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Everyone can have bad breath, it only depends on what causes it, and if it is temporary or long-lasting. There are so many factors that affect the smell of our breath, and many people are really critical when it comes to this because they know the importance of smelling fresh.

Anyone you know can tell you that smelling bad can really hurt your image and your oral health, and because foul-smelling breath is a typical no-no for good first impressions, people are now trying to find out the best ways to avoid having one.

Here are some of the tips we can give you so you can be bad breath free forever. We can also give you our top picks for the best mouthwash brands for bad breath.


Editorial Choice:

As we all know, to achieve healthier and fresher breath, we must include using mouthwash as part of our daily dental routine. However, so many dental brand manufacturers come up with different combinations and use chemicals that would either benefit or harm our dental health. With this thought in mind, we set out our editorial team to conduct surveys and interview dental patients, dentists, and other dental specialists on what mouthwash brands they would recommend to be the best mouthwash brand. After several days of gathering significant information, we have trimmed down our list to the top 5 best mouthwash for bad breath.

Best overallTheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse
The one-of-a-kind dentist-approved formulation of TheraBreath reached the highest standards in mouthwash that it is recommended and accepted brand by the American Dental Association as an powerful treatment and preventative solution for any teeth or gum disease.’

Best mouthwash for gum disease: Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash
‘This alcohol-free mouthwash fights germs that cause gingivitis and bad breath while staying mild and safe for everday use.’

Best fluoride mouthwash: ACT Dry Mouth Mouthwash
‘Bad breath caused by dry mouth can be solved with this fluoride-based premium-grade mouthwash.’

Best all-around and most affordable mouthwash: Listerine Cool Mint Antiseptic Mouthwash
‘This antibacterial mouthwash combines menthol and other active ingredients with alcohol to destroy and fight germs and bacteria protect and care for the whole mouth.’

Best Alcohol-Free (no sting!) Mouthwash: Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield
‘An antiseptic mouthwash that has no sting but can still provide 12-hour mouth protection from bacteria and other disease-causing germs.’

Top 5 Picks for Best Mouthwash for Bad Breath


Coming from one of the most famous and successful dental product manufacturers, Colgate Total Pro-Shield Alcohol-Free Mouthwash can be expected to live up to its promise to provide fresh breath and fight all bad breath-causing germs. With its mild peppermint flavor and scent as well as an alcohol-free formulation, this mouthwash is best for bad breath because it contains cetylpyridinium chloride. This active ingredient is the one doing the job of eliminating plaque buildup caused by bacteria that linger in the mouth.

  • Has an alcohol-free formulation
  • Mild scent and flavor of peppermint freshens breath
  • Works with 12-hour protection even after brushing
  • Has an active ingredient that fights plaque and cavities
  • Can also address gum diseases like gingivitis
  • Contains sugar in the form of sorbitol
  • Safe but is not intended for children 6 years and below

Available at Amazon:

  • 1L, 33.8 Fl Oz bottle


The makers of Crest toothpaste and Oral-B toothbrushes bring you Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash, an alcohol-free therapeutic mouthwash that not only fights the smell of bad breath but also helps eliminate the root cause of your oral health problems. This antibacterial mouthwash fights disease-causing bacteria that contribute to the development of oral health problems like gum diseases, plaque and tartar build-up that can lead to tooth decay. Adding this product to your daily dental regimen can help your breath will smell fresh and clean all day long.

  • Does not contain any alcohol that can leave a stinging sensation in the mouth
  • Addresses the cause of bad breath like plaque, tartar, and cavities
  • Provides fresh and clean minty flavor and taste
  • Has antibacterial properties that protect the mouth from infections
  • Compatible to use with any fluoride toothpaste
  • Does not have teeth whitening properties
  • Some users complain of a weird metallic aftertaste

Available at Amazon:

