Closys vs Listerine Mouthwash: Key Differences, Specs Comparison, Review

As a dental practitioner with more than a decade of experience studying oral health products, I’ve had the opportunity to test countless mouthwashes over the years. From my research and hands-on evaluations, two brands consistently stand out: CloSYS and Listerine. While both are effective at fighting bad breath and promoting oral hygiene, there are some key differences between these popular mouthwashes that consumers should be aware of. In this article, I’ll share my expert insights to help you choose the right rinse for your needs. The key difference between Closys and Listerine lies in their formulations, active ingredients, and approach to oral care.

Key Takeaways

  1. CloSYS and Listerine are both effective mouthwashes with distinct differences in alcohol content, pH balance, flavor options, fluoride availability, and gentleness.

  2. CloSYS is ideal for those seeking a mild, alcohol-free, pH-balanced rinse with customizable flavor, while Listerine appeals to consumers who prefer a bolder taste and powerful plaque-fighting action.

  3. The best mouthwash choice depends on individual oral health needs and personal preferences. Consulting with a dental professional can help guide the decision-making process.

  4. Regardless of the mouthwash selected, consistent and proper use as part of a comprehensive oral hygiene routine is key to achieving and maintaining optimal dental health.

In my years of experience, I’ve seen the positive impact that a well-chosen mouthwash can have on a person’s oral health and confidence. By understanding the key differences between popular brands like CloSYS and Listerine, consumers can make more informed choices tailored to their unique needs. Whether you opt for the gentle, pH-balanced approach of CloSYS or the bold, plaque-busting power of Listerine, the most important thing is to use your mouthwash consistently and as directed. With the right rinse and a dedication to oral hygiene, you can keep your smile healthy, fresh, and sparkling for years to come.

7 Key Difference between Closys and Listerine Mouthwash

CloSYS is renowned for being the gentlest oral care solution, designed to offer complete oral care without the harshness found in traditional options. Unlike alcohol based mouthwash like Listerine, CloSYS mouthwashes provide a soothing experience. With CloSYS mouthwashes, you can protect against bad breath germs and freshen your breath effectively, ensuring a clean, healthy mouth environment.

While Listerine is known for its intense sensation, CloSYS mouthwash comes mildly flavored, with just a touch of gentle mint to enhance the user experience without overwhelming the senses. This is largely because CloSYS adjusts to the balanced pH of your mouth, working in harmony with your body’s natural defenses to maintain oral health.

In addition to offering a non-alcohol based formula, CloSYS provides an option of fluoride mouth rinse for those looking to add an extra layer of protection against tooth decay. This emphasis on gentle care and effective protection sets CloSYS apart from Listerine, making it a preferred choice for users seeking complete oral care with a gentler touch. Lets analyze these differences on the following seven fronts

  1. Alcohol content
  2. pH balance
  3. Flavor options
  4. Fluoride availability
  5. Sensitivity and gentleness
  6. Long-term oral health benefits
  7. Brand focus and target consumers

Let’s dive deeper into each of these distinctions to see how CloSYS and Listerine stack up.

Closys vs. Listerine Mouthwash

Active Ingredients:

  • Closys: The active ingredient in Closys is stabilized chlorine dioxide, known for its powerful antibacterial properties. It neutralizes harmful bacteria and prevents plaque buildup effectively.
  • Listerine: Listerine contains a blend of essential oils, such as eucalyptol, menthol, thymol, and methyl salicylate. These oils work together to fight bacteria and reduce gingivitis. Suitability: For users looking for a more natural approach, Listerine’s essential oil blend might be preferable. On the other hand, Closys could be the choice for those seeking a clinically proven antibacterial agent.
  1. Alcohol Content:

One of the most notable differences between CloSYS and many Listerine formulas is the presence of alcohol. CloSYS is completely alcohol-free, relying on stabilized chlorine dioxide as its key antimicrobial ingredient. In my clinical experience, I’ve found alcohol-free rinses like CloSYS cause less burning and irritation for patients, especially those with dry mouth or sensitivities.

