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Recent studies conducted by Colgate-Palmolive suggest our oral care products may play a role in temporarily reducing the amount of COVID-19 virus in your mouth. Laboratory tests found that specific kinds of toothpaste, mouthwashes, and mouth spray neutralized SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — by more than 99%. A clinical test performed pre-procedurally with COVID-19 positive patients showed certain mouthwashes with cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) plus zinc, hydrogen peroxide, or chlorhexidine significantly reduced the amount of virus in the mouth for up to 30 and 60 minutes after rinsing. Keep reading for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. Please note that not all products are available in all markets. Check out your nearest retailer to determine whether a product is available to you.

Overall Questions:

3. Would reduced virus levels in my mouth protect me from getting or transmitting COVID-19?

If the COVID-19 virus is detected in your mouth, then you have already contracted the virus. There is currently no conclusive evidence that reducing virus levels in your mouth will prevent getting or transmitting the virus. However, lowering the amount of virus in saliva — which can be transmitted through talking, singing, or coughing — might help reduce transmission risk.

6. How do oral care products help to neutralize the virus?

Current data suggest these oral care products target the viral envelope to dissolve it. Losing this outer protective coating prevents the virus from attaching to cells and infecting them.

7. Should I brush or rinse before going out or meeting people?

Oral care should be part of your daily personal hygiene routine, and you should continue to wear masks, social distance, and wash your hands to help prevent virus transmission. Currently, no conclusive evidence exists that brushing or rinsing protects against getting or transmitting COVID-19. However, lowering the amount of virus in your saliva, which can be transmitted through talking, singing, or coughing, might reduce the risk of transmission. We have planned additional studies to determine how brushing and rinsing affect the amount of virus in your mouth. However, regular brushing and rinsing with safe and effective products is key to maintaining good oral health.

8. How do laboratory test results represent what happens in a person's mouth?

Laboratory testing is a simplified model used to determine under very controlled conditions whether Colgate antimicrobial formulas can neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The laboratory method is internationally accepted and recognized to assess viral inactivation for both toothpaste and mouthwash. Colgate-Palmolive is conducting additional clinical research to determine whether similar results occur in the mouth to help neutralize and lower virus levels.

9. How effective are the tested Colgate-Palmolive products compared to Listerine, Crest, and other competitors against the SARS-CoV-2 virus?

We did not test the efficacy of competitor products.

10. If I brush my teeth or rinse with mouthwash, do I need to wear a mask?

Yes. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend everyone wear face masks to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Continue to follow guidelines that help prevent the contraction and spread of COVID-19, such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing your hands.

11. Does brushing your teeth or rinsing with mouthwash have any effect on your antibodies?

No, brushing your teeth or rinsing with mouthwash will not have any impact on your antibodies.

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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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