  • 16.9 Fl Oz bottle


Dry mouth is one of the main causes of why we develop bad breath. The underproduction of saliva can make it difficult for the mouth to cleanse itself. This makes bacteria able to thrive all over the teeth, gums, and other surrounding mouth tissues, causing infections and oral health problems. If you are looking for the ideal mouthwash for bad breath caused by dry mouth, try ACT Total Care Dry Mouth Anti-Cavity Fluoride Mouthwash!This therapeutic mouthwash relieves those common symptoms of dry mouth. It has active ingredients that soothe the mouth, moisturizes its surface, and even strengthen teeth! Packed with sodium fluoride and the unique combination of ginger, Dong Quai root, Kudzu root, and honeysuckle extracts,  ACT Total Care Dry Mouth Anti-Cavity Fluoride Mouthwash can perform all the benefits that it promises to provide. Expect that regular use of this medicinal mouthwash will strengthen your teeth, protect them from tooth decay, and address xerostomia, or dry mouth symptoms.

  • A therapeutic mouthwash specifically for dry mouth
  • Helps increase saliva production to soothe mouth dryness and moisturize its surfaces
  • Can freshen breath while keeping the pH of the mouth neutral
  • Has a soothing mint flavor to refresh bad breath and taste
  • Has fluoride as an active ingredient to make teeth stronger
  • Some consumers complain that it does not taste that good
  • Eating or drinking are prohibited 30 minutes after using it

Available at Amazon:

  • 33.80 Fl Oz bottle


If you took our advice and visited the dentist to inquire about what effective ways you can try to fight bad breath, then you may have heard him recommend using TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse. This brand has been a favorite choice for the top mouthwash for bad breath by a lot of patients who have or who knows someone who has bad breath.

That fact that it is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) to address the root cause of your foul-smelling breath instead of just masking the smell makes it really worth your money. TheraBreath’s unique and original formulation that stimulates the production of oxygen-rich saliva to moisten the mouth and fight off bad breath-causing bacteria lets TheraBreath mouth rinses capable and deserving to be one of the top picks as the best anti-bad breath mouthwash.

  • Explicitly targets sulfur-producing bacteria that make the mouth sour-like and metallic-tasting
  • Has a unique formulation that uses natural ingredients like green tea, aloe vera, and tea tree oil extracts
  • Approved by professional dental specialists; proud recipient of an ADA Seal of Approval
  • Has no alcohol, artificial flavors, or coloring
  • Some complain that the rinse leaves a weird aftertaste in the mouth
  • It is a bit more expensive compared to other brands

Available at Amazon:

  • 3 Fl Oz bottle
  • 16 Fl Oz bottle


If you are searching for a mouthwash that will give you the freshest breath after every use, maybe you can try Listerine Cool Mint Antiseptic Mouthwash. A product of a world-renown mouthwash company, this mouthwash variant can be eligible to be known as the best mouthwash for curing bad breath because it claims to have clinically-proven oral health benefits. This mouth rinse has the power to reduce the possibility of developing gum diseases like gingivitis and cavity-causing plaque and tartar build-up.

Swishing this product can coat the entire mouth with its shield of protection better than what brushing and flossing can provide. Let the years of service of its manufacturing company speak for their efficiency and dedication to provide the highest quality of oral health care. With its Cool Mint Antiseptic flavor, you can be confident that its antimicrobial ingredients can deliver clean and fresh breath, any time of the day!

  • Can eliminate 99.9% of germs that can cause gum infections and develop plaque or tartar build-up
  • Promises a 24-hour germ protection capability
  • Approved as an ADA-accepted antiseptic mouthwash
  • Has clean, minty flavor that removes any signs of bad breath all-day
  • The available size can last you up to a month, making it affordable and effective
  • Is considered safe but it contains alcohol as an active ingredient
  • Contains sugar (sorbitol)

Available at Amazon:

  • 1 L bottle


What is Bad Breath?

It is so easy to define what bad breath is. It is that annoying and foul-smelling smell that comes from the mouth. It can be observed while a person is talking, heaving, sighing, or simply breathing.

Bad breath can happen occasionally for most of us; but for some, an underlying reason causes them to have lousy breath all the time.

What Causes Bad Breath?

