A veteran on the mouthwash scene -- its roots go back to the late 19th century when it debuted as an antiseptic for surgical procedures -- Listerine Original Antiseptic (starting at $0.13/oz., Amazon) boasts a bracing formula that engenders a love-hate response from users, according to reviews. While the taste is described by some as horrible and nasty, Listerine Original Antiseptic reviews at Amazon laud its effectiveness in killing germs and quelling bad breath. In Listerine Original Antiseptic reviews at Drugstore.com consumers also report alternative uses for this inexpensive mouth rinse, such as gargling to soothe a sore throat and helping to heal the minor sores that come from biting your tongue or mouth. While many users like the no-frills, in-your-face approach that doesn't hide behind sweeteners, some report a peculiar, lingering aftertaste.
User reaction to the milder Cool Mint version veers more towards love than hate. One post at Walgreens claims the anticipation of swishing is enough to get him out of bed in the morning and other Listerine reviews of this version note how clean and fresh their mouths feel and how long the effect lasts.
The line of Listerine Antiseptic products, which includes Original, Cool Mint, FreshBurst, and Soft Mint, bears a seal of acceptance from the American Dental Association stating that they help prevent and reduce gingivitis and plaque, as the labels proclaim. Listerine Antiseptic is made of a simple yet powerful formula with four active ingredients: menthol, thymol, methyl salicylate, and eucalyptol, which, aided by a strong dose of alcohol (26.9 percent in the Original formulation and 21. 6 percent in the other three), kills millions of germs.
For anyone who just can't tolerate the short-term sting, Listerine also markets different, milder formulations. But it's the Original Antiseptic (or one of its siblings) that's hard to beat for lasting results.