By Shelly Fesler, RDH, BSDH
Listerine mouthwash has been around forever. Because it has such a strong flavor, I have never loved using it.
But recent studies show that Listerine can be a helpful tool in reversing gingivitis and more advanced gum disease.
They say what doesn't kill you will make you stronger. This time, "they" may be right.
The most important ingredients are essential oils.
The active ingredients methol, thymol, methyl salicilate, and eucalyptol give listerine the edge over other OTC mouthwashes and put Listerine in the company of more expensive prescription products.
Listerine contains alcohol like many other brands. Alcohol is added to dissolve the active ingredients.
When compared to more expensive prescription rinses, including rinses containing chlorhexidine, Listerine was shown to have similar good results with fewer side effects.
Listerine has a long history of safe and effective use and studies to show it works. Crest Pro Health Mouthwash is newer but more tolerable for some. It is my second choice for anyone who can't use Listerine.
Rinse twice a day for 30 seconds. A quick swish won't do it. If you can stand it...full strength original formula is the best. But, cool mint and less intense are good too.
It is equally important to not over use it. Stick with the recommended regimen as overuse could cause gum or cheek tissue irritation.
It is possible to react negatively to any product. I have heard reports of sense of taste being impacted and seen mild tissue irritation from the use of Listerine.
Some using Crest Pro Health can have reported taste being altered and mild tooth staining.
Stains can be removed and taste restored, but if the bad outweighs the benefit of either product, don't use it.
Next ~ Gum treatment options