Total Care Milder Taste Container

LISTERINE® Total Care Milder Taste contains zinc chloride to help reduce dental calculus thus keeping teeth whiter

Dental calculus is a deposit of calcium phosphate salts on the tooth surface. It is commonly believed to form by the mineralisation of undisturbed plaque.1,2

Calculus is porous and can act as a reservoir for bacteria and their toxins – if not managed effectively it can contribute to:
– Staining of teeth1
– Inflammation of the gingiva2,3
– Gingival recession3,4
– Periodontal disease3,4

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 teeth5,6
– Displacing calcium phosphate on the plaque biofilm5,7,8
– Inhibiting plaque biofilm growth5,9

Calculus formed in the presence of zinc ions is less crystalline, softer and less adherent to the tooth surface,5,10 and therefore easier to remove mechanically. By helping to reduce calculus build-up, zinc chloride also helps keep teeth less prone to attracting stains.


  1. Beemsterboer P. Plaque & Calculus. Accessed 1/7/2011.
  2. Bite-Sized Tutorials: Dental Calculus. Accessed April 2013.
  3. Dumitrescu AL, Inagaki K, Kawamura M. Etiology and Pathogenesis of Periodontal Disease: 1.2.5 Association of Calculus with Disease Pathology.
  4. Mandel ID. Calculus update: prevalence, pathogenicity and prevention. JADA 1995; 126: 573–580.
  5. Jin Y, Yip HK. Supragingival calculus: formation and control. Crit Rev Oral Biol Med 2002; 13(5): 426–441.
  6. Fairbrother KJ, Heasman PA. Anticalculus agents. J Clin Periodontol 2000; 27: 285–301.
  7. Le Geros 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.
  8. Ingram GS, Edgar WM. Calcium salt precipitation and mechanisms of inhibition under oral conditions. Adv Dent Res 1995; 9(4): 427–432.
  9. Buch JG. Pharmacology ReCap 2.0 for Bachelor of Dentistry Students. P406. Accessed June 22nd 2011.
  10. Brunski JB et al. Measurement of tensile bond strength between calculus and tooth surfaces. J Dent Res 2000; 79(IADR Abstracts): 914.