LISTERINE® has been available for decades, the original formulation having been available throughout the 1900s, and therefore there is a substantial evidence base for its use. LISTERINE® has been the focus of much clinical research; with more than thirty long-term studies having been conducted over the last forty years.

LISTERINE®, when added to mechanical cleaning, has been shown to reduce plaque accumulation, leading to significant reductions in gingivitis levels compared to brushing and flossing alone.1 LISTERINE®'s mode of action is well understood, with its four Essential Oils penetrating the biofilm2 and killing up to 97% of oral bacteria left behind after brushing3

LISTERINE® Total Care products build upon the proven science of the plaque-reducing Essential Oils, and all contain fluoride.


The majority of the LISTERINE® range contains four Essential Oils, which are antibacterial antiplaque agents, and are proven to penetrate the biofilm. The oils are eucalyptol, thymol, methyl salicylate and menthol. The LISTERINE® Total Care products also contain 220 ppm fluoride


In dentistry, a variety of antimicrobial and antiplaque agents have been used to augment mechanical plaque control methods.2


  1. Sharma NC et al. Adjunctive benefit of an essential oil containing mouthrinse in reducing plaque and gingivitis in patients who brush and floss regularly. A six-month study. J Am Dent Assoc 2004; 135: 496–504.
  2. Fine DH et al. Comparative antimicrobial activities of antiseptic mouthrinses against isogenic planktonic and biofilm forms of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans. J Clin Periodontol 2001; 28: 697–700.
  3. Data on file, FCLGBP0023, McNeil-PPC, Inc.