To evaluate the efficacy of two alcohol-free antimicrobial mouthrinses in reducing plaque and gingivitis compared to an alcohol-containing rinse and toothbrushing alone.


One hundred and sixty healthy volunteers were enrolled in the randomized controlled trial. Participants were randomly and equally assigned to four groups: (i) toothbrushing + rinsing (0.06% CHX + 0.025% NaF, alcohol-containing rinse, positive control); (ii) toothbrushing + rinsing (0.06% CHX + 0.025% NaF, alcohol-free experimental rinse); (iii) toothbrushing + rinsing (0.06% CHX + 0.03% CPC + 0.025% NaF, alcohol-free experimental rinse); (iv) toothbrushing alone (negative control). At baseline, Quigley-Hein plaque index (QHI), modified proximal plaque index (MPPI), and papillary bleeding index (PBI) were recorded. All subjects brushed their teeth as usual during the study. Additionally, groups 1–3 rinsed twice daily. Eight weeks after baseline, indices were recorded again. anova with Bonferroni adjustment served for statistical analysis.


One hundred and fifty-five participants were included into final analysis (i: n = 39, 2: n = 39, 3: n = 37, 4: n = 40). Experimental rinses (ii, iii) reduced QHI and MPPI to a higher extent than the negative control (iv), whereas no significant difference to the positive control was found. QHI: (i) 36.6%, (ii) 32.3%, (iii) 36.8%, (iv) 21.6%; MPPI: (i) 11.9%, (ii) 12.2%, (iii) 13.6%, (iv) 3.5%. For PBI, no statistically significant difference was found between groups: (i) 80.2%, (ii) 77.8%, (iii) 76.5% and (iv) 78.8%.


With respect to QHI and MPPI, toothbrushing in combination with any rinse was more effective than toothbrushing alone. No statistically significant differences were found between the alcohol-free and the alcohol-containing control rinses.

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