The addition of an effective mouth rinse to brushing and flossing alone significantly reduces plaque.

In this study, 246 subjects with gingivitis were assigned to one of three treatment groups: brushing and rinsing with a control mouth rinse; brushing, flossing and rinsing with a control mouth rinse; or brushing, flossing and rinsing with an essential oils-containing mouth rinse (LISTERINE®). Patients received a dental prophylaxis at baseline, and were followed-up for six months. The co-primary efficacy variable was whole-mouth mean Plaque Index scores.

The study showed a significant decrease in plaque at three and six months for the brushing, flossing and LISTERINE® group versus the brushing and control mouth rinse and the brushing, flossing and control mouth rinse groups.1



The authors concluded that 'Dental professionals should consider recommending a brush, floss and rinse regimen to their patients when brushing and flossing are not enough to maintain gingival health.'1


A substantial body of evidence over the last 20 years demonstrates the efficacy of an effective mouth rinse – data shown are for the essential oils mouth rinse LISTERINE® – in reducing plaque.


Oral bacteria can be planktonic (free floating) or found as part of the biofilm. A biofilm is an accumulation of microbial cells within a matrix.1


In vitro biofilms have been developed to model the conditions in the mouth. This study compared the antimicrobial activity of three mouth rinses when tested against two different isogenic strains of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, one of which was a clinical isolate which forms tenacious biofilms and the other a planktonic form.


  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.