Like most people reading this, I am a modern adult in a hurry. This is particularly obvious in the mornings when there is somewhere to be, or at night when I am collapsing into my bed. One of the those areas I am most likely to neglect when it comes to my personal health and hygiene is proper treatment of my teeth, as in, doing more than brushing.
I often forget to floss or just sprint right past it. A quick and easy way to give a boost to my dental health is to invest in some effective mouthwash, which can even be chugged and swished on my way to the car and discarded on my driveway! Today we’ll be looking to see if Listerine Cool Mint mouthwash will work for that.
Obviously, Listerine is a leading name in this industry and has been around a long time. They have branched out into breath mints and toothpaste as well, but the mouth rinses are their proverbial bread and butter. For this particular review, I experimented with Listerine’s Cool Mint Antiseptic Mouth Rinse.
The Cool Mint Listerine is a bluish green color, which as it turns out tells me what kind of mouthwash it is. Antiseptic mouthwashes are typically blue or green, and are designed to kill bacteria and combat gingivitis (a gum disease that can ultimately lead to nastier problems like tooth loss).
Purple mouthwashes usually contain fluoride and are intended to focus more on the health of teeth and on cavity prevention. For those of you who don’t know, original Listerine mouthwash was an orangey-brown color and had no added flavor, which meant it had a terrible flavor! So thank goodness they have an alternative that is more pleasant to swish.
The bottle itself says that it “Kills Germs that Cause Bad Breath, Plaque, & the Gum Disease Gingivitis.” The Listerine product profile for Cool Mint mouthwash cites studies that showed people who used it successfully cleared 52% more plaque from their teeth than others who simply brushed, and experienced a 21% greater reduction in symptoms of gingivitis. All good things, yes? They also advertise a lasting effect, with up to 24 hours of protection.
The active ingredients listed on the bottle are menthol, eucalyptol, and thymol, all antiseptic purifiers but also, in the case of menthol, an anti-irritant. Each of these active ingredients, however, makes up something like half of a percent of what is in the bottle. The bulk of its composition is water and alcohol, which is also present as an antiseptic.
So what was my personal experience? First of all, there is nothing weak about this product, whether you are smelling it or tasting it. Upon unscrewing the child-proof cap from the bottle (more on that in a moment) you are instantly greeted with its powerful scent, which is definitely minty but also contains a hint of its burn factor, like a cleaning agent. The flavor is sweet and minty, with an edge from the alcohol. The directions say that I am to pour 20 milliliters in my mouth and rinse for at least 30 seconds.
So, a sip and some swishing.
I tend to be a quite vigorous swisher, in order to make sure the stuff gets everywhere that it needs to! 30 seconds seems to take longer than usual when one is using an antiseptic mouthwash. The sensation is like burning, though I would not say it is extremely unpleasant. That same feeling lingers after I spit out the rinse, especially on my tongue and in the edges of my mouth, like my extreme upper and lower gum tissue. Frankly, I like that feeling, because it makes me believe that germs are just being torched in my mouth.
Obviously, there are also some nice improvements to my breath after rinsing. Listerine was wildly successful selling their mouthwash decades ago by advertising the horrors of halitosis, and, while those ads are funny to look back on, I cannot deny that the garlic from my Italian lunch has been erased from my mouth. When I use the rinse before going to bed, I can definitely notice a difference in the nastiness of my morning breath as well.
There are some objections people have to using mouthwash, and to this antiseptic type specifically. It is popular at the moment to use more natural alternatives to traditional products, and many may read the warnings on a Listerine bottle, especially the part where it basically says “if you swallow this, call Poison control” and say to themselves, “Why would I put that in my body?” Of course, you just need to not swallow it, but to each his own.
Some may have concerns for the safety of their children drinking it, and it certainly should be kept safely away from those too young to know better. The bottle features a child-proof cap to help alleviate safety issues.
The presence of a high concentration of alcohol may also be unwelcome. Some users complain of the burning or stinging they experience from it, and heightened sensitivity to those sensations may mean someone has to look elsewhere. It is also suggested that those with tendencies toward alcoholism should avoid using a mouthwash like this.
A few years back, there were serious concerns that putting an alcohol-containing rinse like this in your mouth every day could contribute to cancer of the mouth, but recent studies have shown no such connection.
Note: For those interested in alcohol free options that will also be safer to have around their children, we suggest they look towards alcohol free mouthwashes.
Listerine Cool Mint Mouthwash Wrap Up
It seems to me that a mouthwash like this is an affordable, no-hassle way that I can improve the health of my teeth and gums as well as my breath. I like not being worried that people hate talking to me face to face! I personally have never had trouble with cavities but gum disease does run in the family, so I like knowing I am taking steps to help myself with that.
For those like me who struggle to floss, whether due to difficulty with small gaps in their teeth or because of time, a mouthwash like this can be a critical addition. You will feel the burn with Listerine Cool Mint, but it is a good burn.