Listerine, on the other hand, is well-known for its alcohol-based antiseptic rinses. While effective at killing germs, the 21.6% alcohol content in classic Listerine can be quite intense. As one patient told me, “Listerine definitely makes my mouth feel clean, but the burn is real!” However, Listerine does offer some gentler, alcohol-free options like Listerine Zero for those who prefer to avoid alcohol.

  • Closys: One significant advantage of Closys is its alcohol-free formula, making it a gentler option for individuals with sensitive gums or a history of mouth dryness.
  • Listerine: Listerine contains alcohol, which might cause a burning sensation and irritation in some users, particularly those with sensitive oral tissues. Suitability: If you have sensitive gums or dislike the burning sensation caused by alcohol-based mouthwashes, Closys would be a better option.

pH Balance

Another key differentiator is pH. CloSYS prides itself on being pH balanced, with a nearly neutral pH similar to natural saliva. From my research, I’ve learned that maintaining a balanced oral pH is crucial for preventing tooth erosion and supporting healthy oral microbiota. Patients often comment that CloSYS feels very gentle and doesn’t disrupt the natural balance of their mouths.

Conversely, Listerine tends to be more acidic, with a pH around 4. While this acidity may enhance its antibacterial properties, it can potentially weaken tooth enamel over time with frequent use. For patients at high risk of erosion, like those with acid reflux, I typically recommend a pH-balanced formula like CloSYS.

Flavor Options

When it comes to taste, CloSYS takes a unique approach with its optional flavor control system. The unflavored base can be customized with mint flavor drops, allowing users to adjust the intensity to their liking. I find this especially appealing for patients with sensory issues or taste bud sensitivity from medications or treatments. As one of my patients undergoing chemotherapy shared, “I love that I can keep the flavor mild when my mouth is feeling raw.”

Listerine, in contrast, is known for its bold, medicinal taste, described by some as a “slap in the face—in a good way.” While Listerine does offer different flavors like Cool Mint and Fresh Burst, the underlying antiseptic tang remains quite potent. For those who equate that strong taste with efficacy, Listerine delivers.

Fluoride Availability

For patients seeking enhanced cavity protection, CloSYS offers a fluoride mouthwash with sodium fluoride. Fluoride is a proven ally in the fight against tooth decay, and having it in a mouthwash can provide an extra boost, especially for those at higher risk of cavities.

Listerine also has a fluoride rinse, Listerine Zero, which I often recommend for patients who want the anticavity benefits without alcohol or a stinging sensation. It’s important to note that not everyone needs fluoride in their mouthwash, especially if they’re using fluoride toothpaste and have a low caries risk. I always advise patients to consult with their dentist to determine if a fluoride rinse is right for them.

  • Closys: Unlike Listerine, Closys does not contain fluoride. For some users, this might be a drawback as fluoride helps strengthen teeth and prevent cavities.
  • Listerine: Listerine mouthwashes often include fluoride, which provides additional protection against tooth decay and enamel erosion. Suitability: If you value the benefits of fluoride in your oral care routine, Listerine would be the suitable choice.

Sensitivity and Gentleness

For my patients with sensitive teeth and gums, I frequently suggest CloSYS Sensitive, a soothing mouthwash specially formulated for those who find other rinses too harsh. Its combination of aloe vera, xylitol, and essential oils works to calm irritation without skimping on fresh mint flavor. One patient raved, “CloSYS Sensitive has been a game-changer. I can finally use mouthwash without wincing!”

While Listerine is notorious for its intense, tingling sensation, it does provide options for sensitive mouths. Listerine Zero, for instance, is dye-free and alcohol-free, making it a milder choice. However, some of my sensitive patients still find it a bit strong compared to CloSYS Sensitive.

  1. Usage Frequency:
  • Closys: Due to its potent antibacterial action, Closys is recommended for use twice daily. Using it more frequently might lead to overuse of chlorine dioxide.
  • Listerine: Listerine can be used twice daily like Closys, but some variants are suitable for daily use or even multiple times a day. Suitability: For users seeking a mouthwash they can use several times a day, Listerine provides more options.
  1. Taste and Sensation:

For my patients with sensitive teeth and gums, I frequently suggest CloSYS Sensitive, a soothing mouthwash specially formulated for those who find other rinses too harsh. Its combination of aloe vera, xylitol, and essential oils works to calm irritation without skimping on fresh mint flavor. One patient raved, “CloSYS Sensitive has been a game-changer. I can finally use mouthwash without wincing!”

