Yucky Listerine

Hello Dr. Ellie,

Is it o.k. if I use the Act mouthwash morning and evening after brushing with Crest anticavity and do eat between 12-20 xylitol mints daily….. without the Listerine….. I find that my mouth is better when I do not use Listerine, I have extremely sensitive teeth and the Listerine makes it worst if I use the act mouthwash and xylitol mints my sensitivity is almost non existent…… Am I still getting many benefits with just using act mouthwash and xylitol mints? I do see my dentist every 6 months….. Or how about if I use Listerine a few times a week instead of daily? I did use the act rinse and swish for about 2 minutes after the Listerine but still made my teeth sensitive……

Thank you very much…..

Hi LF,

Of course it is OK to do whatever you like.

I believe that xylitol alone will help control dental plaque and mouth acidity. Using ACT and Crest Original toothpaste are excellent additions and work in harmony with xylitol to strengthen teeth.

Used together, these products will naturally improve your tooth color and decrease sensitivity.

The reason for Listerine is to enhance the cleaning and strengthening benefits. You could start with one or two drops of Listerine in a cup of water this will be Ok. Then you will can increase the amount of Listerine as your teeth harden and become less sensitive.

The Listerine is going to make your teeth better resist acid attacks ( i.e. stronger/tougher and more resistant).

My analogy is:
Suppose you had weak arm muscles and I told you to exercise with some weights to make your arms stronger. You tell me that weights are too heavy and they make your arms tired. You want to exercise without the weights.

I am OK with this, because it will be better for you than not exercising but if you want to strengthen and build up your arm muscles you have to work a little more. The weights will help you quickly strengthen your arm muscles in a way not possible without weights.

You can start with very light weights and work up to the full weights.This may make it easier for you to handle the weights. Eventually your arms will become strong enough to lift the full weights.

I hope this makes it a little clearer why the Listerine is useful and how you can work up to using the full strength. Listerine should also be useful for cleaning your toothbrush each day:

Thanks for your question,
Best Wishes,

Ellie Phillips DDS
Dental Health for Everyone!

26 Corporate Woods
Rochester NY 14623

Categories: Plaque, Sensitivity, Xylitol

Tags: , ,

  • anne says:

    that was a very useful analogy! thank you!

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