Oral health is a topic that doesn’t get much attention. It’s not something we tend to think about until something goes wrong, but the truth is that it’s one of the most important parts of our overall health. In fact, your mouth is home to some of your body’s most delicate tissue — and if you’re not taking care of it, you could be at risk for serious consequences.
That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to making easy-to-use DIY mouthwash to help you keep your mouth in tip-top shape. It’s simple, affordable, and best of all? You can make it at home with ingredients you likely already have on hand. Let’s dive in!
The Importance of Oral Health Care
Keeping your mouth clean is an important part of overall health, but we tend not to think about it until something goes wrong. If you don’t take care of your teeth and gums, you could be at risk for serious consequences like cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. The reason for this is simple: Your mouth is full of bacteria. To give you a better idea, around 100 trillion bacteria are living in your mouth right now! Some are good for you and some aren’t, but they’re all there and need to be taken care of. If you don’t, this could lead to losing teeth and even scarier consequences like heart problems. (1)
Natural Oral Health Care Ingredients
If you want to keep your teeth and gums healthy, start by using natural ingredients like xylitol, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and various essential oils such as peppermint oil. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that can be found in many fruits and vegetables. It’s not only good for your mouth because it helps stop bacteria from growing, but it also fights against gum disease, cavities and tooth decay. (2)
Baking soda is another great ingredient because it helps remove stains from your teeth and freshen your breath. It’s also an alkaline that can balance out the pH levels in your mouth, which can help prevent cavities. (3)
Hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic that can help kill bacteria and prevent plaque from forming on your teeth. It’s also a great way to whiten your teeth by removing surface stains caused by coffee, tea or red wine. While baking soda and hydrogen peroxide are great ingredients to use in your mouthwash, they can be a little harsh on sensitive teeth. This is why you should always start with a small amount of baking soda or hydrogen peroxide and work your way up if needed. You should also make sure you’re rinsing thoroughly so that none of the product remains on your teeth after brushing. (4)
Peppermint oil is a natural antiseptic that fights against bad breath and reduces inflammation in the mouth. This can help prevent gum disease and cavities. It’s also an antibacterial agent that kills bacteria in your mouth. What’s more, peppermint oil also has a cooling effect on your mouth. This helps to soothe sore gums and reduce any pain you may be feeling. (5)
Read: Fact Check: Are root canals dangerous, and do they increase your risk of chronic disease?
DIY Mouthwash Recipes
While there are plenty of over-the-counter mouthwashes available, many prefer to keep their oral care as natural as possible. While these DIY mouthwash recipes in no way replace regular toothbrushing with proper toothpaste and flossing, they can help boost your oral health in a natural way.
Recipe 1: Xylitol
- 2 cups of filtered water
- 2 teaspoons of calcium carbonate powder
- 1 teaspoon of xylitol crystals
- 10 drops of trace mineral liquid
- 10 drops of peppermint essential oil
- 5 drops of lemon essential oil
- 3 drops of wild orange essential oil
In a jar or container, stir together the xylitol crystals and the calcium powder. Add the essential oils and liquid minerals. Stir again to be sure everything is well combined. Add your water and stir. Close the lid and shake for 1 minute.
You can find all these ingredients in your local natural or health food store or online. Store this in the refrigerator (it keeps for 2 to 3 weeks) and shake well before each use.
Recipe 2: Peppermint Oil
- 1 cup of filtered water
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 3 drops of peppermint essential oil
Add all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, and shake very well. This can be kept in the bathroom and does not require refrigeration. Shake well before each use.
Recipe 3: Hydrogen Peroxide
- 1-part hydrogen peroxide
- 1-part filtered water
Don’t make a large batch of this solution. Try one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and one tablespoon of water, for example. Mix in a ceramic or glass container (such as a glass or coffee cup) and use immediately. Swish in the mouth for 30 seconds and then spit it out. Do not swallow, and do not save any extra solution.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of helpful DIY mouthwashes out there. Choose the one that is right for you and follow the instructions carefully. As with any health care routine, natural, DIY or not, monitor yourself for any adverse reactions. If you notice them, stop using them right away and speak with your healthcare provider or dentist.
Keep Reading: New Treatment Makes Teeth Grow Back
- “Oral health: A window to your overall health.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic Staff
- “The effect of xylitol on dental caries and oral flora.” NCBI. Prathibha Anand Nayak, et al. November 2014.
- “Baking soda dentifrices and oral health.” ADA. Sebastian C. Ciancio, DS. November 2017.
- “Hydrogen peroxide: a review of its use in dentistry.” Pubmed. M V Marshall, L P Cancro, and S L Fischman. September 1995.
- “Antimicrobial efficacy of five essential oils against oral pathogens: An in vitro study.” NCBI. Nilima Thosar, et al. September 2013.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.