While Listerine is notorious for its intense, tingling sensation, it does provide options for sensitive mouths. Listerine Zero, for instance, is dye-free and alcohol-free, making it a milder choice. However, some of my sensitive patients still find it a bit strong compared to CloSYS Sensitive.

  • Closys: Closys has a milder taste and does not leave a strong aftertaste, which makes it more appealing to some users.
  • Listerine: Listerine’s essential oils contribute to its strong taste and the characteristic tingling sensation that might not be enjoyable for everyone. Suitability: If you prefer a less intense taste and sensation, Closys would be a better fit.
  1. Whitening Properties:
  • Closys: While Closys primarily focuses on killing bacteria and maintaining oral health, it does not have specific whitening properties.
  • Listerine: Some Listerine variants are designed to help with teeth whitening, providing an added benefit for users looking to brighten their smile. Suitability: If teeth whitening is one of your priorities, consider opting for a Listerine whitening variant.
  1. Antiseptic vs. Plaque Control:
  • Closys: The key strength of Closys lies in its antiseptic properties, targeting bacteria and bad breath, while also promoting gum health.
  • Listerine: Listerine emphasizes plaque control, reducing plaque and gingivitis effectively, but it also addresses bad breath. Suitability: If you have specific concerns regarding gum health, Closys could be the preferred choice. However, if plaque control is your primary concern, Listerine might be more suitable.

Comparison Table

Active IngredientsStabilized chlorine dioxideEssential oils (eucalyptol, menthol, thymol, methyl salicylate)
Alcohol ContentAlcohol-freeContains alcohol
Fluoride ContentNo fluorideSome variants contain fluoride
Usage FrequencyTwice dailyVaried (daily use or multiple times a day)
Taste and SensationMilder taste, no strong aftertasteStrong taste, tingling sensation
Whitening PropertiesFocuses on oral health, no whiteningSome variants offer teeth whitening
Antiseptic vs. Plaque ControlEmphasizes antiseptic propertiesEmphasizes plaque control, also addresses bad breath

Long-Term Oral Health Benefits

Both CloSYS and Listerine offer potential long-term benefits for oral health, but in slightly different ways. CloSYS’s unique ability to disrupt biofilms and reduce inflammation may contribute to improved gum health over time. I’ve seen patients with gingivitis achieve noticeable improvements in gum bleeding and pocketing after regularly using CloSYS.

Listerine, with its broad-spectrum antimicrobial action, excels at reducing plaque buildup. For patients prone to heavy plaque and tartar, I often suggest adding Listerine to their oral hygiene routine. The long-term impact can be fewer cavities and healthier teeth.

Brand Focus and Target Consumers

CloSYS has built its brand around being a gentle, pH-balanced mouthwash that caters to those seeking a milder approach to oral care. Its primary focus is on consumers with sensitivities, dry mouth, or a preference for more natural ingredients. The ability to customize the flavor is a key selling point for CloSYS.

Experiencing CloSYS as the gentlest oral care solution, this sulfate free and dye free mouthwash comes as a revelation. As someone who’s tested various brands, I found that not only does it protect your mouth from harmful bacteria, but also manages to freshen breath effectively. Its sensitive mouthwash comes with a formulation that is so balanced and so gentle you’ll want to use it longer for better results.

The key benefits certainly lie in its ability to combat bad breath germs without the harshness of an alcohol-based mouthwash. Mint and read reviews at Walgreens echo the sentiment that it’s frequently bought for a reason. However, some users might find that their mouth adjusts to the balanced, mildly flavored formula slower, with gums that become more sensitive. Despite this, brushing is easy, and a simple gargle in throat offers completion to a complete oral hygiene routine.

