Listerine's Agent Cool Blue

StormTeam Meteorologist Jason Lindsey tries out the Agent
StormTeam Meteorologist Jason Lindsey tries out the Agent
Does it Work Wednesday
Listerine's Agent Cool Blue
By: Lauren Keith
Meet Agent Cool Blue. He's the latest "plaque detective" in town.  Listerine's new cartoon character is supposed to help your kids have more fun brushing their teeth, and even make them want to brush more often.
First, kids rinse with the blue mouthwash, which is supposed to show up on your child's teeth in places where plaque exists.  Then, kids go back and brush the blue stuff until it's all gone.  So, can this clever marketing get your child to brush those pearly whites, by first turning them blue?
"He can't see the stuff I'm trying to get him to brush off, and if I let him do it by himself, he's done in no time at all! I have to tell him he's not quite done yet and it can turn into a chore," says Christina Williams-Sneed, mother of three year old Dominic. 
This mom thinks Agent Cool Blue might just be the thing for her son. He's a bit under the recommended age 6 for this product, but Christina already has Dominic brushing on his own.  He also wants to try it, and so does his best friend, Lauren. I mean come on - they get to turn their mouths blue and not even get in trouble for it!
"Who wants to go first?" asks dentist Dr. David Kaelin of Cape Girardeau.
Dr. Kaelin will watch over these youngsters and give us the expert opinion on Agent Cool Blue. First, he squeezes up the proper amount, Dominic gargles it for 30 seconds, and spits it out. Now the true test...
"Look at that blue tongue!" says Dr. Kaelin.
It's hard to see it on-camera, but Dominic's mouth is generally a blue-tint all over.  However, the rinse didn't show up in spots on his teeth, like it does on the commercial.  To be fair, it could be the difference in who's using it.  We are a bit disappointed though. Plus, in just a few minutes, we notice something not so cool.  It's time for Dominic to brush away all the blue, or plaque, and it seems Agent Cool Blue did a bit of a disappearing act! So, if your child uses this, make sure they get right to it.
"It's just food coloring," explains Dr. Kaelin, after looking at the product ingredients.
Dr. Kaelin says Agent Cool Blue is very similar to something he uses in his office, called Red Dental Disclsoing Agent.  It's more concentrated than the Listerine product, so it shows up much better on Dominic's teeth. Dr. Kaelin says you can buy the red stuff in most pharmacies, but your kids might like the cartoon character, Agent Cool Blue, better.  Lauren certainly did, but once again, when she rinsed with Agent Cool Blue, it wasn't long before the blue tint disappeared from her mouth.
"I like the idea that it's fun and gets kids to brush. Agent Cool Blue also has a mint breath refresher and tastes better than the red stuff, " explains Dr. Kaelin.

He gives it high marks on the concept alone. "B to B minus," says Dr. Kaelin.

What do the kids say?  Both Dominic and Lauren liked Agent Cool Blue and had no trouble gargling it for 30 seconds.  What does Mom think though? 
"I would buy it and see if he'll use it again.  If he uses it a lot, I'll buy it again.  It didn't show up as blue as I thought it would, but he did have fun using it.  I'd give it a B minus to a C," says Christina Williams-Sneed.
So, Agent Cool Blue gets a mixed review from this group. I think it might entice your kids to brush more at first, but I'm not sure how much they'll use it over time.  So, I'll average the grades and give this $4 Listerine product a C+ on this Does it Work Wednesday test.