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  • Writer's pictureDr. Pearl E. Whites

What’s the Best Mouthwash to Use for a Sore Throat?

Does this sound like most men: could throw a ball over a mountain in his prime, would wear the same clothes every day if his spouse didn’t object, would not see a doctor even on his deathbed, and his sick symptoms are worse than your same ailment .

Excluding COVID season, most people won’t see their medical doctor if they have the common cold. With cold season upon us, what is the best way to alleviate sore throats at home during any sore-throat ailment if you are not going to see your doctor:


3 Throat Rinses Categories

Antiseptic mouthwashes kill nearly all germs: bacteria, virus, fungi, etc. These are most effective BEFORE getting sick but can still be used when your throat is sore. If someone in your home is sick and you are not yet then this mouthwash is recommended for you. Of the many antiseptic mouthwashes we would recommend to use any of the ACT rinses.

Antibacterial mouthwashes only kill bacteria. These are GREAT during your sickness and sore throat but only against BACTERIAL infections that usually need to be diagnosed by a doctor (street throat or tuberculosis). Since most infections that cause sore throats are viral (common cold and the flu) then antibacterial mouthwash won’t be as effective. Of the many antibacterial mouthwashes we only would suggest TheraBreath.

Salt water significantly aids in recovery and discomfort, reduces inflammation, and bacteria. Though salt water does not kill allergens in your mouth, it does bring them to the surface and those get washed away. It’s not only very effective during a sore throat but has been found to prevent upper respiratory infections (cold, flu, mono, sinus infections). So if you don’t mind the taste of the ocean, gargle away as often as you like.


What is the most effective rinse remedy to mitigate a sore throat

Rinsing your mouth with any product is insufficient. You really MUST gargle for it to be most effective. Since the risk of swallowing any liquid is great with gargling, salt water is the most safe and effective solution you can use. This is significantly more effective than mouthwash. Ideally gargle salt water (½ tsp salt to 8 oz of water) for 30 seconds. You can do this as often as you like but we suggest about 4 times a day.


Effective Home Remedies for soothing your sore throat whilst sick:

  • Gargle salt water for 30 seconds every 3-4 hours

  • Don’t use a mouthwash that has alcohol in it

  • Take a long, hot shower

  • Try hot fluids (tea or liquidy soups)

  • Try cold products: ice water, popsicles, or suck on ice chips

  • Lozenges like cough drops—most are sugary though so brush or use mouthwash after use

  • Use a humidifier or vaporizer, especially when sleeping, to keep air from getting too dry


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