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5 Best Natural Homemade Mouthwashes

Medically reviewed by Dr. Thomas Connelly, DDS
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5 Best Natural Homemade Mouthwashes May 15, 2019

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Those spicy, mouthwatering delicacies and your mouth have a love-hate relationship. Your taste buds say yes, whereas the odor that emanates later says otherwise. This is where mouthwashes come to your rescue. While one of the main purposes of a mouthwash is to help you fight the awful and unavoidable post-meal odor, it has other benefits too.

You may be quite familiar with the various mouthwashes sold in the market. But have you ever thought of making one yourself? Don’t worry – it will not take more than a few minutes. Read on to know more about the effectiveness of mouthwashes and a few interesting recipes to make one on your own!

The Purpose Of A Mouthwash

The main purpose of a mouthwash is to promote oral health. Many people are still unaware of the various benefits associated with using a mouthwash regularly.

The benefits of including a mouthwash in your oral hygiene regimen are (1):

  • Makes other oral regimens like flossing and brushing more effective
  • Decreases oral cavities
  • Strengthens your teeth and gums (in the presence of fluoride)
  • Freshens your breath
  • Prevents plaque build-up
  • Loosens any debris inside your mouth (when used before brushing)
  • Helps treat mouth sores

Now that you are aware of the uses of mouthwashes, let us look at how they work.

How Effectively Do Mouthwashes Work?

Oral rinses are an integral part of your oral hygiene. They contain a variety of ingredients, such as fluoride and cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), that help battle the bad bacteria in the mouth (2).

Other common ingredients used in mouthwashes include povidone-iodine, chlorhexidine, and essential oils. These compounds help reduce plaque build-up and also fight oral germs (3).

Studies also state that adding an oral rinse to your oral hygiene regimen can treat plaque and gingivitis more effectively as compared to brushing alone (4).

While you can get hold of a variety of mouthwashes in the market, you can also make one at home. The following are some simple yet effective recipes to make your own mouthwashes.

Recipes For Homemade Mouthwashes

  1. Baking Soda
  2. Coconut Oil
  3. Salt
  4. Aloe Vera Juice
  5. Essential Oils

Best Homemade Mouthwashes

1. Baking Soda

Baking Soda - Homemade Mouthwashes Pinit

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You Will Need

  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda or sodium bicarbonate
  • ½ glass of warm water

What You Have To Do

  1. Add half a teaspoon of table salt to half a glass of warm water.
  2. Mix well and rinse your mouth after or before brushing your teeth.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 3-4 times daily.

Why This Works

Baking soda is a great fix for bad breath and oral bacteria. Its alkaline nature can increase salivary pH (5). This can help neutralize the acids produced by oral bacteria upon consumption of soda drinks and caffeine.

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil - Homemade Mouthwashes Pinit

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You Will Need

1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Swish a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil in your mouth for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Spit the oil and go about your oral care routine.

How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily, prior to brushing your teeth.

Why This Works

Oil pulling with coconut oil is not only good for your oral hygiene but is also a great way to detoxify your body. It can help in decreasing plaque formation as well as plaque-induced gingivitis (6).

[ Read: Home Remedies To Whiten Teeth ]

3. Salt

Salt - Homemade Mouthwashes Pinit

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You Will Need

  • ½ teaspoon of table salt
  • ½ glass of warm water

What You Have To Do

  1. Add half a teaspoon of table salt to half a glass of warm water.
  2. Mix well and rinse your mouth using the mixture.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 2-3 times daily, following a meal.

Why This Works

Rinsing your mouth with salt water is almost as effective as any other over-the-counter mouthwashes that contain compounds like chlorhexidine. It can help in reducing dental plaque as well as the oral microbial count (7).

4. Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe Vera Juice - Homemade Mouthwashes Pinit

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You Will Need

  • ½ cup of aloe vera juice
  • ½ cup of distilled water
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix half a cup of aloe vera juice with half a cup of distilled water.
  2. Rinse your mouth using this mixture after brushing your teeth.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 3-4 times daily.

Why This Works

Aloe vera mouth rinses can be effective in reducing periodontal indices. They can also help reduce gingival bleeding and plaque (8).

5. Essential Oils

a. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Oil - Homemade Mouthwashes Pinit

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You Will Need

  • 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 1 cup of distilled water

What You Have To Do

  1. Add two to three drops of peppermint oil to a cup of distilled water.
  2. Mix well and use this solution to rinse your mouth.

