(605) 280-3961


True or False
Answer: False

The Listerine Professional Website says "Rinsing with Listerine Antiseptic Rinse before bed kills plaque and gingivitis germs,...". In addition, it states, "Unlike brushing and flossing, which reach only 25% of your mouth, rinsing with Listerine twice a day cleans your whole mouth, giving you 24 hours of protection against plaque and gingivitis germs." Most readers would likely interpret this to mean that Listerine kills all of the germs and they will be gone for 24 hours. This is not true!

Dr. Whillock began demonstrating this fact to his patients in the following way beginning in 1980: The patients were shown areas where bacterial plaque (biofilm) was visible on their teeth. Samples of the person's biofilm were removed from teeth and shown to them as the samples were magnified through a phase contrast microscope displayed on a video screen. The patients were typically amazed at the swarms of actively swimming microorganisms that were living in their mouths. These people were then given Listerine or other mouthrinses and challenged to remove the biofilm by rinsing for as long and as vigorously as they felt necessary, typically for two minutes or more. After the persons finished the rinsing procedure, they were shown the result. There was no visible evidence that any of the biofilm was removed from the teeth no matter how long or how vigorously they rinsed. Samples of the biofilm that was targeted during the rinsing were removed from the teeth and again examined through the phase contrast microscope. The microscopic examination revealed little or no difference in bacterial activity between the pre- and post rinsing samples. How, then, can it be said that rinsing with Listerine is "giving you 24 hour protection against plaque and gingivitis germs" when so few of them are actually killed or removed by rinsing with Listerine in a real world clinical setting? True, Listerine kills some of the germs, but not enough to make a major difference in the health of the average person's mouth when used as a mouth rinse.

The graph on the Website shows that only 21% of the bacterial cells were dead or damaged by 30-second exposures to Listerine six hours apart in an in vitro study. Does a 21% difference qualify as any significant difference? This leaves 79% of the cells unaffected. Who in the dental profession or consumers would be satisfied if 79% of the treatment performed failed? The Website also indicates the use of Listerine reduces gingivitis by only 21%. This result may be statistically significant, but is it really clinically significant?

The Oral Care System Dr. Whillock developed makes the results from using Listerine or several other mouthrinses better than that, much better. This is because his invention mechanically disrupts and fragments the slime and biofilm mass on all tooth surfaces, including the difficult to reach interproximal areas, while simultaneously exposing the microorganisms to the antimicrobial or other chemotherapeutic agents. This allows rapid penetration of the bioactive ingredients of the oral rinse enabling them to kill the bacteria quickly in one easy-to-use procedure. The three-step procedure of brushing, flossing and rinsing is unnecessary. Most dental professionals would question this because of the long time teaching that flossing is a necessity, but the clinical results indicate otherwise. These results have been verified both clinically and by using phase contrast microscopy.

Another example: The My Science section of the website intended for dental professionals, shows a graph depicting the Listerine "Bio-Film Kill Power Comparable to Peridex". The graph shows that 23% of the laboratory-grown biofilm cells were dead or damaged by Peridex and 21% were dead or damaged by Listerine. This is comparable to Dr. Whillock’s observations when Listerine was applied to intact biofilm samples obtained from patients' mouths and viewed via phase contrast microscopy. However, when Listerine (or several other OTC antiseptics) was applied to biofilm samples while mechanically disrupting and fragmenting the biofilm, there was zero or nearly zero movement of the usually highly motile microorganisms within seconds of applying the antiseptic. Why would a clinician who is motivated to help people under his or her care be satisfied with 21 to 23 percent killing of microorganisms when virtually 100% is easily achievable, especially if they were aware that there is an easy way to do that? This result can be accomplished by holding an antiseptic rinse in the mouth while thoroughly brushing with the patented Whillock brush.

Another example: The My Science section of the website intended for dental professionals, shows a graph comparing the gingivitis reduction effectiveness of Listerine and Peridex vs Control. It shows a 36% reduction for Peridex and a 31% reduction for Listerine. Again, as a clinician or a patient, one would strive for 100% reduction or elimination of disease, not just a 31 to 36 percent reduction. Dr. Whillock routinely saw patients who followed the Oral Care System protocol achieve 100% or very nearly 100% elimination of gingivitis and prevent the recurrence of periodontal disease. Why should a clinician or a patient be satisfied with a 31 to 36 percent reduction in gingivitis when virtually 100% is easily achievable for most people.

True or False
Answer: False

For decades it has been taught that periodontal disease cannot be cured and it is still being taught. This is no longer true. We now have better understanding of the causes for the disease and more effective methods for keeping the bacterial growths that cause the disease from accumulating to disease causing levels. However, some of the old, ineffective home care methods must be replaced with new, effective methods. The bone loss, which has been arrested and is comparable to scars that are caused by other diseases, remains. However, the disease activity can be eliminated thus curing the disease. This is comparable to curing strep throat, pneumonia or other infections.

True or False
Answer: False for most people.

Reason number one: Effective flossing is difficult for people to do.
Reason number two: Most people do not take the time to floss.
Reason number three: Floss does not enter concave tooth surfaces.
Reason number four: Floss does not enter the interproximal col area.
Reason number five: Floss does not kill bacteria.
However, floss is useful for removing food particles from between teeth when that happens. Therefore, it is not entirely obsolete.

True or False
Answer: False-with exceptions

People frequently have bad bacteria living around their teeth and gums but not bad gums. These microbes cause inflammation, bleeding gums and periodontal disease. Eliminating the biofilm bacteria allows the gums to heal and become normal again. So it’s not the gums, it’s the bacteria. In relatively rare instances systemic diseases may affect the health of the gums and the presence of bacteria can make the condition worse.

True or False
Answer: False

Diabetics can keep their gums just as healthy as non-diabetics when they keep the oral biofilm populations at miniscule levels. Dr. Whillock has had patients with Type One Diabetes so severe that they required pancreas and kidney transplants, and one who also developed blindness, keep their gums just as healthy as non-diabetics. They used Dr. Whillock’s Oral Care System, which targets and destroys the biofilm bacteria thus reducing them to virtually non-detectable levels.

True or False
Answer: Neither

A few years ago Listerine advertisements claimed that rinsing with Listerine was as effective as flossing. Apparently the American Dental Association made them stop. In reality, this claim may be essentially true. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the rinsing with Listerine is all that effective as seen above; it may just mean that the results of flossing and rinsing are equally ineffective.