Making a Natural Mouthwash Recipe With Essential Oils

Although many people are fine with the average commercial mouthwash, some prefer a natural mouthwash recipe that doesn't contain ingredients such as alcohol, fluoride, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sugar or artificial sweeteners. Mainstream dentistry considers those ingredients safe, but some people interested in a more natural approach often prefer to avoid them.

One option is to use essential oils that help to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth, and their benefits in oral care abound: A review of 11 studies published in the March 2008 issue of Evidence-Based Dentistry concluded that mouthrinses containing essential oils, combined with standard home dental care, helped reduce plaque and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).

Natural Recipe

According to Reader's Digest, herbal solutions like echinacea and myrrh are terrific infection-killers, and can soothe a sore throat at the same time. Consider gargling this recipe a couple of times a day:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons echinacea tincture
  • 3-4 drops myrrh essential oil (Commiphora myrrha)
  • 2 drops tea tree essential oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Blend the ingredients in a dark container, and store in a cool, dark place. When it's ready for use, close your mixture and shake it well. Swish it in your mouth for up to a minute. Then spit it out and rinse your mouth with water.

Both essential oils in this recipe have research that backs up their antimicrobial activity. For example, the University of Western Australia School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine – which has done extensive research on tea tree oil made from a plant native to Australia – states that many laboratory studies support claims of the essential oil's antimicrobial activity.

Just the Essentials

Echinacea is an immune-stimulating herb that can help fight inflammation and infection; however, you can make natural mouthrinse with just water and essential oil. Add one to two drops of essential oil to a quarter cup of water, and gargle with it. Tea tree and myrrh are good choices, but if your main concern is fresh breath, you can use peppermint or spearmint essential oil.

Buying Essential Oils

The production of essential oils is not regulated in the United States, as noted by the FDA, and the quality of essential oils on the market varies greatly, so researching what you buy is a must. As a start, look for essential oils in dark bottles (usually brown or blue) that protect the oils from the light. High-quality oils usually include both the Latin and the English name on the bottle and contain no additives. If you do prefer to buy a mouthwash, Colgate Total® Advanced Pro-Shield kills 99 percent of germs on contact, reduces plaque and helps prevent gingivitis.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Common Conditions During ADULTHOOD

As we get older, dental care for adults is crucial. Here are a few of the conditions to be aware of:

Gum disease – if your home care routine of brushing and flossing has slipped and you have skipped your regular dental cleanings, bacterial plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. The plaque and tartar, if left untreated, may eventually cause irreparable damage to your jawbone and support structures, and could lead to tooth loss.

Oral cancer – according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, men over the age of 40 have the greatest risk for oral cancer. About approximately 43,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, tongue or throat area, and the ACS estimates that about 7,000 people will die from these cancers. The use of tobacco products and alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer. Most oral cancers are first diagnosed by the dentist during a routine checkup.

Dental fillings break down – fillings have a life expectancy of eight to 10 years. However, they can last 20 years or longer. When the fillings in your mouth start to break down, food and bacteria can get underneath them and can cause decay deep in the tooth.