How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 2-3 times daily, preferably after every meal.

Why This Works

Peppermint oil mouthwashes are especially effective in combating halitosis (bad breath) (9). 

[ Read: 8 Home Remedies To Strengthen Loose And Shaky Teeth ]

b. Cinnamon Oil

Cinnamon Oil - Homemade Mouthwashes Pinit

Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 2-3 drops of cinnamon essential oil
  • 1 cup of distilled water

What You Have To Do

  1. Add two to three drops of cinnamon essential oil to a cup of distilled water.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Use this mixture to rinse your mouth.

How Often You Should Do This

You may do this multiple times daily.

Why This Works

Cinnamon oil is antibacterial and is effective in the treatment of dental caries caused by oral bacteria (10)

c. Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil - Homemade Mouthwashes Pinit

Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1-2 drops of tea tree oil
  • ½ cup of distilled water

What You Have To Do

  1. Add one to two drops of tea tree oil to half a cup of distilled water.
  2. Mix well and use the mixture to rinse your mouth.

How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 2-3 times daily, preferably after every meal.

Why This Works

The anti-inflammatory nature of this essential oil can be quite beneficial in reducing the symptoms of bleeding and inflammation triggered by gingivitis (11).

All these recipes are great alternatives to the vast number of over-the-counter mouthwashes. With these recipes in hand, you don’t have to worry about your oral rinses running out! They can be prepared in a jiffy, that too, while sitting in the comfort of your home.

[ Read: 18 Effective Home Remedies For Toothache ]

Did you find this post helpful? Which mouthwash are you going to try? Share your feedback and experience with us in the comments box below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Is it safe to use hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash?

Hydrogen peroxide, when diluted to 3%, may be quite effective as a mouthwash – owing to its antimicrobial nature. But it should be diluted properly and must not be swallowed at any cost as it can result in internal bleeding.

Which mouthwash is the most effective against oral bacteria?

Mouthwashes that contain compounds like chlorhexidine are quite effective against oral bacteria.

Is Listerine good for swollen gum disease and gingivitis?

Yes, Listerine is quite effective in treating swollen gums and gingivitis, thanks to the presence of active compounds like eucalyptol, menthol, and thymol.

What types of mouthwashes should we not use?

Certain alcohol-containing mouthwashes can be too harsh for those with sensitive gums, especially for children under 6 years of age. Alcohol-free mouthwashes are advised in such instances.

Are alcohol-containing mouthwashes good?

Those who suffer from burning mouth syndrome or oral sores are better off without alcohol-containing mouthwashes. This is because mouthwashes with alcohol can leave an unpleasant taste while also causing a burning sensation and extreme dryness inside your mouth.

References

  1. Mouthwashes: Rationale for use” American journal of dentistry, US National Library of Medicine.
  2. Efficacy of CPC and essential oils mouthwashes compared to a negative control mouthwash in controlling established dental plaque and gingivitis: A 6-week, randomized clinical trial.” American journal of dentistry, US National Library of Medicine.
  3. The effect of povidone-iodine and chlorhexidine mouth rinses on plaque Streptococcus mutans count in 6- to 12-year-old school children: an in vivo study.” Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, US National Library of Medicine.
  4. The Clinical Effectiveness of Post-Brushing Rinsing in Reducing Plaque and Gingivitis: A Systematic Review” Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, US National Library of Medicine.
  5. The effect of sodium bicarbonate oral rinse on salivary pH and oral microflora: A prospective cohort study” National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery, US National Library of Medicine.
  6. Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis — A preliminary report” Nigerian Medical Journal, US National Library of Medicine.
  7. Comparative evaluation of salt water rinse with chlorhexidine against oral microbes: A school-based randomized controlled trial.” Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, US National Library of Medicine.
  8. Effect of Aloe vera mouthwash on periodontal health: triple blind randomized control trial” Oral Health and Dental Management, US National Library of Medicine.
  9. Evaluation of the use of a peppermint mouth rinse for halitosis by girls studying in Tehran high schools” Journal Of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, US National Library of Medicine.
  10. Comparative study of cinnamon oil and clove oil on some oral microbiota.” Acta BioMedica, US National Library of Medicine.
  11. A comparative study of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects of mouthrinse containing tea tree oil” Oral & Implantology, US National Library of Medicine.

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