It's a familiar scenario to many of us: You wake up in the morning next to your partner, who rolls over to kiss you, and your first response is to immediately pull the bed sheets over your mouth to try and disguise your dog breath. Not today, Satan! Or maybe you enjoyed a super garlicky meal at lunch, and now have to avoid every single one of your colleagues at the office, because you feel you might knock them down with a single word. For most, brushing your teeth and a quick rinse with mouthwash should do the trick.
But what about those who suffer from halitosis, or chronic bad breath—the kind that even regular flossing, brushing multiple times a day, and the best oral hygiene routine just can't seem to help? It's enough to give anyone anxiety. Bad breath is probably one of the most common insecurities people have, which is why there are endless ways to mask it—from gum to mints to mouthwash. And if mouthwash is your go-to remedy for bad breath, you're actually wasting your time with most mouthwashes, especially alcohol-based ones.
First, you need to understand what causes bad breath. Bad breath comes from dryness, otherwise known as a lack of oxygen, says Marianna Weiner, DDS, a cosmetic dentist at Envy Smile Dental Spa in Brooklyn, NY. Generally, a natural mouthwash is better for you than an alcohol-based one, because alcohol doesn't cure your bad breath symptoms, but rather masks the issue, she adds. "Additionally, alcohol is drying, and drying out the mucous membrane in your gums can lead to periodontal problems, such as sensitivity and bleeding." Yikes.
Now that you're likely questioning the bottle of Listerine or Scope in your medicine cabinet (both of which contain alcohol BTW), you might be wondering about what you should be using. Unsurprisingly enough, Amazon shoppers have discovered a holy grail mouthwash (Bless!) they swear will get rid of your bad breath for good: Therabreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse ($15 for 2-pack, was $26; amazon.com), which was developed by a dentist trying to help his own daughter conquer her bad breath, since nothing they tried worked.
The Therabreath mouthwash uses the power of oxygen (more on that in a bit!) to target bad-breath-causing bacteria deep below the surface of the tongue and at the back of the throat. The formula doesn't contain alcohol or artificial flavors, but instead uniquely features Oxyd-8, a highly potent formula that is created from sodium chlorite, the chemical that's been used to safely purify water for over 100 years, explains Dr. Weiner. Oxyd-8 creates an oxygen-rich environment, preventing the dryness you want to avoid, without using alcohol.
The natural oral rinse is also packed with zinc luconate, which helps maintain a healthy pH and moisture level, and essential oils—like the presence of tea tree oil—to encourage faster healing within your body, provide potency, and offer long-lasting effectiveness, notes Dr. Weiner. All of these things help reduce burning, minimize enamel erosion, and prevent tooth sensitivity, making this product safe enough to use twice daily.
Since there is a clear lack of alcohol in this mouthwash, it leaves you with the perfect environment for a natural balance of saliva—which is super important, since that helps your mouth break down starches, flush out bacteria, and assist the body’s digestion process, says Dr. Weiner. Overall, she calls Therabreath a winner, thanks to its prescription-grade natural ingredients, the fact that it kills bacteria, and that it has a great taste.
Not only does it get a dentist's stamp of approval, but it's also safe to say Amazon shoppers are obsessed with this oral rinse. It's earned over 14,000 five-star ratings from users, who claim that it's completely eliminated their chronic bad breath caused by tonsil stones, allergies and postnasal drip, dry mouth (due to allergies and medication), and sulphur buildup. Many have even gone as far as to say it's "saved their marriage."
One reviewer wrote: "I bought this for my husband who has severe allergies and a constant postnasal drip. We suspected this was the cause of, or at least a contributing factor to, his bad breath. He used it one morning and then that night and the next day—no morning breath whatsoever! We couldn't believe it."
"I have suffered from tonsil stones for 15+ years," shared another. "I was always very self conscious of my breath and chewed gum constantly even though it didn’t really help the smell. My tonsils were so packed with stones I could never get them out. I used this product, and after a week, they were gone! I will say I have had some reappear (only in the first few weeks). However, the product makes it easier for you to get the stones out, and now after using it once daily for months, they are no longer a reoccurring issue. This is huge for me!!!"
"I do not know what type of crack (not literally) is in this mouthwash but my goodness it WORKS!! My spouse had horrible breath and I mean to the point it was affecting our relationship. Kissing was nonexistent and poor fella he tried everything from mints, gums, strips, mouthwashes, tongue scraping, tongue brushing, salt rinses and more and I gave up as he grew frustrated. I was desperate and came on Amazon, typed in bad breath, and this came up. I am always skeptical of reviews but I told my baby about it and he ordered it right away. When it arrived, he brushed his teeth and used this and I literally teared up! It has taken away his horrible breath and we have been kissing since!! Thanks to the maker of this product! You saved us!!!" raved a happy customer.
Whether you're suffering from your run-of-the-mill bad breath upon waking up in the morning or if it's become a much larger issue, it might be time to give this dentist-approved mouthwash a chance to work its magic. The best news? Therabreath Oral Rinse is on sale right now on Amazon, so you can score two bottles for $15. While that might seem pricey for mouthwash, with thousands of Amazon users promising that it miraculously solved their bad breath (and saved their marriage), it's gotta be worth it.