouthwash (Best Anti-Cavity)

Listerine Total Care Anticavity Mouthwash is a fluoride-rich, fresh mint oral rinse. With 6-in-1 benefits, it kills germs, strengthens teeth, prevents cavities, restores enamel, cleans your mouth, and freshens breath. This 1-liter family-size bottle provides approximately 7 weeks of supply. Protect your mouth day and night with this ADA-accepted mouthwash that helps prevent tooth decay and leaves a refreshing clean feeling.

Best Anticavity
Listerine Total Care Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash
$11.86 $8.48 ($0.25 / Fl Oz)

Give your mouth complete care with ADA-accepted Listerine Total Care Fluoride Anticavity Mouthwash.

This Fresh Mint-flavored mouthwash for bad breath provides six dental hygiene benefits in one powerful oral rinse & up to four times the fluoride uptake versus Act,* & provides 50% greater strengthening of weakened enamel vs. brushing alone in lab studies.

The fluoride-rich oral rinse formula helps prevent cavities, restores enamel, & strengthens your teeth to improve oral health.

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11/30/2023 06:25 pm GMT

3. Colgate Total Mouthwash (Best Value)

Colgate Total Mouthwash provides 12-hour protection against germs, keeping your mouth fresh and healthy. This alcohol-free mouthwash kills 99% of germs on contact, reduces plaque, and helps prevent gingivitis. With its refreshing Peppermint Blast flavor, it freshens breath and provides long-lasting cleanliness. Enjoy the benefits of Colgate Total 12HR Pro-Shield Mouthwash for a confident and healthy mouth.

12 Hour Protection
Colgate Total Alcohol-Free Mouthwash
$17.97 $13.37 ($0.13 / Fl Oz)

Colgate Total 12HR Pro-Shield Mouthwash doesn't just freshen breath; it provides 12-hour protection against germs, even after eating and drinking, helping to keep your mouth healthy and fresh.

It kills 99% of germs on contact, significantly reduces plaque and helps prevent gum disease and gingivitis. Colgate Total 12HR Pro-Shield Mouthwash is an alcohol-free mouthwash (does not contain ethanol) and has a refreshing Peppermint Blast flavor.

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11/30/2023 06:20 pm GMT

4. Crest ProHealth Advanced Whitening Mouthwash (Best Whitening)

Crest ProHealth Advanced Whitening Mouthwash is a powerful oral care solution that promotes a healthier mouth while offering the added benefit of enamel-safe whitening. With fluoride, it strengthens teeth and contributes to a stronger enamel, enhancing overall oral health.

Additionally, this mouthwash aids in removing surface stains, providing extra whitening benefits when used in conjunction with brushing. Incorporate Crest ProHealth Advanced Mouthwash into your oral care routine for stronger teeth and a brighter smile.

Extra Whitening
Crest ProHealth Advanced Whitening Mouthwash
$27.96 $15.94 ($0.25 / Fl Oz)

Crest Pro-Health Advanced Extra Whitening mouthwash with Fluoride helps you have stronger teeth.

For a healthier mouth, it provides the extra benefit of enamel-safe whitening.

When added to a good oral care routine by strengthening enamel with brushing and removing surface stains.

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11/30/2023 06:10 pm GMT

5. CloSYS Silver Fluoride Mouthwash (Best Sensitivity)

CloSYS Silver Fluoride Mouthwash is a gentle yet effective oral care solution. It helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel, strengthens teeth, and protects against cavities. This alcohol-free mouthwash freshens breath, neutralizes odor, and is non-burning for a comfortable experience.

With its pH-balanced formula, CloSYS Silver Mouthwash works without the burning sensation, making it suitable for longer rinses. Experience the benefits of this fluoride mouthwash for a healthier smile and long-lasting fresh breath.

Best Sensitivity
CloSYS Silver Healthy Teeth Oral Rinse Mouthwash
$13.97 ($0.44 / Fl Oz)

CloSYS Silver Mouthwash helps rebuild weakened enamel and reverse early tooth decay.

CloSYS Silver Mouthwash strengthens teeth and improves their appearance.

It's formulated to reinforce enamel, protecting against sensitive or weakened teeth.

Alcohol-free formula hydrates, soothes, and relieves mouth without burning or irritating. Gentle enough for the most sensitive mouths.

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11/30/2023 06:15 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


The frequency of usage can depend on your specific oral health needs, but generally, it is recommended to use fluoride mouthwash once a day. Always follow the instructions provided by your dentist or on the mouthwash packaging. However, keep in mind that mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing, but rather a supplement to your daily oral hygiene routine.

Yes, excessive use of fluoride products can lead to a condition called fluorosis, which can cause discoloration or spotting on the teeth. However, this is rare and typically only seen when fluoride supplements are improperly used or when children swallow fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash. It's important to use fluoride mouthwash as directed and to ensure that children under six years old do not use it due to the risk of swallowing.

Yes, you can use both fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash in your oral care routine. Fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash work in different ways and offer different benefits. Toothpaste is directly applied and brushed onto the teeth, providing thorough cleaning and plaque removal. In contrast, mouthwash can reach areas of the mouth that brushing might miss and give an overall fluoride exposure to all oral surfaces. Thus, using both can offer a more comprehensive approach to cavity prevention.

My Experience & Expertise

As a dentist, I can attest to the significant impact that incorporating a fluoride mouthwash can have on maintaining optimal oral health. It’s comprehensive coverage, and cavity-fighting capabilities make it indispensable to any robust oral care routine. By choosing a fluoride mouthwash that best fits your needs and preferences, you’re making a worthwhile investment in your dental health today and in the future.

Knowledge is power when cultivating healthy dental habits. The more informed you are, the better positioned you’ll be to prevent avoidable and potentially costly dental procedures for you and your family. Watch for future blog posts, where we’ll continue sharing important information, product reviews and practical advice!