Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash

Dentist Tested and Reviewed | Time to Read: 9 mins
Dr Advocate Avatar IconUpdated: August 31, 2022
By: Dr. Advocate

Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash Review | All 5 products being reviewed

Walking down the dental aisle can be overwhelming with many product options. In terms of mouthwash, they offer whitening, gum care, sensitivity, anti-plaque, and dry mouth, to name a few. What happens if you want all the benefits?

Thankfully, oral care companies offer a total care mouthwash that provides multi-level protection against germs. Although most provide similar benefits, each is slightly different in taste, texture, aftertaste, and comfort.

Let's take a closer look at the Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash, from a dentist perspective.


Evaluation Criteria

We highlight each product's unique, advertised benefits, identify their pros and cons and score each from 1 to 5 based on four categories. The oral rinse with the highest score is crowned the overall champion; however, we’ll also give suggested patient benefits for each product. Prices listed are subject to change and discussed in each review, however they were not considered within the scoring criteria.


  1. Effectiveness: Does the mouthwash treat the advertised need? How effective were the results?
  2. Comfort: Are you able to swish for recommended time? Did it sting or burn? How did the mouth feel afterwards?
  3. Taste: How was the overall taste? Was it tolerable? Did it alter your sense of taste?
  4. Directions: Were the directions clear and simple to understand? Are they desiring unrealistic expectations?



Colgate Total 12-Hour Mouthwash

Colgate Total 12 Hour Mouthwash  | Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash Review

Colgate seeks to develop products that promote healthy smiles. They’ve been in the oral health care industry for over 145 years and offer a range of oral care products. Sustainability is also important to them as they recently created a first-of-its-kind recyclable toothpaste tube. Lastly, they strive to be an accessible company that offers many educational resources to the public and dental professionals. Colgate’s line of Total products include mouthwash and toothpaste to provide total care for oral health.

Let’s take a closer look at this popular mouthwash.

30% Off Code: XE994G


Highlights
  • $5.99 per bottle (33.8 oz)
  • Contains cetylpyridinium chloride
  • 12 hour protection after eating and drinking
  • “Kills 99% of germs on contact”
  • Alcohol-free
  • Significantly reduces plaque
  • Helps prevent gingivitis
  • “10x longer lasting cool”
  • Peppermint flavor

Results

Effectiveness: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Comfort: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Taste: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒
Directions: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Total: 19/20


Directions
  • Specifically for adults and children over 12 years old
  • Use twice daily after brushing teeth with toothpaste
  • Swish 20 mL for 30 seconds and then spit out
  • Do not swallow rinse

Pros

Colgate Total 12-Hour is a tremendous all-around mouthwash. It was effective and provided multiple added benefits. It’s alcohol-free, so no burning or tingling was observed, and the refreshing peppermint flavor was enjoyable. Also, it had a cooling effect upon rinsing that lasted longer than competitors.


Cons

Slight dryness was observed that seemed to subside quickly.


Best for patients that desire multiple benefits with non-burning benefits.




Crest Pro-Health Oral Rinse

Crest Pro-Health Oral Rinse | Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash Review

Crest is a leader in the oral health care community combining years of research with product development. Crest Whitestrips is their most desired product; however, they’re also known for their innovative toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss. Crest’s Pro-Health product line provides multi-protection for your oral health.

Let’s take a closer look at this clean mint mouthwash to see how it stacks up with its competitors.


Highlights
  • $4.99 per bottle (33.8 oz)
  • Contains cetylpyridinium chloride
  • “99% germ kill multi-protection”
  • Alcohol-free
  • Reduces plaque bacteria
  • Helps prevent gingivitis
  • Clean mint freshens breath

Results

Effectiveness: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Comfort: ⭑⭑⭑⭒⭒
Taste: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒
Directions: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Total: 17/20


Directions
  • Specifically for adults and children over 6 years old
  • Use 20 mL rinse for 30 seconds then spit out
  • Use twice daily
  • Do not swallow

Pros

Crest Pro-Health is very flavorful, and the Clean Mint flavor freshens breath for hours. It’s comfortable to swish with minimal tingling. The mouthwash was effective and provided a cooling relief and no bitterness upon rinsing.