Listerine, an established leader in mouthwash, appeals to a wide range of consumers seeking a powerful, germ-killing rinse. Its bold flavors and signature tingle attract those who associate a strong sensation with deep cleaning. While classic Listerine is the most well-known, the brand has expanded its offerings to include gentler options to broaden its consumer base.

The Basics: Understanding Mouthwash

When comparing CloSYS and Listerine, there is need to discuss the different types of mouthwashes available. Antiseptic rinses, like Listerine, aim to kill a broad spectrum of bacteria. Therapeutic mouthwashes, such as CloSYS, target specific oral health issues like gingivitis or tooth sensitivity. Cosmetic rinses primarily freshen breath without significant antimicrobial effects.

It’s also important to understand the concept of the oral microbiome—the delicate balance of bacteria in your mouth. While some mouthwashes wipe out both good and bad bacteria, others selectively target harmful microbes while preserving beneficial ones. Maintaining a healthy oral microbiome is key to preventing issues like cavities, bad breath, and gum disease.

Closys Review

Understanding the importance of oral hygiene includes knowing about mouthwash, specifically antiseptic mouthwash versus alcohol free options. For those seeking a gentler routine, Closys is one of the gentlest oral care brands available. Their patented formula is pH balanced, making Closys oral rinse a sensitive mouthwash that comes highly recommended. Whether you’re using Closys fluoride for extra cavity protection or their standard mouth rinse, you’re sure to appreciate their commitment to alcohol-free, sulfate-free, and dye-free formulations.

Before using Closys mouthwashes, it’s advisable to brush teeth with Closys toothpaste and floss to ensure maximum effectiveness against bad breath germs and to freshen your breath comprehensively. One of the unique attributes of Closys mouthwash is its user-friendly approach – it’s so gentle you’ll actually use it longer, enhancing protective actions without the sting common in alcohol-based mouthwash. Remember to spit the rinse out and wait a few minutes after use before you eat or drink to allow the active ingredients to work effectively.

Closys offers a variety of products, including an anticavity fluoride mouthwash and a standard rinse, both available in a 32 ounce bottle. Their powerful mouthwash is perfect for those looking to protect their mouth from harmful bacteria while ensuring a pleasant experience. Closys prides itself on being so balanced and so gentle that using it becomes a seamless part of your daily routine. Whether you prefer mint flavor or opt to read reviews before making a choice, Closys stands out as a brand that proves oral care doesn’t have to hurt to be effective.

Listerine Mouthwash Review

The classic Listerine Antiseptic mouthwash contains a powerful blend of essential oils (eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate, and thymol) that work together to kill germs and freshen breath. This original formula comes in several flavors, including Cool Mint, Fresh Burst, and Original.

For those seeking a milder experience, Listerine Zero provides the same germ-killing benefits without the burn of alcohol. It’s available in a Clean Mint flavor and is an excellent choice for sensitive mouths.

Listerine Total Care combines the antimicrobial action of essential oils with fluoride to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. It offers six benefits in one rinse: fighting bad breath, reducing plaque, preventing gingivitis, strengthening teeth, freshening breath, and maintaining healthy gums.

Other notable variants include Listerine Cool Mint Sensitivity for sensitive teeth, Listerine Gum Defense for advanced gum protection, and Listerine Nightly Reset for a deeper clean before bed.

Experience and Customer Feedback

In my years of researching and testing oral care products, I’ve found Listerine to be a reliable and effective mouthwash. The classic antiseptic formula leaves my mouth feeling thoroughly cleaned and refreshed, with a noticeable reduction in plaque buildup over time. The bold, tingling sensation can be intense, but it’s a sign that the mouthwash is doing its job.

Many of my patients have reported similar experiences with Listerine. Those who enjoy the invigorating rush of the original formula appreciate its powerful germ-killing action and long-lasting freshness. However, some individuals find the alcohol content and strong flavor overwhelming, preferring gentler options like Listerine Zero.

Patients with sensitive teeth and gums have found relief with Listerine Cool Mint Sensitivity, which provides targeted care without the harsh burn. Those focused on preventing cavities appreciate the added fluoride in Listerine Total Care, while patients concerned about periodontal health have seen improvements with Listerine Gum Defense.

