If you’ve watched television recently, you might’ve seen Listerine’s rather misleading commercials which feature a man’s mouth going about the various activities of his day.
The man kisses his wife, chews on a pencil, eats lunch, sips on a drink at work, whistles, shouts, etc. At the end of the ad, an animation comes up with little blue Listerine men scrubbing the inside of his mouth. An announcer says that brushing only attacks 25% of the germs in your mouth while Listerine takes care of all of them.
It’s a good ad, but it’s not such good dental advice. Listerine may be helpful for freshening bad breath and killing germs within the mouth. However, it’s no substitute for brushing or flossing. While brushing may only kill “25% of the germs,” it’s killing the germs in the most important spots: your teeth.
More importantly, brushing isn’t just about killing germs. It also scrapes away plaque that has built up on your teeth during the day. And flossing isn’t about killing germs at all. Floss gets in between teeth and helps break up hardened plaque deposits.
This isn’t the first time Listerine has pushed the limits of dental wisdom in their ads. In 2005, the company ran TV spots claiming that clinical studies had proven Listerine was just as effective as flossing. The only problem was that these “studies” were funded by Pfizer, the company that owned Listerine at the time. When a lawsuit was filed in New York, Pfizer backed down and the commercials were amended.
Listerine is a useful tool for maintaining oral health. It is not the only tool, however, or even the best tool. Regular brushing and flossing along with periodic dental checkups are still the number one ways to maintain good oral health.
If you’re looking for more tips on how to take care of your mouth or would like to schedule a dental cleaning, contact Greenspoint Dental today.