Mouthwash (Into the mouth)


Helps prevent oral plaque buildup on your teeth and gums. Also controls gingivitis (swollen gums) and bad breath.

Brand Name(s)

Advanced DNA Medicated Collection Kit II, Advanced DNA Medicated Collection Kit III, Astring-O-Sol, Biotene Dry Mouth Mouthwash, Biotene Oral Balance, Biotene PBF Dry Mouth Mouthwash, Listerine Smart Rinse, Listerine Zero, Mouth Kote Remineralizing Mouth Rinse, Oasis Moisturizing Mouthwash, Plax Advanced Formula, Rite Aid Alcohol Free Mouthwash, Rite Aid Oral Care Dry Mouth Mouthwash, Swirl, Targon Smokers' Mouthwash

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid, Spray

  • Use no more than 4 teaspoons of mouthwash each time.
  • Sip the mouthwash and hold it in your mouth, but do not swallow it. Swish the mouthwash in your mouth for at least 30 seconds, then spit it out.
  • For best results, do not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes after rinsing with mouthwash.

If a dose is missed:

  • Mouthwash is most effective when used daily in combination with regular tooth brushing and flossing.
  • If you forget to use the mouthwash, you may use it as soon as you remember. Do not use extra mouthwash to make up for a missed use.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store mouthwash in a tightly closed container.
  • Keep all mouthwash away from children and never share your mouthwash with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Using mouthwash may cause a slight stinging if you have any type of mouth sore, canker sore, or oral infection.
  • Do not swallow mouthwash. It is only for rinsing your mouth.
  • Mouthwash may contain alcohol and can cause drunkenness or medical problems if you swallow it in large quantities.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, or if you have leukemia or any type of infection. Your teeth and gums may require special care if you have certain types of illness or disease.
  • Certain medicines can affect your gums and how you should care for them. These medicines include cyclosporine (Neoral®, Sandimmune®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), and birth control pills. Other medicines that can affect the gums include heart blood pressure medicine such as amlodipine, diltiazem, nifedipine, verapamil, Adalat®, Cartia®, Lotrel®, Norvasc®, Plendil®, or Tiazac®.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Swollen, red, or bleeding gums, tooth loss or ongoing tooth pain (signs that you may need additional dental care).

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Burning or stinging of your mouth or throat.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 10/4/2017

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.