The only over the counter rinse that has any effectiveness is Listerine. I have found that if it is used for a full minute twice a day, it can reduce soft plaque to some degree. However, its long-term effectiveness in reducing dental problems is very small unless combined with careful tooth brushing and cleaning with other devices between the teeth and at the gumline. Under those conditions, it can have a slight benefit.
The only mouthwash that is truly effective in reducing bacteria is one containing chlorhexadine, better known as Periogard or Periodex. This mouthwash is only available through a prescription and only used under the direction and care of your dentist. It can make a meaningful difference particularly for patients for whom plaque removal is difficult due to dexterity or areas that are difficult to reach.
Again, ask our office to discuss whether you are a candidate for this product.