Twice a day we stand in front of the bathroom mirror and take the time to ensure our dental health. Still blindly following the advice that our parents laid out for us as children, we brush with toothpaste and rinse with mouthwash, without ever considering what we are putting in our mouths.
Recent studies on the ingredients used in mouthwash have uncovered a few rather dirty truths behind our apparently squeaky clean smiles. Store bought mouthwashes contain scores of chemicals that are being linked with a range of serious medical conditions.
Dangerous Chemicals in Mouthwash
Chlorhexidine has been scientifically proven to increase blood pressure. One study, which was published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine, showed that using a mouthwash containing Chlorhexidine twice a day leads to increased blood pressure and heart disease. The chemical also kills the good bacteria in your mouth, which is necessary for dental health.
Proven side effects of Benzalkonium chloride include hives, itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, and swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue. Certainly not a list of issues you should be risking when you’re trying to look after your long-term oral health.
Used in mouthwash and food as a preservative, Methylparaben has been shown to be a carcinogen, eye damage and infertility in men. For people currently diagnosed with cancer, the chemical has also been linked to the acceleration of tumour growth.
Healthy Mouthwash Recipes
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Avoiding store bought mouthwash isn’t as hard as you might think. These two simple recipes are healthier and natural alternatives.
Clove All Natural
This mouthwash has a little spice to it, making it an ideal way to wake you up in the morning!
- 1 tablespoon of whole cloves
- 1 cup of boiling water
- Place cloves and boiling water in a heatproof container
- Cover the container and leave to cool
- Once the water has cooled, strain out the cloves and pour water into a clean container
- Use 1 teaspoon of the solution as mouthwash each day until finished
The parsley and mint will effectively kill harmful bacteria, while the vodka acts to keep the solution fresh for longer.
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint
- 1 cup distilled water
- 1 tablespoon vodka
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until all ingredients are mixed together
- Put the mixture through a strainer and transfer into a clean container
- Use 1 tablespoon of the solution as mouthwash each day until finished
These simple homemade mouthwashes are better for your teeth and your overall health than their store bought alternatives. So throw out your old mouthwash and make your own!
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