Stay White


LISTERINE® Stay White provides the combination of the four LISTERINE® Essential Oils with zinc chloride to reduce calculus formation.

In a study of 334 subjects with a moderate rate of calculus formation, patients were assigned to one of three groups:

  • Tartar control toothpaste and antiseptic rinse (positive control)
  • Regular toothpaste and antiseptic rinse (negative control)
  • Regular toothpaste and LISTERINE® containing zinc chloride

Subjects brushed and rinsed twice daily for four months. Calculus was assessed after 16 weeks (Volpe-Manhold Index).1

Subjects’ mean total calculus (Volpe-Manhold index) score after 16 weeks1

Both the group rinsing with LISTERINE® Stay White (containing zinc chloride) and the positive control group (which used a tartar-control dentifrice containing pyrophosphate) demonstrated statistically significantly lower VMI scores (p = 0.001) than the negative control group. Both anticalculus agents provided a clinically relevant 21% reduction in calculus formation after 16 weeks.1

In conclusion, LISTERINE® Stay White is clinically effective in reducing the formation of calculus.1

The zinc chloride in Stay White also has a role in maintaining natural tooth colour. Zinc chloride inhibits calculus formation through multiple mechanisms.
Zinc ions inhibit the formation of calcium phosphate crystals and the growth of calculus by:
– Binding to calcium phosphate on plaque biofilm on teeth2,3
– Displacing calcium phosphate on the plaque biofilm3,4
– Inhibiting plaque biofilm growth2,5

Calculus formed in the presence of zinc ions is less crystalline, softer and less adherent to the tooth surface,4,6 and therefore easier to remove mechanically. By helping to reduce calculus build-up, zinc chloride helps keep teeth whiter.


  1. Charles CH et al.  Anticalculus efficacy of an antiseptic mouthrinse containing zinc chloride. J Am Dent Assoc 2001; 132; 94–98.
  2. Fairbrother KJ, Heasman PA. Anticalculus agents. J Clin Periodontol 2000; 27: 285–301.
  3. Ingram GS Edgar WM. Calcium salt precipitation and mechanisms of inhibition under oral conditions. Adv Dent Res 1995; 9(4): 427–432.
  4. LeGeros RZ et al. Zinc effect on the in vitro formation of calcium phosphates: relevance to clinical inhibition of calculus formation. Am J Dent 1999; 12(2): 65–71.
  5. Buch JG. Pharmacology ReCa p 2.0 for Bachelor of Dentistry Students. P406. [Accessed 22/6/2011].
  6. Brunski JB et al. Measurement of tensile bond strength between calculus and tooth surfaces. J Dent Res 2000; 79(IADR Abstracts): 914.