We all know that toothpaste and regular flossing are key to achieving oral health, but what about mouthwash? The American Dental Association has found that mouthwash is a helpful addition to regular brushing and flossing as mouthwash can reach areas not easily accessed by a toothbrush.
Statista found that in 2020, 37 million Americans used teeth whitening products . As bright, white smiles become something that many Americans strive for, it’s important to mix in treatments to help boost the overall health of your teeth and gums.
One way that you can do that is by using mouthwash that is specifically geared toward the oral health issue that you’re experiencing — whether that’s dry mouth, bad breath, sensitive teeth, or inflammation of the gums. While store-bought mouthwash may be convenient to pick up off the shelf, they often contain harsh ingredients.
To avoid this, you can create your own DIY mouthwash at home. Not only does creating your own mouthwash offer you the ability to tailor the recipe to your specific oral health needs, but it also allows you to add ingredients that will improve the taste for your specific palate.
When you create your own mouthwash, it also gives you the opportunity to store your mouthwash in a recyclable glass container rather than the plastic containers that mouthwash is often sold in at the store. This is one small way you can live a more sustainable life and help reduce your carbon footprint.
To inspire you to create your own mouthwash, Auraglow has shared six DIY mouthwash recipes with us that contain simple ingredients and boast easy directions so that you can improve your oral health and achieve a stronger and healthier smile.
Recipe-1: Aloe vera mouthwash
Best for: Gingivitis and inflammation
Aloe vera has been proven to have many benefits, including strengthening gums. This sticky plant holds many healing properties such as vitamins A, C and E, which all help fight against damage such as gingivitis and gum damage caused by free radicals.
Because aloe vera also contains anti-inflammatory properties, it’s a common ingredient used to treat gum disease and other oral issues. Additionally, aloe vera also contains antiseptic properties that naturally ease pain and prevent bacteria, fungi and viruses from growing or spreading.
This mouthwash, combined with baking soda, provides a powerful protection against gingivitis and inflammation. While this is a gentle mouthwash, it’s not right for everyone. If you take medication to control your blood sugar, you should consult with your doctor before using it as it may cause your blood sugar levels to drop.
Recipe-2: Apple cider vinegar mouthwash
Best for: Bad breath
Apple cider vinegar has wide-ranging benefits that include the ability to fight bacteria growth, which can be especially helpful in preventing cavities and other dental-related issues. However, taking shots of apple cider vinegar can actually be harmful to your teeth because of the acidic content of apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has a pH of 2.5 to 3. For context, a neutral pH level is 7 and the lower the pH level, the more acidic the item is.
What makes this recipe safe for use is that it’s diluted with water to help level out the pH balance. Here’s a couple of more tips for using apple cider vinegar:
- Rinse your mouth with some water right after using it
- Wait about half an hour before brushing your teeth
Recipe-3: Peppermint and tea tree oil mouthwash
Best for: Bad breath and irritated gums
Tea tree oil is a popular DIY remedy used to control plaque, freshen breath, and ease tooth pain. This essential oil is derived from a shrubby tree native to Australia. Fragrance and blended oils won’t have the same benefits like 100% pure tea tree oil.
This oil also boosts healing properties. Clinical studies have shown that the oil has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. When it comes to your teeth, tea tree oil’s antibacterial properties help control bacteria build-up and help avoid tooth decay. However, it’s important to note that tea tree oil should not be ingested and should only be used in products that are spit out like mouthwash and toothpaste.
In addition to tea tree oil, this mouthwash includes peppermint oil, which contains natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help curb the growth of bacteria in the mouth, further preventing infections.
Recipe-4: Minty clove mouthwash
Best for: Bad breath
Clove is another great essential oil for oral care. Clove oil has been used for centuries to help relieve pain. Back then, cloves were inserted into an infected tooth or cavity. Today, we use clove oil that’s extracted from the plant instead. Clove oil is a great temporary pain relief and for relieving pain from sensitive teeth, but if you’re experiencing prolonged pain, it’s best to schedule a visit with your dentist to find the root of the problem.
Research has shown that clove oil can help ease tooth pain and curb bad breath. It has also been shown to reduce gum disease. Clove oil contains a natural anesthetic ingredient called eugenol. It helps numb and reduce pain to ease a toothache. Eugenol also has natural anti-inflammatory properties. It may reduce swelling and irritation in the affected area.
Recicpe-5: pH balancing mouthwash
Best for: Those who frequently consume acidic food and drink like coffee, red wine, and kombucha
Having a healthy pH balance in your mouth is key to achieving overall (and oral) health. Studies show that lower or more acidic pH levels are associated with being at greater risk for serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Similarly, higher pH levels, or more alkaline, have been shown to improve memory and cognition, reduced pain, and lower the risk of hypertension and stroke.
When it comes to your mouth, having a higher pH level can help prevent tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when the pH level in the mouth falls below 5.5. A neutral pH level is 7 but will drop when you drink acidic items or consume acidic foods. When the mouth is exposed to prolonged periods of a low pH, cavities can start to form.
To help achieve a more neutral pH level, here are a few tips:
- Eat more vegetables
- Consume less bread
- Try including beans and seeds into your diet
- Limit alcohol, dairy, and coffee
Recipe-6: Turmeric mouthwash
Best for: Reducing inflammation and irritation and preventing tooth decay
Turmeric is an incredibly effective supplement that’s shown to offer many benefits for your body and your mind. It has also been shown to help boost oral health in a number of ways. If you’re unfamiliar with this product, turmeric is a yellow-orange spice that comes from the turmeric plant. It’s a popular ingredient in many Asian dishes, such as curry. But the root of the plant is what’s been used for decades to make medicine.
Turmeric is commonly used for conditions involving pain and inflammation, such as osteoarthritis. It is also used for hay fever, depression, high cholesterol, a type of liver disease, and itching. Turmeric contains curcumin, a chemical compound that gives it its yellow color, but also its potent anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antioxidant properties, making it beneficial for keeping your teeth and gums safe.
All the DIY mouthwash recipes and visuals are recommended by Auraglow.
As you can see, there are plenty of easy ways to create your own DIY mouthwash to do everything from curb bad breath to help ease tooth pain. By making your own mouthwash, you’ll be able to customize the recipe to fit your specific needs and add in flavorings of your choice to improve the taste to match your palate.
Featured image by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash