Room For Ideas

A Cure for Halitosis

It all started with Sir Joseph Lister, an English surgeon and a pioneer in medical science. Inspired by Lister, Dr. Joseph Lawrence, developed a surgical antiseptic in 1879. To honor Sir Joseph Lister, he called the antiseptic Listerine. It was used for a variety of purposes first, like cleaning floors, as a surgical disinfectant or as a hair tonic. At the end of the 19th century, studies showed that it was also an effective oral care. But it took a clever marketing campaign centered around the medical term “Halitosis” – for bad breath – 25 years later to jumpstart the road to success for Listerine as a mouthwash.