October 18, 2021
Oral hygiene is a necessary aspect of keeping yourself healthy. Though you may brush your teeth thoroughly, there are invariably some germs and food debris left in your mouth. This is where a mouthwash comes in handy as it reaches and cleans every part of your mouth. Mouthwash not only freshens your breath but also prevents tooth decay and gum problems among others.
You can find innumerable kinds of commercial mouthwashes in the market but almost all contain alcohol as a major ingredient. Though they provide fresh and clean breath instantly, they also dry out your mouth. In the long run, this increases the risk of cavities and other dental problems. Alcohol based mouthwashes can further irritate sores or wounds in the mouth. But a DIY homemade mouthwash is a great alternative to an alcohol-based commercial one. You know exactly what your mouthwash contains and even modify them according to your unique needs. Of course, you also have the added advantage that a homemade mouthwash falls a lot cheaper than its commercial variety.
Popular ingredients used in DIY mouthwash
Its popularity is unparalleled because of its high pH value. It prevents plaque formation by reducing acidity levels in the mouth. It is also prevents demineralization of enamel, there by preventing caries, teeth sensitivity. Since bacteria need an acidic environment to develop baking soda also lowers their growth in the oral cavity. It is helpful in cases of mouth sores, especially for people undergoing cancer treatment as it soothes mouth sores caused by chemotherapy. Baking soda is mixed with other ingredients for additional benefits.
Rinsing your mouth with salt water is commonly advised in case of infections, swollen gums and after tooth extraction because of its ability to destroy bacteria and reduce inflammation. Besides cleaning it also helps in symptomatic treatment of cold and flu.
Apple cider vinegar reduces bad breath but it should always be diluted in water as it is highly acidic and will damage tooth enamel. It is best to rinse your mouth with plain water after using this as a mouthwash. Besides, never brush your teeth immediately after an apple cider vinegar mouth rinse.
Clove oil is used by laymen and dentists alike for their anti-inflammatory and pain relieving qualities. It prevents and removes infection, brings down swelling in gums and promotes blood circulation in the mouth. It contains eugenol that works as a pain reliever.
This is yet another well-known essential oil that is popularly used in homemade mouthwashes. It contains cinnamaldehyde as well as eugenol and prevents formation of biofilm over the teeth. It is known to be effective against broad spectrum bacteria that cause dental issues.
Other Essential oils
• Peppermint oil – Mouthwash made with peppermint oil is very effective in removing bad breath. It is especially effective against anaerobic bacteria that can grow within your mouth. It is said to be anti-fungal. It contains menthol which has a numbing effect that helps to treat mild toothache.
• Tea tree oil – Tea tree oil is yet another popular ingredient for DIY homemade mouthwash. Though it does not have a very pleasant taste, it is an excellent antifungal. Studies have shown it to be a potent anti-bacterial, but it is not useful in preventing plaque formation. However, mouthwash made from tea tree oil should never be swallowed as it can be toxic.
People familiar with traditional medicine are aware of the medicinal properties of sage. Studies have shown that it helps to reduce plaque forming bacteria in the mouth as it contains antimicrobial properties. It is said to be effective against streptococcus mutans bacteria that cause dental caries as well as prevents fungal infection.
It is known to reduce the pain and symptoms of oral lichen planus and mouth ulcers. It is particularly known for its wound healing and antifungal properties. Besides, it also helps to treat gum infection and tooth decay. Easy to get with hardly any side effects, it is becoming extremely popular.
Oil pulling with coconut oil is known to have several benefits for dental health. It contains lauric acid which is antibacterial, and antifungal. It also helps in case of viral infection. It is known to prevent tooth decay and gum infections.
Let’s take a look at the various DIY homemade mouthwash recipes.
• Recipe 1: Baking soda
Baking soda – 2 teaspoons
Water – 1 cup
Warm the water and mix both the ingredients well. It is easy and quick to make and meant for immediate use.
• Recipe 2: Salt
Salt – 1 teaspoon
Water – 1 cup
Mix salt in warm water and use it to rinse your mouth well.
For additional benefits you can also add baking soda to salt water. It is known to remove bad odor and control bleeding in gums.
• Recipe 3: Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar –1part
Water - 5parts
Mix both well and use.
• Recipe 4: Clove oil
Add boiling water to cloves. Let it steep. Drain when it comes to room temperature.
Add 2-3 drops of clove essential oil to warm water and rinse your mouth.
• Recipe 5: Cinnamon
Add boiling water to cinnamon stick. Let it steep. Drain when it comes to room temperature.
Add 2-3 drops of cinnamon essential oil to warm water and rinse your mouth.
• Recipe 6: Essential oils
Add 2-3 drops of the chosen essential oil to one cup of water. Stir well and use.
• Recipe 7: Sage
Sage leaves : fresh – 2 table spoons(dried 1 tablespoon)
Water : 1 cup boiling water
Pour boiling water over sage leaves and let them steep, till the water cools. Then drain the water and use it as a mouthwash.
Salt can also be added to control inflammation and to reduce toothache.
• Recipe 8 : Aloe vera
Aloe Vera juice : half cup
Distilled Water : half cup
Mix the two and store. Use as a mouthwash after brushing your teeth.
• Recipe 9 : Coconut oil
1 tablespoon – swish around in the mouth 10-15 times, spit out.