What Are the Ingredients in Listerine?


Quick Answer

As of 2014, the active ingredients in Original Listerine Antiseptic mouthwash include eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate and thymol. It also contains inactive ingredients, including water, alcohol, benzoic acid, poloxamer 407, sodium benzoate and caramel.

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Full Answer

With over 100 years of use and 50 years of research, Listerine is the most widely used and researched mouthwash in the United States. As of 2014, Listerine offers additional varieties of mouthwash, including Cool Mint, FreshBurst and Soft Mint. Listerine Ultraclean is also available in Arctic Mint, Cool Mint and Fresh Citrus flavors. Each of these varieties contains the same active ingredients as Original Listerine, but the inactive ingredients, including different colors and flavors, vary. Listerine also offers products that contain fluoride, products that whiten teeth, and products for children.

For people 12 years of age and older, rinsing with 20 milliliters of Original Listerine for 30 seconds in the morning and at night is recommended to provide 24 hours of protection against germs that contribute to gingivitis and plaque. One clinical study reveals that Listerine Antiseptic mouthwash decreases 52 percent more plaque and reduces 21 percent more gingivitis than simply brushing and flossing, according to Listerine's website. Listerine should not be swallowed. Contacting poison control is recommended if more Listerine is swallowed than one would usually use for rinsing.

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