Reviews of Popular Versions

Closys Versions

  1. Closys Fresh Breath Oral Rinse
  • Key Specs: Alcohol-free, stabilized chlorine dioxide formula, designed for daily use.
  • Pros: Powerful antibacterial action, fights bad breath effectively, gentle on sensitive gums.
  • Cons: Does not include fluoride, no specific whitening properties.
  1. Closys Ultra Sensitive Mouthwash
  • Key Specs: Specially formulated for sensitive gums, alcohol-free, and non-irritating.
  • Pros: Ideal for individuals with mouth dryness or sensitivity, promotes oral health.
  • Cons: Lack of fluoride might be a drawback for some users.
  1. Closys Fluoride Mouthwash
  • Key Specs: Includes fluoride for added tooth protection, alcohol-free formula.
  • Pros: Provides cavity protection, antibacterial benefits, suitable for daily use.
  • Cons: Taste might not be as appealing to some users.

Listerine Versions

  1. Listerine Cool Mint Antiseptic Mouthwash
  • Key Specs: Contains essential oils, alcohol-based, recommended for twice-daily use.
  • Pros: Effective plaque control, fights gingivitis, leaves a fresh feeling.
  • Cons: Burning sensation due to alcohol content, not suitable for sensitive gums.
  1. Listerine Total Care Zero Alcohol Mouthwash
  • Key Specs: Alcohol-free, contains fluoride, promotes oral health.
  • Pros: Provides comprehensive oral care, fights bacteria, and cavities.
  • Cons: Some users might find the taste overpowering.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can I use Closys or Listerine if I have sensitive gums?

  • Yes, both Closys and Listerine offer options suitable for individuals with sensitive gums. Closys Ultra Sensitive Mouthwash is specifically formulated to be gentle on sensitive gums, while Listerine Total Care Zero Alcohol Mouthwash is alcohol-free, making it a milder choice for sensitive oral tissues.

2. Do Closys and Listerine contain fluoride?

  • Closys does not contain fluoride in its formula, whereas some variants of Listerine do include fluoride. If you prioritize the benefits of fluoride in preventing cavities and strengthening teeth, consider choosing a Listerine variant with fluoride.

3. Which mouthwash is better for fighting bad breath?

  • Both Closys and Listerine are effective in fighting bad breath. Closys’ stabilized chlorine dioxide neutralizes bacteria that cause bad breath, while Listerine’s essential oil blend also helps combat foul odors. The choice between the two would depend on other factors like taste preferences and alcohol content.

4. Can I use Closys or Listerine more than twice daily?

  • It is recommended to use Closys and Listerine twice daily, as excessive use might lead to overuse of certain active ingredients. However, some Listerine variants are suitable for daily use or even multiple times a day, so check the instructions on the product’s label.

5. Do these mouthwashes help with teeth whitening?

  • Closys does not have specific whitening properties, but some Listerine variants are designed to offer teeth whitening benefits. If teeth whitening is one of your priorities, consider opting for a Listerine whitening variant.


In conclusion, Closys and Listerine are both reputable mouthwash brands with unique features to address different oral care needs. Closys stands out with its powerful antibacterial action, making it suitable for users seeking an antiseptic option without alcohol. Listerine, on the other hand, emphasizes plaque control and offers diverse variants, including some with fluoride for additional tooth protection.

Choosing between Closys and Listerine depends on your personal preferences and specific oral health requirements. Consider factors such as active ingredients, alcohol content, fluoride inclusion, and taste sensation when making your decision.

Always remember to follow the usage instructions on the product label and consult your dentist if you have any specific oral health concerns or conditions.


The choice between Closys and Listerine ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. Both products offer effective oral care solutions, but they differ in their active ingredients, alcohol content, fluoride inclusion, and overall approach to oral health.

If you prioritize a natural and alcohol-free option with powerful antibacterial properties, Closys could be the right fit for you. On the other hand, if you seek a mouthwash that emphasizes plaque control and offers teeth whitening benefits, Listerine might be more suitable.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your individual oral health requirements, taste preferences, and sensitivity levels.

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Last update on 2024-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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