Welcome back to Hartwell Dentistry.

Today we will be discuss the different types of mouthwashes that are on the market today and if these are good or bad for you and your family.

The following is a list of therapeutic mouthwashes we stock at Hartwell dentistry whose benefits are confirmed by independent scientific research.


Active ingredient: Chlorhexidine Digluconate

It is beneficial as it reduces the inflammation of gingival tissues and works best against a broad spectrum of bacteria.

This is best used for patients that have just had oral surgery or patients that have implants.

This is generally only used for a short term, and has limited availability from chemists.

NOTE: there is another mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine (Savacol) however it can cause staining after using for 2 weeks and if used long term can cause taste alteration. Curacept has an Anti Discolouration System (ADS) which prevents this from occurring. However long term use is still not ideal

Not to be used at the same time with a tooth paste that contains SLS, as the foaming agent cancels out the benefits of the chlorhexidine (must be 1 hour apart). Most tooth pastes have SLS – one that doesn’t is ‘Enzycal’.


Active ingredients:  Chlorine Dioxide

It is aimed at patients with issues with halitosis (bad breath odour). The active ingredient works against the volatile sulphur compounds that cause bad breath. This product is alcohol free, and it can be purchased in a kit with a tooth paste and mouth spray. Generally not available from chemists.



Active ingredients:  Xylitol, Fluoride

This mouth rinse is best used for patients with a high decay rate. There are two types of these rinses, a treatment rinse (requires 2 solutions to be mixed together) and a maintenance rinse.

The active ingredients work to change the pH of the mouth to favour good bacteria and reduce bacteria that causes holes.  The treatment rinse is used for patients that have recently come in with new decay. While the maintenance rinse is used to maintain the health of the teeth long term.

This product can only be purchased in the dental surgery.


Active ingredients:  Neutral Sodium Fluoride

There are two different strengths of Neutrafluor – 900ppm and 200ppm

900 – used weekly, the fluoride content is higher

200 – used daily, has a lower fluoride content

Neutrafluor can be used for patients with high risk decay, decay that has recently been restored and people with orthodontics. This should not be used for children under 6 years old, due to the high fluoride amount that can have an effect on the developing teeth.

However it is not as effective as CTX mouthrinses.

This product is generally available over the counter at chemists.

Salt water

A warm salt water mouthwash can be used following oral surgery or if there are any wounds/ulcers in the mouth. Salt is said to be a natural disinfectant and is readily available to make at home.

ListerineNot stocked at Hartwell

Ingredients:  Eucalyptol, Menthol, Thymol, Methyl Salicylate

Listerine contains 4 essential oils that claim to help with oral health. It comes in a few different varieties, most of them using alcohol as a carrier/preservative.

While Listerine may make your mouth feel fresh short term 10-15 minutes) due to the alcohol and the sweet minty taste, there aren’t any real long term benefits. It is best to avoid using this as a daily long term rinse due to the negligible benefits and due to the high alcohol content which can increase the risk of oral cancer.


Due to the overwhelming amount of choices, it is best to have your oral health assessed before you start using a mouth wash. Your oral health professional will advise you which mouthwash would be best suited to your needs.

Stayed tuned for next weeks’ blog with Hartwell Dentistry, we will continue to discuss more steps in your oral hygiene technique regarding toothpaste and the different affects they have on the strength of our teeth.