How it works: According to the American Dental Association, some mouthwashes do more than leave breath smelling minty; they contain antiseptic agents, such as cetylpyridinium chloride, to reduce plaque and prevent gingivitis, which can also cause bad breath. Try Crest Pro-Health Invigorating Clean Multi-Protection Rinse ($6 at drugstores). If mouthwash makes your tongue and cheeks burn, switch to an alcohol-free version or dilute it with a little water. “It might be less effective than full strength, but you’ll still get benefits,” says Lituchy.
Good to know: At bedtime, using mouthwash after brushing your teeth and tongue and flossing can help prevent morning breath. Be sure to gargle for at least 30 seconds to wipe out bacteria lurking in your throat and on the back of your tongue, says Katz.