Cons

Mouth dryness was observed after rinsing, most likely due to cetylpyridinium chloride that fights off gingivitis and plaque. Also, the flavor was potent, so it may be too much for those seeking less taste.


Best for patients that desire gum care and powerful mint flavor.




ACT Total Care Sensitive Mouthwash

ACT Total Care Sensitive Mouthwash | Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash Review

ACT is the “#1 dentist and hygienist recommended fluoride brand” and offers several oral health care products. For over 30 years, they have developed products backed by science and rooted in decades of research. They have many oral rinses, including dry mouth, whitening, anticavity, kids, total care, and restoration. Also, they focus on producing quality fluoride products to protect and strengthen teeth.

Let’s take a closer look at this total care mouthwash.


Highlights
  • $5.50 per bottle (18 oz)
  • Sodium fluoride 0.02%
  • Non-burning alcohol-free
  • Non-irritating to sore mouth
  • Kills bad breath germs
  • Strengthens teeth
  • Mint freshens breath

Results

Effectiveness: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Comfort: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Taste: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒
Directions: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Total: 19/20


Directions
  • Specifically for adults and children over 6 years old
  • Use twice daily after brushing teeth with toothpaste
  • Swish with 10 mL for 60 seconds and then spit out
  • Do not swallow rinse
  • Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes after rinsing

Pros

ACT Total Care Sensitive is effective and offers an intense mint freshness. The freshness lasted for hours, and it was comfortable to swish. It’s alcohol-free, so no burning was noted, making this an enjoyable mouthwash.


Cons

We noted a slightly altered aftertaste, most likely due to sodium fluoride, which is an acceptable trade-off.


Best for patients with sensitive gums and desire strong mint flavor.




Listerine Ultraclean Antiseptic Mouthwash

Listerine Ultraclean Antiseptic Mouthwash | Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash Review

The creator of Listerine, Dr. Joseph Lawrence, named the formulation after Dr. Baron Lister, an English surgeon who performed the first operation in a sterilized chamber disinfected with pulverized antiseptic. Dr. Lawrence created his formulation to kill germs in tissues like your mouth. As a result, Listerine has the widest variety of mouthwash compared to other brands, offering four different bottle sizes.

Let’s take a look at this antiseptic mouthwash.


Highlights
  • $5.50 per bottle (16 oz)
  • American Dental Association accepted
  • Fights tartar buildup
  • “Kills 99% of germs”
  • “3x longer lasting clean feeling”
  • Cool mint flavor freshens breath

Results

Effectiveness: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Comfort: ⭑⭑⭒⭒⭒
Taste: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒
Directions: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Total: 17/20


Directions
  • Use twice daily after brushing teeth with toothpaste
  • Swish 20 mL for 30 seconds then spit out
  • Do not swallow

Pros

This mouthwash is exceptionally flavorful and refreshing. It’s effective and offers a cooling effect after rinsing. As a result, this product provided the longest fresh breath. Listerine is known for its robust flavor, and this is no different.


Cons

The intense flavor may be too much for some individuals, and the burning alcohol was uncomfortable to swish. Also, there was slight mouth dryness upon rinsing, most likely due to alcohol-active ingredients.


Best for patients desiring exceptionally strong mint flavor and hours of fresh breath.




Listerine Total Care Mouthwash

Listerine Total Care Mouthwash | Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash Review

Listerine also offers a Total Care Mouthwash with sodium fluoride and 6-in-1 benefits. These benefits include cleaning the whole mouth, strengthening teeth, strengthening enamel, freshening breath, killing harmful breath germs, and helping prevent cavities.

Let’s take a closer look at the multi-protection mouthwash.


Highlights
  • $6.50 per bottle (1 L)
  • American Dental Association accepted
  • Sodium fluoride 0.02%
  • “Kills 99% of bad breath germs”
  • Restores enamel
  • Cool mint flavor freshens breath
  • Fresh mint flavorz

Results

Effectiveness: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Comfort: ⭑⭑⭑⭒⭒
Taste: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒
Directions: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Total: 17/20


Directions
  • Specifically for adults and children over 12 years old
  • Use 20 mL rinse for 60 seconds then spit out
  • Use twice daily
  • Do not swallow
  • Do not drink for 30 minutes after

Pros

Total Care was less intense than Ultraclean in regards to flavor and potency. However, it still offers a strong punch and hours of fresh breath. It’s effective, and including sodium fluoride is beneficial.


