The best mouthwash
Though antiseptic rinses are often touted as a superior option, the alcohol many contain reduces saliva production. “That’s a problem since saliva helps buffer acids in the mouth,” says Dana Fort, D.D.S., a dentist in Chicago. “Without sufficient saliva, acid levels can climb to a point that allows odor-causing bacteria to thrive, which contributes to cavities.” A better bet: an alcohol-free swish with zinc. “Products containing zinc thwart the growth of bad bacteria,” notes Fort. And a study in the European Journal of Oral Sciences found that zinc also reduces bacterial production of the sulfur compounds that make breath smell. A drugstore option that fits the bill: TheraBreath Plus Maximum Strength Fresh Breath Oral Rinse.