Dental disease remains prevalent in the population. Clinical data show three antibacterial active systems chlorhexidine (Rx), cetylpyridinium chloride and essential oils reduce gingival inflammation and bleeding and help maintain good gingival health in conjunction with mechanical hygiene. Data also support incremental benefits of antibacterial rinses even when used in conjunction with an antibacterial dentifrice. This course reviews supporting evidence showing safety and efficacy of each agent and discusses ways to help ensure compliance to a regimen involving rinsing.