As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of factors that can affect the smell of our breath. And to tell you the truth, even the healthiest people, those who do not have any medical or oral health problems, can have an episode of having foul-smelling breath at one point in their lives. Here are the common causes that can contribute to the quality of our breathing.



This is actually a no-brainer. The foods and beverages we consume absolutely affect how our breath’s smell. It is the main source of bad (or good) aroma that comes from the mouth. Some food ingredients, like garlic, onion, exotic spice, and cheese, can make your breath stick instantly. Fish, curry, and other acidic drinks such as coffee and tea also have a reputation of leaving a lousy smell in the mouth. For most people, the natural smell of the food only lasts temporarily.

Food can also affect our breath smell when its particles get stuck in our teeth. This scenario can promote bacterial growth and the build-up of dental plaque and tartar, which cause foul-smelling breath odor.

Furthermore, those weight-loss enthusiasts can also develop bad breath by following what others call the Keto diet. The whole idea of this diet is to have low-carbohydrate food intake and consume high-fat food recipes. This practice may make it easier for the body fat to get burned first since fewer carbs will be available to convert to energy. However, the process of converting fats to energy develops ketones. Ketones smell like acetone mixed with fruit – not a good combination indeed. So if you follow this diet, chances of you having ketone breath are high.

Cigarettes and Tobacco Can Cause Halitosis

Like food, smoking can affect how your breath smells, and it can actually affect the taste of the food you eat. But unlike food, smoking does nothing good for the body. Smoking products contain chemicals that stay inside the mouth, messing with its normal function, and leaving an awful ashtray-smelling odor.


Underlying Dental Problem

If you have tooth decay or gum diseases, these too can cause bad breath. The bacteria that thrive in your mouth causes odorous gases to mix with your breath that makes your mouth smelling funky and putrid.


Medical Problems

If you and your dentist rule out that you have good oral health and no dental problems can cause bad breath, but you still have it, then it is time to consult your doctor. You may be suffering from a medical condition that affects how your breath smells. Examples of medical conditions that leave patients with a lousy breath are:

  • Sinus infection
  • Respiratory/pulmonary disease
  • Throat infection
  • Gastric disease (GERD)
  • Liver diseases
  • Kidney infection

If you have been found to be diagnosed with the said conditions, consult your doctor on how to treat it as soon as possible so that your bad breath can also be eliminated in the process.

Poor Oral Hygiene Can Lead To Bad Breath

Aside from food, this is by far the most prominent cause of bad breath. No matter how you try to choose your food, stop smoking, and get treated for your dental or medical problem, if you don’t clean your teeth regularly, all efforts are lost.


Symptoms of Bad Breath

What other signs or symptoms can you expect when having a lousy breath? In reality, just the smell of your mouth is enough proof that you have bad breath. However, there are people who are not aware that they have it, and they would only know that they do when someone notifies them of this embarrassing trait. So, to make sure that you can identify when you may have bad breath (even without smelling it) here are a few signs that you need to take note of:


How to Get Rid of Bad Breath Permanently

Now that you know what can cause bad breath, and you identified what exactly caused yours, it is far easier for you to find ways of addressing this body odor problem. Here are several ways that you or a medical or oral health professional can help you with getting rid of bad breath permanently. We can also advise you to check out this link if you want to become a bad breath free forever.


At-Home Remedies For Bad Breath

These are some of the things that you can do on your own so you can eliminate the nasty smell of your breath:

Clean your mouth correctly. And regularly! Bad breath comes from bad teeth! Brush at least twice daily using the right amount of fluoridated toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush. Apply circular and gentle strokes all over your teeth and gums. Scrape your tongue with the back rough-textured part of your toothbrush or a tongue scraper. Floss at least once a day, and add a high-quality mouthwash for lousy breath into your daily dental routine.

Drink plenty of water. This keeps you from being dehydrated and aids in fighting dry mouth.

Swish with herbal rinses. Try gargling warm water infused with cinnamon oil, tea tree oil, basil, mint, fennel seeds, cardamom, ginger, or clove so their antibacterial properties can help address any dental problems you may have.

