Product Type: Listerine Oral Care
Newest Review: ... killing off the bacteria in the mouth. To be honest I am not that keen on this Listerine due to the alcohol in the mixture which tends to m... more
Good for you? or Bad for you? only you can decide
Listerine Total Care
Member Name: SamanthaJordan
Listerine Total Care
Advantages: Leaves you with a clean feeling mouth
Disadvantages: Can be pricey, Seems to have a few too many sweetners in the ingredients for my liking
I have always thought Listerine to be one of the best brands of mouthwash, even before i had ever used it. I think this opinion was down to the cleverly made tv ads, and the fact that most of my friends and relatives had always gone into raptures over it. I myself started using Listerine mouthwash about 2 years ago. Though they tend to be quite pricey compared to alot of mouthwashes, i have always chosen Listerine ever since, although i never use it twice a day as it states on the bottle, my reasons for this will be made clear as you read on.
~Whats ON the bottle~
Listerine Total Care comes in a clear plastic bottle with a black screwcap lid, which has a child safe design. To get into the bottle you have to push either side of the screwcap lid and twist. On the bottle itself Listerine Total Care is described as an antibacterial mouth wash with 6 benefits in 1, these benefits are as follows: -
1. Reduces plaque
2. Maintains healthy gums
3. Strengthens teeth against decay
4. Prevents tartar to help keep teeth naturally white
5. Kills up to 99.9% oral bacteria in lab tests
6. Up to 24 hour fresh breath protection
These 6 benefits, without having solid evidence in front of you are very hard to prove. As with most products on the market, the consumer is expected to rely on whatever information the manufacturers give you to read, without giving sound proof or ways of confirming it for yourself. Now i'm not saying that what is written on these bottles is in any way false, i just always enjoy letting my curiosity take over and finding out exactly what i'm spending my hard earned cash on.
~Whats in the bottle~
Listerine Total Care is purple in colour and to me, the smell and taste reminds me of a hospital. At the risk of sounding strange, i actually quite like this. It is very strong in taste and starts to sting after about 10 seconds in my mouth so i can never use it for the recommended 30 seconds, but you can feel it cleaning and basically stripping the plaque out of your mouth. Afterwards your breath is fresh and your mouth feels clean, this generally lasts up to about lunch time but is alot longer than most mouthwashes.
Lets take a look behind the professional jargon and see what the ingredients actually are in Listerine Total Care.
1. Aqua = The Latin word for water
2. Alcohol= When seeing the word "alcohol" the first thing that probably
comes to mind is a drink you'd have on a night out. There are actually
many different types of alcohol, some safe to drink e.g Ethanol, and
others that are classed as unsafe e.g De-natured alcohol. The alcohol in
Listerine is classed as SD alcohol 38-B(SD stands for Specially De-
natured) this is basically a form of de-natured alcohol but formulated so
that it is safe for tiny amounts of consumption, this is why it says
"do not swallow" on the packaging. Alcohol has antiseptic
properties that can account for most of the 6 benefits described on the
Listerine Total Care bottle. For more info visit
3. Sorbitol= This is a sugar alcohol (also known as glucitol) It is a
sweetner and often used in dietary foods or sugar free gum. I'm not sure
of the reason for this being in Listerine but if anyone knows why, i'd be
interested in knowing.
4. Aroma= An aroma is chemical compound that humans and animals percieve
by there sense of smell. I wonder if this contributes to the definate
hospital fragrance of Listerine Total Care.
5. Poloxamer 407= This is a tough one to explain so it is better to look it up
for yourself aswell just incase my definition isn't exact. From what i can
grasp, a Poloxamer 407 is a molecular compound that can be used to
increase the rate a substance e.g oil, will dissolve, aka solubility. This, i
should imagine is more for the actual making process of Listerine Total
Care rather than any of the benefactors.
6. Benzoic Acid= This is a colourless weak acid which forms like its been
crystalised(Crystalline solid) the salts that it produces from the
crystalisation can be used as a food preservative. hhmm maybe this
preserves the alcohol in Listerine that doesn't need preserving.
7. Zinc Chloride= This is another crystalline compound and is colourless or
white and dissolves very easily in water. It was used in the very first type
of disinfectant therefore is used in many antiseptic products. This explains
why it is used in Listerine Total Care.
8. Eucalyptol= This is an easy one. Eucalyptol has a pleasant spicy aroma
and taste and is used for flavouring and fragrancing. This could contribute
towards 24 hour fresh breath protection.
9. Methyl salicylate= Also known as Oil of wintergreen this is a natural
product from many species of plant. It can be used in small doses for
flavouring and also to either fragrance, or mask a smell.
10.Sodium Saccharin= Saccharin is a sweetner and can be used in an acid
form or its sodium salt form which is how its used in Listerine. Did you
know that saccharin is often mixed with another sweetner called
Aspartame, this combination is used in most diet or sugar free fizzy drinks.
Aspartame is used in rat poison... interesting huh!!
11.Thymol= This can be used as a preservative, anesthetic and many other
things. It has high antiseptic qualities and can help to prevent throat
infections. This ties in very well with the 6 benefits of Listerine Total Care
12.Menthol= Another easy one, Menthol can be obtained from peppermint or
other mint oils. Menthol has local anesthetic qualities and can be used to
relieve minor throat irritation.
13.Sodium Benzoate= This is used to preserve the ingrediants once the bottle
has been opened.
14.Sodium Flouride= Flouride salts aka sodium flouride are used to enhance
the strength of teeth and help prevent cavities. Although these qualilities
are needed to a degree in the sugar driven society we live in, Flouride is
also classed as a toxin which can be lethal in high doses. Ok fair enough
there may be miniscule amounts in mouthwashes, but it is also found
in your toothpaste and drinking water, aswell as many other things we
consume everyday, it all adds up. For this reason i only use Listerine once
a day. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_Fluoride
15.Sucralose= This is another artificial sweetner, and is 600 times sweeter
than table sugar. What is the need for yet another sweetner in this
product? Apart fom the taste factor, it doesn't fit into any of the 6
benefits stated on the bottle.
16.Benzyl Alcohol= This is found in many essential oils such as Jasmine. It can
be used to add flavour.
The last two ingredients CI 16035 and CI 42090 are colourants.
Well that was all a bit of a mouthfull wasn't it!!!!!
After taking a look at the ingredients whats your verdict?
It seems to me as there are alot of things in there that probably don't need to be. If there is anybody who reads this and can tell me other useful info about any of the ingredients listed, please let me know. I will admit, i am no scientist, but you can't do any harm by investigating just what your putting in you body.
Listerine Total Care can be expensive, generally around £3.99 for 500ml. Its always worth while to shop around before you buy, as i have just bought some from savers for £3.99 for a 1litre bottle, which is undoubtably value for money. I use Listerine Total Care once a day because in my opinion it does the job, but i will always be uncertain after looking into the ingredients wether or not it is actually good for me in general.
Summary: Leaves your mouth Fresh and clean, but whats the damage?
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