Skip to main content
Toggle Menu of ADA WebSites
ADA Websites
Toggle Search Area
Toggle Menu
e-mail Print Share
Oral Health Topics

Mouthwash (Mouthrinse)

Key Points

  • There are two main types of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic.
  • Therapeutic mouthwashes are available both over-the-counter and by prescription, depending on the formulation.
  • There are therapeutic mouthwashes that help reduce or control plaque, gingivitis, bad breath, and tooth decay.
  • Children younger than the age of 6 should not use mouthwash, unless directed by a dentist, because they may swallow large amounts of the liquid inadvertently.
  • A company earns the ADA Seal of Acceptance by providing scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety and efficacy of its product, which the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs carefully evaluates according to objective requirements.
  • Introduction
  • Types of Mouthwash
  • Clinical Considerations
  • Patient Information
  • ADA Seal of Acceptance
  • References
  • ADA Resources
Prepared by: Department of Scientific Information, ADA Science Institute
Last Updated: August 29, 2019

Prepared by:

Department of Scientific Information, Evidence Synthesis & Translation Research, ADA Science & Research Institute, LLC.


Content on the Oral Health Topics section of is for informational purposes only.  Content is neither intended to nor does it establish a standard of care or the official policy or position of the ADA; and is not a substitute for professional judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  ADA is not responsible for information on external websites linked to this website.