Review of Listerine Total Care Anticavity Mouthwash

This strong mouthwash promises 6 oral care benefits

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word "mouthwash"? Chances are, your first thought might be getting rid of embarrassing bad breath and freshening your breath. Listerine, the maker of a wide selection of mouthwashes, has introduced a mouthwash that goes beyond just freshening your breath.

Listerine Total Care Anticavity Mouthwash claims to provide six benefits in one rinse, such as

  • Helps prevent cavities
  • Restores minerals to enamel
  • Strengthens teeth
  • Kills the germs that cause bad breath
  • Freshen breath
  • Fight plaque above the gum line (This claim was later replaced with "cleans the whole mouth.")

Overall, Listerine Total Care Anticavity mouthwash really freshens your breath after each use, however, it is very strong, and can cause your mouth to burn after the first few uses.

Consumers that are already acquainted with Listerine's products will no doubt enjoy using the Total Care Anticavity Rinse. First-time users may need some time for their mouth to become accustomed to the rinse before they are able to use the rinse for the full 60 seconds.


  • Recommended for persons 12 and older.
  • After brushing and flossing, use twice a day, by swishing 10 ml of solution (about 2 teaspoons) vigorously in the mouth for 60 seconds, then spitting it out. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes after using.
  • The presence of sodium fluoride and acidulated phosphate topical solution helps to prevent cavities and restore enamel.
  • Kills the germs that cause bad breath, along with fighting plaque found above the gum line.


  • The rinse had a nice mint flavor and left a pleasant aftertaste.
  • Breath was very fresh after each use.


  • This very strong solution may not be tolerated in the mouth for the full 60 seconds.
  • Users may experience a burning sensation due to the strength of the solution.


Users are instructed to brush and floss their teeth, before using the rinse. This mouthwash contains sodium fluoride, which is used to prevent cavities. In order to receive the full benefit of the fluoride, it is recommended that after using the mouthwash, you wait 30 minutes before eating or drinking.

An orthodontic dental assistant who tried the mouthwash noted this on her first use. "Then the 20-second mark hit. Out of nowhere, my mouth started to tingle, which led to a full-on burning sensation all throughout my mouth. I did my best to swish as vigorously as I could and hold out for the full 60 seconds. I spit out the mouthwash and noted the time: 34 seconds. I was rather disappointed in myself for failing to rinse for the full 60 seconds, but as my mouth continued to burn, I knew that I didn't have a hope."

The third ingredient on the label is alcohol (21.6 percent). The alcohol could be what instigates the strong burning sensation many users feel after using a mouthwash. By the third day of use, the reviewer had become accustomed to the rinse and the burning sensation lessened with each use. By the fourth day, she could rinse for the full 60 seconds. She found her mouth to feel very fresh and clean after using the mouthwash.

She says she would be even more impressed if the makers of Listerine mouthwash could limit or possibly eliminate the presence of the alcohol in the rinse, yet keep the breath freshening power that is synonymous with their mouthwash.

Also, read more about our review of the Listerine Smart Rinse.

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  1. Listerine. LISTERINE TOTAL CARE Mouthwash.