Cons

Similar to Ultraclean, this product was uncomfortable to swish because of the potent flavor and alcohol-active ingredients. Also, there was dryness and altered taste upon rinsing.


Best for patients desiring strong flavor and benefits of fluoride.




Overall Champion: Colgate Total 12 Hour Mouthwash*

Colgate Total 12 Hour Mouthwash | Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash Review

Colgate Total and ACT Total Care both tied for first place. Both products were effective, flavorful, and comfortable to swish and provided countless benefits. Colgate Total edged out ACT Total Care because it’s slightly more affordable, although ACT Total Care is a better choice if you have sensitive gums. Colgate Total also contains cetylpyridinium chloride, which offers antiplaque/antigingivitis qualities, so consider this product if you desire those benefits. Crest Pro-Health is another great all-around option with multi-protection benefits. Listerine rounded out the final two and offers exceptionally potent flavor and alcohol burn to kill harmful bacteria.

30% Off Code: XE994G


Final Rankings
  1. Colgate Total 12-Hour Mouthwash 19/20
  2. ACT Total Care Sensitive Mouthwash 19/20
  3. Crest Pro-Health Oral Rinse 17/20
  4. Listerine Total Care Mouthwash 17/20
  5. Listerine Ultraclean Antiseptic Mouthwash 16/20

* My Dental Advocate product reviews are based on individual experience and your results with the products may vary.


Dr Advocate Avatar IconAbout the Author

Dr. Advocate is an actual board-certified dentist with clinical practice experience and a mission to provide accurate dental patient education. He believes everyone should access easy-to-read dental resources presented in layman’s terms with relevant, up-to-date dental research and insight to improve their oral health.



Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash

Dentist Tested and Reviewed
Time to Read: 9 mins

Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash Review | All 5 products being reviewed
Dr Advocate Avatar IconUpdated: August 31, 2022
By: Dr. Advocate

Walking down the dental aisle can be overwhelming with many product options. In terms of mouthwash, they offer whitening, gum care, sensitivity, anti-plaque, and dry mouth, to name a few. What happens if you want all the benefits? Thankfully, oral care companies offer a total care mouthwash that provides multi-level protection against germs. Although most provide similar benefits, each is slightly different in taste, texture, aftertaste, and comfort.

Let's take a closer look at the Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash, from a dentist perspective.


Evaluation Criteria

We highlight each product's unique, advertised benefits, identify their pros and cons and score each from 1 to 5 based on four categories. The oral rinse with the highest score is crowned the overall champion; however, we’ll also give suggested patient benefits for each product. Prices listed are subject to change and discussed in each review, however they were not considered within the scoring criteria.


  1. Effectiveness: Does the mouthwash treat the advertised need? How effective were the results?
  2. Comfort: Are you able to swish for recommended time? Did it sting or burn? How did the mouth feel afterwards?
  3. Taste: How was the overall taste? Was it tolerable? Did it alter your sense of taste?
  4. Directions: Were the directions clear and simple to understand? Are they desiring unrealistic expectations?



Colgate Total 12-Hour Mouthwash

Colgate Total 12 Hour Mouthwash  | Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash Review

Colgate seeks to develop products that promote healthy smiles. They’ve been in the oral health care industry for over 145 years and offer a range of oral care products. Sustainability is also important to them as they recently created a first-of-its-kind recyclable toothpaste tube. Lastly, they strive to be an accessible company that offers many educational resources to the public and dental professionals. Colgate’s line of Total products include mouthwash and toothpaste to provide total care for oral health.

Let’s take a closer look at this popular mouthwash.


