In 2009, an International Panel of Oral Experts reviewed the safety and efficacy of commercially available antiseptic mouth rinses. The panel concluded that the use of an effective and safe mouth rinse is a useful addition to daily tooth brushing and interdental cleaning.
The panel reported that effective mouth rinses are those that contain essential oil (for example Listerine), and those containing chlorhexidine (such as Savacol). Both of these products are effective in killing the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease however chlorhexidine products are not recommended for long-term daily use because they stain teeth and fillings.
The International Panel recommended the following steps be adopted as an effective oral hygiene regime on daily basis:
1. Brushing at least twice daily
2. Interdental cleaning once daily with dental floss or interproximal brushes
3. Rinsing twice per day with an effective antiseptic mouth rinse.
In March 2011 at the International Australian Dental Association Congress in , Johnson & Johnson released a new Listerine product to the market. Listerine Zero is a fluoride containing alcohol free, essential oil-based mouth rinse designed for use twice per day. It is one of the many preventive products recommended by the BOH Dental professional team as part of your normal daily oral hygiene regimes.
Research has shown essential oil containing antiseptic mouth rinses have better ability to penetrate plaque and the Biofilm that grows on teeth compared to chlorhexidine mouthrinses. This deeper penetration can kill the bacteria within this film and cause a significant decrease in tooth decay and gum inflammation. The deeper penetration can also kill much of the bacteria that grow under the gum line and therefore lessen the risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream. Research has shown no staining of teeth or fillings occurs with the twice daily use of this antiseptic mouth rinse.
Our own BOH experience since March of this year has been very impressive. Many of our long-term patients are now including the use of Listerine Zero in their daily regime and have enjoyed significant improvements in the overall health of their teeth and gums. It has a mild and pleasant minty flavor, is not too strong and does not leave a residual bad taste in the mouth for hours afterwards.
So here at BOH we are happy to say “Yes you should use an antiseptic mouthrinse!”
By Dr Mark Elliott