By: Dr. Semco

We are all keenly aware that it is a challenge to maintain excellent oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment. In our quest to improve our oral hygiene, I am sometimes asked if there is any benefit to using mouth rinses. A meta-analysis published in the August 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association addressed that very question. This meta-analysis included 32 long-term randomized clinical trials that included over 5000 healthy participants with gingivitis for whom Listerine® was used. These clinical trials, which met the specific standardized criteria from the ADA and FDA, showed that the addition of daily rinsing with Listerine® to your regular brushing and flossing routine really does increase your odds of having a cleaner and healthier mouth.  In this age of highly prevalent advertising hype, it’s good to know that there is a mouth rinse that does what it say it does.

Note that the active ingredients in the mouth rinse are the essential oils, not the alcohol. Because the 26.9% alcohol content of the original Listerine® can cause dry mouth, I recommend using the alcohol-free version, Listerine Zero®. Just rinse full strength for 30 seconds, morning and night, and do not swallow.