The media and our dentists have made us obsessed with obtaining and maintain good oral hygiene. To accomplish this, we gargle mouthwash like it's going out of style: first thing in the morning, after brushing, in between brushing, when brushing isn't an option, etc. What could be the environmental harm in mouthwash, you're probably asking? Well, it turns out that mouthwash contains fake dyes, petrochemicals, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and antiparasitic thymol. Thymol, in particular, is especially toxic to aquatic organisms. Other antibacterial and preservative ingredients like triclosan and parabens are known endocrine disruptors as well as ecological pollutants that not only cause human health problems, but numerous health problems in aquatic life as well.
It's important that we protect our teeth, gums, and overall oral health, but we don't have to harm our bodies or negatively affect aquatic ecosystems to do it! Switching to a natural mouthwash brand or making your own will keep synthetic ingredients and chemicals out of your body and will keep them from washing down the drain.
HOW TO FIND ECO-FRIENDLY HEALTHY MOUTHWASH
- Look for mouthwash that's flavored with essential oils like peppermint, witch hazel, cinnamon, spearmint, or clove bud.
- Look for mouthwash that's cruelty-free. You'll know it isn't tested on animals when you see the Leaping Bunny Logo or the Certified Vegan Logo.
NATURAL MOUTHWASH BRANDS
- Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Mouthwash is flavored with natural tea tree leaf oil and spearmint, and contains witch hazel and vitamin C. The mouthwash contains no animal derived ingredients, parabens, sugar, alcohol, artificial fragrances or dyes, glycols, or phthalates. Desert Essence is also gluten- and animal cruelty-free and is completely vegan and biodegradable, as the ingredients all come from renewable sources!
- JASON Natural Healthy Mouth mouthwash naturally fights bacteria with perilla seed instead of alcohol or saccharin; freshens breath with tea tree, clove, and cinnamon; and heals and soothes gums with Certified Organic aloe vera!
- Aubrey Organics Mouthwash and Breath Freshener is an all-herbal alternative to commercial mouthwashes, as it cleanses the mouth and gums and keeps breath fresh with menthol, clove, organic peppermint oil, and witch hazel oil. Aubrey Organics mouthwash also contains vitamin C and E.
- TheraNeem Mouthwash supports healthy teeth and gums without parabens, alcohol, gluten, sulfates, parabens, or artificial colors or flavors, but with supercritical extracts of Certified Organic Neem leaf and bark! TheraNeem is not just great for its herbal content; it's also great for those with sensitive teeth and gums.
- Eco-DenT Ultimate Daily Rinse contains a blend of 14 essential oils and is fortified with Echinacea, goldenseal, CoQ10, and baking soda. The rinse comes in mint and cinnamon flavors, which are both alcohol-free.
SIMPLE AT-HOME MOUTHWASH RECIPIES
- Baking Soda Mouthwash: Combine 2 ounces of water with ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, 1 drop of pure peppermint oil, and 1 drop of tea tree oil in a reusable container.
- Herbal Antibacterial Mouthwash: First place 1 ounce of cloves or powdered myrrh or 2 to 4 ounces of goldenseal or rosemary in a pint-sized jar. Then pour boiling water over the top of the herbs. Finally, let the contents steep overnight and then strain!
WHEN YOU'RE IN A PINCH:
- Put just a few drops of antibacterial tea tree oil and peppermint oil into a cup of warm water and swish!
- Just gargle with witch hazel to sooth sore gums or mouth sores.