Most commercial mouthwashes contain some nasty chemicals. The fact that you can take medicine by placing it under your tongue (because it goes right into your blood stream) is a bit scary! So, you don’t need to swallow anything to get ill-effects. Alcohol, although not the most toxic ingredient, can be harmful to the lining in your mouth. In an attempt to kill bacteria on contact, it actually causes more problems than it solves. You know that “zing” feeling you get after you spit mouthwash out? That would be the alcohol! It is extremely drying to the mouth. Most mouthwashes can contain anywhere from 9%-26% alcohol. The strange thing is, a dry mouth breeds more bacteria. So, the effects of that clean refreshing feeling are only temporary.
You may have noticed some companies make alcohol free mouthwash. That’s a good step in the right direction BUT there are still many more improvements to make. Just looking at the bright green and blue bottles disgusts me. They are obviously artificial and I don’t want that anywhere near my mouth. It is not uncommon to find ingredients like; sodium lauryl sulfate, polysorbate, cetylpyridinium chloride and benzalkonium chloride. All of which are toxic to marine life.
We can’t forget the fluoride either! That is something I avoid even in my toothpaste and drinking water. I have read so many mixed reviews as to if fluoride is helpful or not. The fact that it is highly toxic has helped me to weight the good vs. the bad and I choose not to use it.
So, If you prefer to avoid these chemicals, as I do, then you’re in luck. There are plenty of better options out there. You just need to know where to look!
Make your own!
All you do is mix and shake. 🙂
- 16 oz. Distilled Water
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 2 tsp. Baking Soda
- 6 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
- 4 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
- 3 drops of Clove Essential Oil
- 1 tsp.-1 tbsp. of Xylitol (depending on how sweet you want it)
Why these ingredients?
- Salt- Obviously it’s very cleansing, especially when you have an open wound in your mouth. It will help rinse away bacteria.
- Baking Soda- Again very cleansing and also helps balance the PH in the mouth.
- Peppermint- Along with the nice mint taste and feel it is a germicide, inhibiting bacterial growth.
- Tea Tree Oil- A triple threat; antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral.
- Clove Oil- It is antibacterial, antiviral and relieves pain. It is perfect for sensitive teeth.
- Xylitol- Adding this is a great way to sweeten your mouthwash because it inhibits the growth of bacteria, unlike sugar which bacteria thrives on!
Other ingredient you can use:
Of course you can customize this to your liking. That is the best part of making it yourself. You can try other essential oils like thyme, spearmint, cinnamon myrrh, lavender, rosemary, sage, or lemongrass. Thyme especially is know to help with gingivitis. You can use glycerin as your sweetener instead of xylitol or completely omit the sweetener.
This recipe is kid safe for children ages 6+. The essential oils are diluted well below .05%. You can add more if using this for an adult.
How to choose the best essential oil:
You have to be careful when buying essential oil. There are a lot of bad quality products out there. Everything from how the herb is grown to the way it is processed is important. Sometimes companies dilute their products with petroleum solvents! Opt for organic if possible. I like Aura Cacia because the quality is great and I can buy it at my grocery store. I wouldn’t say they are the top of the line though. I highly recommend Mountain Rose Herbs. They have a great selection of certified organic products. They are a zero waste and fair trade certified company! Their essential oils are by far some of the best.
If you prefer to buy some already made:
You can still avoid most of the toxic chemicals with these fluoride-free versions. Check out Tom’s of Maine and Jason. They have a great selection of toothpaste and mouthwash. I buy Jason toothpaste for my kids and I’m happy with the ingredients.
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it!
What mouthwash do you currently use? Do you use fluoride?