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Maintenance of white appearance of teeth

Mouth rinses are available that contain zinc chloride (e.g. LISTERINE® Green Tea Zero, LISTERINE® Total Care Zero). Zinc chloride has been shown to inhibit calculus formation through multiple mechanisms.

Zinc ions inhibit the formation and the growth of calculus by:
– Inhibiting plaque biofilm growth1,2
– Binding to calcium phosphate on plaque biofilm on teeth1,3
– Displacing calcium phosphate on the plaque biofilm4

Calculus formed in the presence of zinc ions is less crystalline, softer and less adherent to the tooth surface,5,6 and therefore easier to remove mechanically. By helping to reduce calculus build-up, zinc chloride helps keep teeth whiter.


  1. Jin Y, Yip HK. Supragingival calculus: formation and control. Crit Rev Oral Biol Med 2002; 13(5): 426–441.
  2. Buch JG. Pharmacology ReCap 2.0 for Bachelor of Dentistry Students. P406.
  3. Fairbrother KJ, Heasman PA. Anticalculus agents. J Clin Periodontol 2000; 27: 285–301.
  4. Ingram GS, Edgar WM. Calcium salt precipitation and mechanisms of inhibition under oral conditions. Adv Dent Res 1995; 9(4): 427–432.
  5. LeGeros RZ et al. Zinc effect on the in vitro formation of calcium phosphates: relevance to clinical inhibition of calculus formation. Am J Dent 1999; 12(2): 65–71 .
  6. Brunski JB et al. Measurement of tensile bond strength between calculus and tooth surfaces. J Dent Res 2000; 79(IADR Abstracts): 914.