Highlights

  • $5.99 per bottle (33.8 oz)
  • Contains cetylpyridinium chloride
  • 12-hour protection after eating and drinking
  • “Kills 99% of germs on contact”
  • Alcohol-free
  • Significantly reduces plaque
  • Helps prevent gingivitis
  • “10x longer lasting cool”
  • Peppermint flavor


Pros

Colgate Total 12-Hour is a tremendous all-around mouthwash. It was effective and provided multiple added benefits. It’s alcohol-free, so no burning or tingling was observed, and the refreshing peppermint flavor was enjoyable. Also, it had a cooling effect upon rinsing that lasted longer than competitors.


Cons

Slight dryness was observed that seemed to subside quickly.


Directions

  • Specifically for adults and children over 12 years old
  • Use twice daily after brushing teeth with toothpaste
  • Swish 20 mL for 30 seconds and then spit out
  • Do not swallow rinse


Results

Effectiveness:
Comfort:
Taste:
Directions:

⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒
⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑


Total: 19/20


Best for patients that desire multiple benefits with non-burning benefits.



30% Off Code: XE994G




Crest Pro-Health Oral Rinse

Crest Pro-Health Oral Rinse | Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash Review

Crest is a leader in the oral health care community combining years of research with product development. Crest Whitestrips is their most desired product; however, they’re also known for their innovative toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss. Crest’s Pro-Health product line provides multi-protection for your oral health.

Let’s take a closer look at this clean mint mouthwash to see how it stacks up with its competitors.


Highlights

  • $4.99 per bottle (33.8 oz)
  • Contains cetylpyridinium chloride
  • “99% germ kill multi-protection”
  • Alcohol-free
  • Reduces plaque bacteria
  • Helps prevent gingivitis
  • Clean mint freshens breath


Pros

Crest Pro-Health is very flavorful, and the Clean Mint flavor freshens breath for hours. It’s comfortable to swish with minimal tingling. The mouthwash was effective and provided a cooling relief and no bitterness upon rinsing.


Cons

Mouth dryness was observed after rinsing, most likely due to cetylpyridinium chloride that fights off gingivitis and plaque. Also, the flavor was potent, so it may be too much for those seeking less taste.


Directions
  • Specifically for adults and children over 6 years old
  • Use 20 mL rinse for 30 seconds then spit out
  • Use twice daily
  • Do not swallow

Results

Effectiveness:
Comfort:
Taste:
Directions:

⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
⭑⭑⭑⭒⭒
⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒
⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑


Total: 17/20


Best for patients that desire gum care and powerful mint flavor.





ACT Total Care Sensitive Mouthwash

ACT Total Care Sensitive Mouthwash | Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash Review

ACT is the “#1 dentist and hygienist recommended fluoride brand” and offers several oral health care products. For over 30 years, they have developed products backed by science and rooted in decades of research. They have many oral rinses, including dry mouth, whitening, anticavity, kids, total care, and restoration. Also, they focus on producing quality fluoride products to protect and strengthen teeth.

Let’s take a closer look at this total care mouthwash.


Highlights

  • $5.50 per bottle (18 oz)
  • Sodium fluoride 0.02%
  • Non-burning alcohol-free
  • Non-irritating to sore mouth
  • Kills bad breath germs
  • Strengthens teeth
  • Mint freshens breath


Pros

ACT Total Care Sensitive is effective and offers an intense mint freshness. The freshness lasted for hours, and it was comfortable to swish. It’s alcohol-free, so no burning was noted, making this an enjoyable mouthwash.


Cons

We noted a slightly altered aftertaste, most likely due to sodium fluoride, which is an acceptable trade-off.


Directions

  • Specifically for adults and children over 6 years old
  • Use twice daily after brushing teeth with toothpaste
  • Swish with 10 mL for 60 seconds and then spit out
  • Do not swallow rinse
  • Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes after rinsing


Results

Effectiveness:
Comfort:
Taste:
Directions:

⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒
⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑


Total: 19/20


Best for patients with sensitive gums and desire strong mint flavor.





Listerine Ultraclean Antiseptic Mouthwash

Listerine Ultraclean Antiseptic Mouthwash | Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash Review

The creator of Listerine, Dr. Joseph Lawrence, named the formulation after Dr. Baron Lister, an English surgeon who performed the first operation in a sterilized chamber disinfected with pulverized antiseptic. Dr. Lawrence created his formulation to kill germs in tissues like your mouth. As a result, Listerine has the widest variety of mouthwash compared to other brands, offering four different bottle sizes.

