Mouthwashes – Meltham Dental Care

July 2, 2017

Which mouthwash should I use? Choosing the right mouthwash for you...

There are many mouthwashes available. Deciding which one is right for you can be difficult. When choosing which mouthwash you purchase, you will need to check the ingredients. The information listed below will help you decide which mouthwash is correct for you.

Alcohol Based Mouthwashes

Long term use of alcohol mouthwashes is not advised for the following reasons:

  • Some mouthwashes can contain significant amounts of alcohol, up to 27% vol
  • Alcohol is a drying agent, this further increases bacterial activity in the mouth, this can lead to the release of volatile sulphur compounds and may temporarily worsen halitosis or cause it.
  • Some studies suggest alcohol mouthwashes increase the risk of cancer

Alcohol Free Mouthwashes

A great deal of mouthwashes are now available with the alcohol free option; which have similar levels of efficacy of alcohol based mouthwashes but without the risks. Dental professions would always advise usage of alcohol free mouthwashes when used long term.

Oral B anti-plaque alcohol free mouth rinse 500ml

Fluoride Mouthwashes (Alcohol free recommended)

These are used to reduce the risk of dental caries. These mouthwashes usually contain 225 parts per million fluoride. The fluoride helps to strengthen teeth against dental caries. For greater efficacy fluoride mouthwashes should be used at a different time during the day to brushing your teeth with toothpaste


Chlorhexidine Digluconate Mouthwashes (Corsodyl)

Both alcohol and alcohol free available, alcohol free usually a reduced concentration

Corsodyl Mouthwash


Use this mouthwash for:

  • Gum disease: Use for up to 30 days, depending on the severity of your condition. If you are unsure, please consult your dentist.
  • Mouth ulcers and oral thrush: Continue to use for 2 days after healing has occurred.
  • Denture sore mouth: As well as using it to rinse your mouth, you should also clean and soak your dentures in our mouthwash for 15 minutes twice daily.
  • After dental surgery or treatment: Rinse as directed by your dentist.


Don’t use for:

  • Long term substitute for tooth brushing, flossing or interdental cleaning
  • Children under the age of 12 unless advised otherwise by a dentist
  • Individuals who are allergic to chlorhexidine digluconate
  • Treating acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis


  • It has significant anti-plaque action
  • Some antifungal action


  • Unable to prevent plaque, it is not a substitute for brushing teeth, flossing or interdental cleaning
  • Some people are allergic to this mouthwash
  • Can lead to altered taste sensation with long term use
  • Prolonged use can lead to staining of teeth ( chlorhexidine binds to tannins, thus people who drink tea, coffee or red wine and smokers are more likely to get extrinsic staining which will require professional removal from a dentist or hygiene therapist) Advised
  • Reduced efficacy if used immediately after brushing teeth with toothpaste, ensure that your mouth is rinsed thoroughly and wait 5 minute before use.

Phenol Mouthwashes (Alcohol free advised)

Phenolic mouthwashes (e.g. Listerine) are believed to have some anti-plaque action but some research suggests that they are not as effective as chlorhexidine. However they do not lead to the staining of teeth.

Benzydamine (Difflam)

These analgesic mouthwashes are often used before meals to improve comfort whilst eating in painful conditions effecting the oral cavity, they are used to treat:

  • Some painful oral conditions
  • Apthous stomatitis
  • Sore throats


Betamethasone (Anti-Inflammatory corticosteroid mouthwash)

Betamethasone can be used to treat severe inflammatory conditions effecting the oral mucosa such as the severe forms of aphthous stomatitis.


Cetylpyridinium chloride (Specialised mouthwash for halitosis)

Cetylpyridinium chloride containing mouthwashes (e.g. 0.05%) are considered to reduce halitosis.



  • Thought to have has less anti-plaque effect than chlorhexidine mouthwashes
  • May lead to staining of teeth
  • May lead to oral burning sensation
  • May lead to ulceration
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