Removal of bacterial plaque is a prerequisite to the prevention and control of periodontal disease. In highly motivated patients, it is possible to control plaque successfully by mechanical means. Because most patients lack sufficient motivation and skill to perform effective plaque control on a regular basis, use of antimicrobial chemic al agents is essential to gingival health. In 1985, Plax, a prebrushing oral rinse, was introduced. The manufacturer claims that the solution acts as a detergent that removes some bacterial plaque and loosens the remainder for easy removal by toothbrushing. A review of current dental research related to this claim is presented. The data provided do not support the use of Plax dental rinse as part of an oral hygiene program.