Crest Mouthwashes

Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash

Crest Pro Health Multi-protection rinse

alcohol free antiseptic mouthwash

Crest Pro-Health Rinse is an alcohol free antiseptic mouthwash. The active ingredient is cetylpyridinum chloride. The percentage of cetylpyridinum chloride is higher in Crest Pro-Health (0.07%) than in most other mouth rinses that use it.

What does it do?

cetylpyridinum chloride helps reduce plaque by killing bacteria. This reduction in plaque reduces gingivitis. Swishing twice a day for 30 seconds is recommended.

The Pro-Health Family of Rinses

Crest Pro-health complete fluoride rinse

Fluoride Rinse

  • Crest Pro-Health Multi-protection available in Night Rinse, Cool Wintergreen and Refreshing Clean Mint.
  • Crest Pro-Health Complete-Fluoride Rinse, it does contain cetylpyridinum chloride but it is listed as an inactive ingredient. No Percentage of cetylpyridinum chloride is listed on the bottle.
  • Crest Pro-Health for Me- a fluoride rinse for kids, does NOT contain cetylpyridinum chloride.
Crest kids fluoride rinse

Fluoride Rinse for Kids

The Science Behind Crest Pro-Health Rinses

  • Crest Pro-Health for Me and Crest Pro-Health Complete have been clinically shown to have a higher fluoride uptake into demineralized teeth than Listerine Total Care or Act Total Care.1
  • Sustained antibacterial action for up to six hours after use of Crest Pro-Health (same as Listerine)2
  • Use of Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Rinse has been show to reduce risk of pre-term low birth weight babies in pregnant women.3 Pregnant women with periodontal disease may have an increased risk for pre-term low birth weight babies4, although there are newer studies that refute this5.
  • Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Rinse used along with brushing reduces plaque between teeth more than brushing alone.6

Crest 3D White Multi-Care Whitening Rinse

Crest 3D White Whitening Mouthwash


This is another cosmetic rinse. Don’t let the name fool you. Even though it says multi-care like the antiseptic rinses it doesn’t contain the active ingredient that kills bacteria. The active ingredient in this rinse is hydrogen peroxide, a whitening agent.


scope mouthwash

Scope is a cosmetic rinse

Scope has the same active ingredient as Crest Pro-Health Multi-protection but at a lower percentage (0.045% in Scope compared to 0.07% in Crest ProHealth Multi-Protection). Studies on Scope have shown a reduction in plaque but not enough to significantly improve gingival health, nor did it penetrate between the teeth enough to reduce plaque there.7 Studies are mixed as to if it is worth using a rinse with this strength of cetylpyridinium chloride. Some say it reduces plaque and gingivitis8 while others say it is no better than a placebo9 (a rinse without the active ingredient used in experiments). Given the clinical studies and the lack of strong support for use of this strength of cetylpyridinium chloride I would not recommend this as an antiseptic mouthwash. There are plenty of other available antiseptic mouthwashes that have clinical research supporting them. Given the studies I have cited Scope would fall into the cosmetic rinse category.

1Faller RV, Casey K, Amburgey J. Anticaries potential of commercial fluoride rinses as determined by fluoridation and remineralization efficiency. J Clin Dent. 2011;22(2):29-35.

2M.P.T. Otten, H.J. Busscher, H.C. van der Mei, F. Abbas, C.G. van Hoogmoed. Retention of Antimicrobial Activity in Plaque and Saliva following Mouthrinse Use in vivo. Caries Res 2010;44:459–464.

3Marjorie Jeffcoat DMD, Samuel Parry MD,Robert W. Gerlach DDS, Doyle PhD. Use of alcohol-free antimicrobial mouth rinse is associated with decreased incidence of preterm birth in a high-risk population. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Volume 205, Issue 4, October 2011, Pages 382.e1-382.e6.

4Steven Offenbacher, Vern Katz, Gregory Fertik, John Collins, Doryck Boyd, Gayle Maynor, Rosemary McKaig, and James Beck. Periodontal Infection as a Possible Risk Factor for Preterm Low Birth Weight. Journal of Periodontology. October 1996, Vol. 67, No. 10s, Pages 1103-1113 , DOI 10.1902/jop.1996.67.10s.1103.

5E.S. Davenport, C.E.C.S. Williams, J.A.C. Sterne, S. Murad, V. Sivapathasundram, M.A. Curtis. Maternal Periodontal Disease and Preterm Low Birthweight: Case-Control Study. JDR May 2002 vol. 81 no. 5 313-318.

6N. Gallitschke, P.Bellamy, D. Tumilty, R. Jhaj, P.Bowtell, V.Rane P&G, Egham, Surrey, UK. Inhibition of Interproximal Plaque Metabolism Using CPC Mouthrinse. Research presented at the 84th General Session of the AADR, March 8-11, 2006.

7Finkelstein P, Yost KG, Grossman E. Mechanical devices versus antimicrobial rinses in plaque and gingivitis reduction. Clin Prev Dent 1990; 12: 8–11.

8Allen DR, Davies R, Bradshaw B et al. Efficacy of a mouthrinse containing 0.05% cetylpyridinium chloride for the control of plaque and gingivitis: a 6-month clinical study in adults. Compend Contin Educ Dent 1998; 19: 20–26.

9Nelson RF, Rodasti PC, Tichnor A, Lio YL et al. Comparative study of four over-the-counter mouthrinses claiming antiplaque and/or antigingivitis benefits. Clin Prev Dent 1991; 13: 30–33.


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