Best Total Care Mouthwash Review 2024

Dentist Tested and Reviewed
Dr. Matthew Hannan | My Dental Advocate
Best Total Care Mouthwash (Dentist Tested & Reviewed) | My Dental 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.

As an experienced dentist with years of experience, I’ve tested and evaluated 250+ dental products. I strive to find the best products for achieving excellent oral hygiene, so let’s take a closer look at the Best Total Care Mouthwash from a dentist’s perspective.

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

Buying Guide

  1. Best Overall: Colgate Total 12-Hour Mouthwash
  2. Best Gum Care: Crest Pro-Health Oral Rinse
  3. Best Sensitivity: ACT Total Care Sensitive Mouthwash
  4. Best Breath: Listerine Ultraclean Antiseptic Mouthwash
  5. Best Anticavity: Listerine Total Care Mouthwash

Evaluation Criteria

I test each product for 7-14 days, detailing its pros and cons, and rate it from 1 to 5 in four key areas.

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

Related Reviews


1. Best Overall | Colgate Total 12-Hour Mouthwash

12 Hour Protection
Colgate Total Alcohol-Free Mouthwash
$17.97 $12.38 ($0.12 / 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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05/26/2024 07:25 pm GMT

Highlights

  • 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

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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.


2. Best Gum Care | Crest Pro-Health Oral Rinse

Best Gum Care
Crest Pro Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash
$4.97 ($0.15 / Fl Oz)

Crest Pro-Health Advanced Multi-Protection Mouthwash with Fluoride helps you have stronger teeth* for a healthier mouth.

When you choose Crest Pro-Health Advanced mouthwash, you always choose one with comprehensive benefits. It works in addition to your toothpaste to help prevent cavities and is alcohol-free so there is no burn of alcohol.

When you rinse, you can be assured that you are reaching the areas brushing may miss to strengthen enamel and keep your breath fresh with the cool flavors of Pro-Health Advanced Mouthwash.

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05/28/2024 08:10 pm GMT

Highlights

  • Contains cetylpyridinium chloride
  • 99% germ kill multi-protection
  • Alcohol-free
  • Reduces plaque bacteria
  • Helps prevent gingivitis
  • Clean mint freshens breath

Results

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Pros

Crest Pro-Health is very flavorful, and the Clean Mint 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 a powerful mint flavor.


3. Best Sensitivity | ACT Total Care Sensitive Mouthwash

Best Sensitivity
ACT Total Care Sensitive Formula Mouthwash
$14.58 ($0.81 / Fl Oz)

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 several 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.

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05/28/2024 08:00 pm GMT

Highlights

  • Sodium fluoride 0.02%
  • Non-burning alcohol-free
  • Non-irritating to sore mouth
  • Kills bad breath germs
  • Strengthens teeth
  • Mint freshens breath

Results

Effectiveness0
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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 who desire a strong mint flavor.


4. Best Breath | Listerine Ultraclean Antiseptic Mouthwash

Best Breath
Listerine Ultraclean Oral Care Antiseptic Mouthwash
$8.96 $6.98 ($0.41 / Fl Oz)

Give your mouth a powerful, dentist-clean feeling with Listerine Ultraclean Antiseptic Mouthwash with refreshing Cool Mint flavor for gingivitis treatment.

This oral care mouthwash is clinically proven to fight tartar buildup & kill 99.9% of germs that cause bad breath, plaque & gingivitis & provides up to 3x longer lasting clean feeling versus brushing alone.

This tartar control mouthwash helps maintain healthy gums & fresh breath with an added anti-tartar ingredient for cleaner teeth & 4x healthier gums in 3 weeks vs. brushing alone.

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05/28/2024 08:05 pm GMT

Highlights

  • American Dental Association accepted
  • Fights tartar buildup
  • Kills 99% of germs
  • 3X longer lasting clean feeling
  • Cool mint flavor freshens breath

Results

Effectiveness0
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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.


5. Best Anticavity | Listerine Total Care Mouthwash

Zero Alcohol
Listerine Total Care Anticavity Mouthwash
$23.72 $16.58 ($0.25 / Fl Oz)

Give your mouth complete care with Listerine Total Care Zero Alcohol-Free Anticavity Mouthwash.

Listerine Total Care Zero provides the same six benefits in one as Listerine Total Care Anticavity Mouthwash but in a less intense, alcohol-free mouthwash formula.

With up to 2.4x the fluoride uptake than Act mouthwash brand, this fluoride-rich formula helps prevent cavities, restores enamel, and strengthens your teeth, making them 50 percent stronger than just brushing alone*.

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05/26/2024 06:30 pm GMT

Highlights

  • American Dental Association accepted
  • Sodium fluoride 0.02%
  • Kills 99% of bad breath germs
  • Restores enamel
  • Cool mint flavor freshens breath
  • Fresh mint flavor

Results

Effectiveness0
Comfort0
Taste0
Directions0
Total0

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

Like 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*

12 Hour Protection
Colgate Total Alcohol-Free Mouthwash
$17.97 $12.38 ($0.12 / 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.

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/26/2024 07:25 pm GMT

Final Thoughts

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, offering exceptionally potent flavor and alcohol burn to kill harmful bacteria.

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.

Need a second opinion? We can help! Learn more. 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!

About the Author

Dr. Matthew Hannan, also known as “Dr. Advocate,” is a board-certified dentist on a mission to provide accurate dental patient education. He attended Baylor University before completing dental school at UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry. He now lives in Arizona with his beautiful wife and 4 kids. Dr. Hannan believes everyone should access easy-to-read dental resources with relevant, up-to-date dental research and insight to improve their oral health.

Matt Hannan, DDS Signature | My Dental Advocate

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