Saltwater rinse. Just the thought of rinsing your mouth with saltwater addresses, not just the lousy breath but also the cause of its putrid smell. Salt is a natural antibacterial agent, so gargling it can soothe your mouth, moisten the tissue, improve your saliva production, and fight off the disease-causing bacteria in the mouth.

Drink herbal teas. Make tea leaves out of mint plants (spearmint, peppermint, eucalyptus), or other strong-smelling herbs like rosemary, cilantro, and parsley. Their odor will mask your bad breath, and some of them are known to have antimicrobial properties as well.

Stop smoking. Do we need to say more? If you are addicted to it, sugar-free nicotine gums can help you curb this nasty habit. It can also promote the production of saliva, helping you fight dry mouth.

Chew some leaves and rinds. Orange peels and lemon rinds are effective because they have a good-smelling odor, and they have acidic properties that fight bad breath. You can also chew your herbs listed earlier instead of making them into teas.


Remedies For Bad Breath From Your Dentist

Well, it will all depend on what his assessment of your overall oral health is. If he observes that you have crooked teeth, he may recommend getting braces from him or refer you to an orthodontist. If gum problems are your diagnosis, consult a periodontist or endodontist so you can be treated with either oral surgery like root canal treatment or tooth extraction. If it is your restorative appliances that are affecting your breath odor, consider having them replaced with dental implants. Your dentist can also recommend you to use medicated toothpaste and mouthwash so you can address the main problem effectively. Discuss with your dentist how to find the best mouthwash for curing bad breath so as not to mask the smell but can also fight the root cause of it.


Remedies For Bad Breath From Your Doctor

If your dentist arrives with the conclusion that your oral health is not to be blamed for your bad breath, it is now the time to consult your doctor to find out what medical condition you may have that you are experiencing this embarrassing bad breath. Depending on your diagnosis, the doctor can prescribe medications that treat the underlying cause so that all your symptoms, including your lousy breath, can be eliminated.


How to Choose the Ideal Mouthwash for Bad Breath?

Well, this is a tricky question. Because there are so many mouthwash brands and types in the market nowadays, we understand that you may find it difficult to gauge which is best and most appropriate for your needs. Here are the things that you need to consider when choosing the ideal mouthwash for bad breath.


Type of mouthwash

You can essentially categorize mouth rinses into two types – cosmetic and therapeutic. You can classify your mouthwash as a cosmetic one if all it does is freshen your breath. On the other hand, those brands and types of mouthwash that has antibacterial, antimicrobial, or even whitening properties on top of masking the odor of your breath can be part of the medicinal type.

The mouthwash ingredients

As mentioned earlier, cosmetic mouthwash can freshen the breath and leave our mouths tasting great too! But for therapeutic mouthwash types, there are different active ingredients that can perform these functions.

Here are the common chemical agents that mouthwash manufacturers add to their rinses that you should take note of.

Manufacturers give their products an added benefit by putting this chemical to somehow help in whitening the teeth while eliminating the bad odor of your breath. Next time, when choosing the best anti-bad breath mouthwash, for instance, we would recommend that you look closely at the ingredient list.

This part of the label will indicate what active ingredients your mouthwash is made of, along with other inactive ingredients that may support the main effect of your rinse.


These brands are just some of the many variants of mouth rinses that are eligible to be considered as the ideal mouthwash for bad breath. But before choosing what to buy, we advise you to consult your dentist first so he can recommend a brand based on your needs, preference, budget, and overall oral health status.

Now, if you want to find a solution that will keep you bad breath free forever, go ahead and visit this page to know how you can get the freshest breath permanently.


Southern Smiles implements strict policies when it comes to data gathering and research procedures. Its investigative findings rely on academic research studies, peer reviews and interviews with dentists and dental specialists, as well as reliable online dental websites of international dental associations and established institutions.


John S. (2020). The best mouthwash.


Tutton, R. (2019). The best mouthwash for gingivitis, according to a dentist.


Whelan C, et al. (2019). The best mouthwashes for your smile.


Mouthwash (mouthrinse). (2019).


Stassen A, et al. (2020). The 8 best mouthwashes for gingivitis of 2020.


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