Got bad breath? Cavities? Well, you wouldn’t be alone. Chronic, bad breath has been linked to underlying infection(s) in the body that manifest as bad breath. Cavities have been linked to nutritional deficiencies, specifically minerals. Healthy teeth are so important and maintaining good and proper oral hygiene is not only good for your breath and cavity prevention, it is also vitally important against preventing serious diseases including heart disease (1).
What Exactly IS In The Bottle?
Here are the ingredients found in a very popular mouthwash: Alcohol, Sorbitol, Aroma, Poloxamer 407, Benzoic acid, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium saccharin, Eucalyptol, Methyl salicylate, Thymol, Menthol, Sodium fluoride, CI 42053, CI 47005
The first ingredient on the list is alcohol. According to Dr. Susan Karabin, former president of the American Academy of Periodontology, alcohol has a drying effect and can make bad breath even worse (2). Additionally, the Environmental Working Group classifies Methyl salicylate as a substance that causes reproductive and developmental damage. Saccharin has been shown to do damage to gut bacteria (3) and was labeled by the Center for Science in the Public Interest as a possible carcinogen in 1997 (4). These are not exactly things I’m anxious to stick in my mouth.
What’s The Alternative?
The good thing to know is that there is a natural and safe alternative to these popular and potentially toxic mouthwash products. In fact, this option is even better because not only does it freshen breath, but it also strengthens teeth by adding important minerals at the same time. Another great thing about the homemade alternative is that it contains only 4 ingredients! You don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals or preservatives.
Epsom salt, which is actually magnesium sulfate, is an excellent source of magnesium. Magnesium is terrific for teeth and preventing cavities. A study that was published in Nature in 1961 showed that magnesium played a significant factor in reducing cavities (5).
Xylitol is used as the sweetener for this mouthwash. Even though it is an excellent sweetener, it does not break down in the body like sugar, and it does not contribute to the growth of bad bacteria in your mouth. Most importantly, however, science has shown that xylitol actually strengthens teeth. Clinical research has shown that xylitol can even repair damaged tooth enamel (6)!
- 2 cups or 16 oz. of warm water
- 1 tbs or 4.25 grams of epsom salts (find it here)
- 2 tbs or 8.5 grams of xylitol (find it here)
- A few drops of peppermint oil (find it here)
- Add all of the ingredients together and stir. If you want the mouthwash to be sweeter or mintier, add more xylitol and mint essential oil. Store in a glass container.
This mouthwash takes me about 3 minutes to make, so it does not even require a heavy time commitment. My kids love the taste, it works great, and I don’t have to worry about our family ingesting harmful chemicals.
Wishing you all health and happiness,