Recently, I finally went back to the dentist after a lazy year of no visits. I was due for my six-month check-up right as my morning sickness kicked in… as someone who has serious dental-visit-anxiety, the last thing I wanted to do during my first trimester was visit my dentist.
Well, as you can imagine, it wasn’t pretty. I’m pretty adamant about my dental hygiene (although I’m not the most consistent flosser), but despite that, I was born with cavity-prone teeth. I ended up having to go back for some fillings and let’s just say after that reminder, I decided to become even more serious about my tooth care routine.
I thought about the bottle of electric-green-colored mouthwash under the sink and how good it would probably feel to start using, not to mention the healthy benefits of it for my teeth.
But then I thought about the ingredients in it and figured there had to be a better way. Maybe a natural version at my local natural food store?
And then it hit me, we’ve talked about homemade deodorant, and I’ve tried my hand at homemade toothpaste, how hard could be to make my own mouthwash?
Luckily I had a great reference book on hand from the library, Do It Gorgeously by Sophie Uliano. I had to return it before I could really make good use out of it but I was at least able to successfully use one recipe from it and that was the Mint Zinger Mouthwash.
Before I get to that, can I just point your attention to what’s in that green bottle under my bathroom sink?
Photo by Inha Leex Hale
While its active ingredients are simply derivitives of natural oils, those “inactive ingredients” leave a little to be desired and include cancer-causing, mouth-flora-altering ingredientssuch as alcohol, sorbitol, polaxamer 407, flavoring, sodium saccharin, and and a couple of types of artificial food colorings.
A simple google search of any of those will bring up pages of concerning (and conflicting) information. And you know what? I’d just rather not take a chance with the artificially colored stuff.
It reminds me of that old commercial from when we were kids where the kid is looking for a drink in the fridge… what does he see? “Milk, purple stuff, Sunny D.” I’m starting to become more and more suspicious of the purple stuff. And the blue stuff. And the green stuff.
Homemade Mint Mouthwash
Mouthwash is great for our mouths. This homemade version is antibacterial so it will not only help keep your teeth and gums healthy and free of unwanted debris, but it also will help with breath freshness. Making this recipe from scratch will even save you money as many of these ingredients you probably already have on hand at home.
This recipe makes about fourteen ounces and can be stored for two weeks in a dark, cool cupboard. Use it in the morning and the evening.
Mix the following together and pour into a repurposed bottle of some sort.
1 cup aloe vera juice (fairly inexpensive at Trader Joe’s among other places)
1/2 cup distilled water (I just used filtered)
1 tbsp. witch hazel
2 tsp. baking soda
20 drops peppermint essential oil
The taste of this mouthwash definitely differs from the store-bought conventional type, but I got used to it after a few times. It leaves your mouth feeling fresh and minty, using nothing artificial to get you that feeling!
Have you tried any homemade mouthwash before? If you’re looking for even more ways to use peppermint essential oil and would like a chance to win some, head on over to our contributor Krissa’s blog, More Than Mundane before Sunday night, November 6th.