Mouthwash is an essential part of good oral hygiene. Nothing beats that minty fresh clean feeling. In an effort to use more organic, all-natural products, I have ditched store-brand mouthwash and started making my own. Check out the ingredient list on any bottle of mouthwash, and you’ll understand why I made the change. Here are some examples:
- Methylparaben and Propylparaben: Commonly used as preservatives and fungicides in cosmetics and food products. Currently, much controversy surrounding their use and some studies report dangerous side effects.
- Poloxamer 407: A flavorless additive that works as a detergent and common in most store-brand mouthwashes. Some reports link it to an increased risk of certain cancers in animals, although there is no definitive link to cancer in humans.
- Sodium Saccharin: A synthetic sweetener used for over a century. But its use in food products such a diet soda is mired in controversy. No studies have conclusively linked it to cancer in humans, but many avoid it fearing adverse health consequences.
Really, the minuscule dose of these ingredients in store-brand mouthwashes is probably harmless. But this is a personal decision. I feel more comfortable with all-natural ingredients. Bonus: it is cheaper to make than to buy!
How to Make Your Own Mouthwash:
- 6 tablespoons unflavored vodka
- 10 drops peppermint oil (food grade)
- 1 drop chamomile essential oil
- 2 drops natural lemon juice
Pour the vodka into a glass bottle that has a cap, add the peppermint oil, chamomile oil, and lemon juice. Replace cap and shake well. Label the bottle “mouthwash” so no one accidentally drinks it (yuck). For each use, add three teaspoons of the mixture to a few ounces of warm water and stir vigorously. Keep the bottle in the refrigerator.
Recipe #2 (Alcohol Free)
- 2 drops peppermint oil (food grade)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
Add the peppermint oil and sea salt to a half cup of warm water. Stir vigorously. This recipe makes enough mouthwash for one use. If you want to make more mouthwash at one time, proportionally increase the ingredients and store the solution in the refrigerator. As with commercial brands, always spit out mouthwash. Do not swallow it.