With so many mouthwashes on the market to choose from, I get asked on a daily basis what mouthwash to buy. Over the years, I would suggest my favorites at the time and send them on their merry way. But is mouthwash really necessary to improve your oral health? The answer is no. Then why do they sell it and why does my dentist recommend it? That is a good question! Why do they sell any health related product? But I digress, we are talking mouthwash.
Mouthwash is there to make you feel like your mouth is clean and and fresh. But is it? Are those ingredients in the mouthwash providing you with any long term benefits? For years the main antiseptic ingredient in mouthwash was alcohol. But alcohol containing mouthwash is not recommended by dentists anymore due to the fact that it kills both good and bad bacteria in the mouth and has a long term drying effect that can actually increase bad breath and increase acidity in the mouth. The market response has been to find other ingredients that kill those germs and make you “feel clean”. It’s just more chemicals and is only temporary. Did you ever read the ingredients of your mouthwash label? You are rinsing your mouth with chemicals to give yourself a false sense of clean. And, some of those chemicals actually end up staining your teeth! I see it in my practice often. Do yourself a favor and ditch your mouthwash!
There is no better elixir for your mouth than one from mother nature that has all the benefits you need to keep your mouth feeling clean, wonderful and balanced. It is so easy to mix up your own and I do this for my patients in my practice. Here are the ingredients:
- Xylitol: A natural plant based sugar from the Birch family. It has been shown to have anti-cavity properties and aids in rebuilding your enamel. Especially helpful if you are not a fan of Fluoride.
- Baking soda: A very good buffer for the mouth to help neutralize acid. It aslo freshens breath and reduces staining as well as being antibacterial.
- Peppermint oil: The feeling of fresh breath naturally! It also inhibits biofilm and is also antibacterial.
- Rosewater: My absolute favorite ingredient, perhaps because it is used a lot in Iran, my country of origin. It is an anti-inflammatory and great for gum inflammation and also helps eliminate bad breath.
- Sea salt: an anti-inflammatory, speeds wound healing and antibacterial.
There are a number of other natural ingredients like coconut oil, hydrogen peroxide and Sage that have oral health benefits as well. There are so many ways to mix up a great mouthwash and I am excited to share my own favorite with you!