Let’s take a look at this antiseptic mouthwash.


Highlights

  • $5.50 per bottle (16 oz)
  • American Dental Association accepted
  • Fights tartar buildup
  • “Kills 99% of germs”
  • “3x longer lasting clean feeling”
  • Cool mint flavor freshens breath


Pros

This mouthwash is exceptionally flavorful and refreshing. It’s effective and offers a cooling effect after rinsing. As a result, this product provided the longest fresh breath. Listerine is known for its robust flavor, and this is no different.


Cons

The intense flavor may be too much for some individuals, and the burning alcohol was uncomfortable to swish. Also, there was slight mouth dryness upon rinsing, most likely due to alcohol-active ingredients.


Directions

  • Use twice daily after brushing teeth with toothpaste
  • Swish 20 mL for 30 seconds then spit out
  • Do not swallow


Results

Effectiveness:
Comfort:
Taste:
Directions:

⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
⭑⭑⭒⭒⭒
⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒
⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑


Total: 16/20


Best for patients desiring exceptionally strong mint flavor and hours of fresh breath.





Listerine Total Care Mouthwash

Listerine Total Care Mouthwash | Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash Review

Listerine also offers a Total Care Mouthwash with sodium fluoride and 6-in-1 benefits. These benefits include cleaning the whole mouth, strengthening teeth, strengthening enamel, freshening breath, killing harmful breath germs, and helping prevent cavities.

Let’s take a closer look at the multi-protection mouthwash.


Highlights

  • $6.50 per bottle (1 L)
  • American Dental Association accepted
  • Sodium fluoride 0.02%
  • “Kills 99% of bad breath germs”
  • Restores enamel
  • Cool mint flavor freshens breath
  • Fresh mint flavorz


Pros

Total Care was less intense than Ultraclean in regards to flavor and potency. However, it still offers a strong punch and hours of fresh breath. It’s effective, and including sodium fluoride is beneficial.


Cons

Similar to Ultraclean, this product was uncomfortable to swish because of the potent flavor and alcohol-active ingredients. Also, there was dryness and altered taste upon rinsing.


Directions

  • Specifically for adults and children over 12 years old
  • Use 20 mL rinse for 60 seconds then spit out
  • Use twice daily
  • Do not swallow
  • Do not drink for 30 minutes after


Results

Effectiveness:
Comfort:
Taste:
Directions:

⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
⭑⭑⭑⭒⭒
⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒
⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑


Total: 17/20


Best for patients desiring strong flavor and benefits of fluoride.





Overall Champion: Colgate Total 12 Hour Mouthwash*

Colgate Total 12 Hour Mouthwash | Top 5 Best Total Care Mouthwash Review

Colgate Total and ACT Total Care both tied for first place. Both products were effective, flavorful, and comfortable to swish and provided countless benefits. Colgate Total edged out ACT Total Care because it’s slightly more affordable, although ACT Total Care is a better choice if you have sensitive gums. Colgate Total also contains cetylpyridinium chloride, which offers antiplaque/antigingivitis qualities, so consider this product if you desire those benefits. Crest Pro-Health is another great all-around option with multi-protection benefits. Listerine rounded out the final two and offers exceptionally potent flavor and alcohol burn to kill harmful bacteria.


30% Off Code: XE994G


Final Rankings
  1. Colgate Total 12-Hour Mouthwash 19/20
  2. ACT Total Care Sensitive Mouthwash 19/20
  3. Crest Pro-Health Oral Rinse 17/20
  4. Listerine Total Care Mouthwash 17/20
  5. Listerine Ultraclean Antiseptic Mouthwash 16/20

* My Dental Advocate product reviews are based on individual experience and your results with the products may vary.


Dr Advocate Avatar Icon
About the Author

Dr. Advocate is an actual board-certified dentist with clinical practice experience and a mission to provide accurate dental patient education. He believes everyone should access easy-to-read dental resources presented in layman’s terms with relevant, up-to-date dental research and insight to improve their oral health.



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