Teeth Like God's Shoeshine
November 5, 2007 11:57 AM   Subscribe

Listerine: How much is too much?

I really like plain listerine. I like the taste, the burn, the way my mouth feels afterwards.

Can I use it 4-5 times a day without worry? I know it recommends twice a day, but this just doesn't seem like enough.
posted by milarepa to Home & Garden (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think I read somewhere that it can act as an irritant if overused and in some cases could lead to mouth cancer after a long and sustained period of overuse. Twice, or better once is plenty.
posted by BobbyDigital at 12:12 PM on November 5, 2007


This is me talking out my butt, but I would think this is not a good idea. I strikes me as the same thing as compulsively using Purell, which I believe will result in lowered immune response. You might be actually increasing your risk of infections in your mouth by overdoing it.
posted by chocolate_butch at 12:15 PM on November 5, 2007


Using alcohol-based mouthwashes like Listerine can increase your chances of contracting Thrush, as you are killing the natural bacteria that would normally help your body kill the yeast. That's the only consideration I know of, but others may chime in with additional info.
posted by Xoder at 12:18 PM on November 5, 2007


FWIW, i had a dentist whose opinion was that listerine was a tad too strong and harsh. he recommended diluting it with a bit of water.
posted by gnutron at 12:28 PM on November 5, 2007


Man, these answers are serious bummers. I am totally bumming right now. I would normally just toss in some listerine to pep myself up, but now I don't even know what to think.
posted by milarepa at 12:31 PM on November 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


Hey, it's mostly alcohol, right? You could just do shots of a mint-flavored liqeur.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:34 PM on November 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


To go along with what Xoder says, any steps you can take to avoid Thrush, take them. A coworker had it several months ago, and it was the grossest thing ever. Eventually her tongue turned black, and it looked like it had moss growing on it. Something to be avoided at all costs.
posted by grumpy at 12:41 PM on November 5, 2007


I think I found the problem....you're not supposed to swallow it.
posted by cosmicbandito at 12:52 PM on November 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Listerine: Cool Mint, FreshBurst, Natural Citrus and Vanilla Mint contain 21.6% alcohol by volume, while Gold contains 26.9% alcohol by volume.
posted by ericb at 12:53 PM on November 5, 2007


I think I found the problem....you're not supposed to swallow it.

"It is on a list of products the Alcoholic Anonymous group states can be a danger for recovering alcoholics."*
posted by ericb at 12:58 PM on November 5, 2007


I overused Scope once when I was in college. Even though I did not develop thrush, I soon developed the most heinous breath imaginable as the alcohol in the Scope completely upset my mouth's normal chemistry.

In short, I'd keep it to a morning gargle and nighttime rinse at the most.
posted by MasonDixon at 1:03 PM on November 5, 2007


When I first had my tongue pierced, I ignored everyone's advice and used Listerine 6-7 times/day.
Thrush isn't fun. And it's gross. Your instinct will be to cleanse the demons with more Listerine, but it will, in fact, make it worse.

Do you think something along the lines of a habanero (or hotter) sauce may give you the same rush?
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 1:24 PM on November 5, 2007


I'd worry about what it might do to the enamel on your teeth too -- I can't use any of those products because they're just too hard on my teeth.
posted by nnk at 1:30 PM on November 5, 2007


Just shoot Rumpleminze, it tastes the same.
posted by pmbuko at 3:00 PM on November 5, 2007


I just had a rather brilliantly disgusting idea, milarepa!
Collect copious amounts of saliva in a bottle (to keep things on the safer side, I wouldn't keep a bottle of saliva for longer than a day). Hit your listerine, rinse your mouth with clean water, then swish with a mouthful of stored saliva. In theory, that should put the good bugs back in your mouth and prevent thrush.

Even better, spit into a fresh container of water and keep warm (to culture) and use that as your replenisher.

There's a part of me that's utterly revolted by what I've suggested, but also incredibly fascinated. If you DO try it, please let me know?
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 3:38 PM on November 5, 2007


cat pie hurts: thrush sounds a bit more appealing than what you suggest! But we'll see as, alas, I have done dumber things. I think I am going to search for (or concoct?) an equally intense and delicious mouth cleaner that doesn't have potentially disgusting side effects.
posted by milarepa at 3:49 PM on November 5, 2007


Mr. Dentist says that Listerine contains way too much alcohol and dries your gums out. Bad! Use something more neutral like Tom's Spearmint mouthwash.
posted by zackola at 5:31 PM on November 5, 2007


Biotene is a good mouthwash that is made for people with dry mouths... it has enzymes and such.
posted by IndigoRain at 7:40 PM on November 6, 2007


Well... How long have you been doing it for? Seems all you have to worry about so far is some crusty tongue... Tongue peircing heals in about two weeks so if it's been indulging for longer than that then...?

But I'm going to guess this has been steadily increasing in frequency over an amount of time. Maybe that's the best way to go about such a thing?

Steering clear of 'yeasty' foods and sugar (aka yeast fuel) just after... is a much more palatable idea than ICKY SPIT!! Omg... that's so sick. *blargh* x-P
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 12:25 PM on November 9, 2007


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