So you brush your teeth diligently every morning and every night before bed—for two minutes each time ( of course)—and then you rinse your mouth with mouthwash right after, and you floss whenever you remember, so your mouth is always rid of bacteria, right?
There are 700 different species of bacteria in our mouths, and our bodies are constantly working to eliminate the bad ones so we don’t get sick. Sometimes toothpaste isn’t enough, though! In fact, it’s believed that 80 percent of human diseases begin in the mouth.
And what about mouth wash?
More bad news.
Mouth wash might just be making matters worse!
A study from the University of Alabama found that those who use mouthwash are 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes. But the main reason it’s bad is because mouthwash kills the good bacteria too—the ones that are supposed to kill the bad bacteria. On top of this, mouthwash (some of them, at least) have dangerous chemicals that alter your taste buds and hormones production, not to mention they can stain your teeth.
Seriously, though, are you that surprised? I know when I feel a really strong burning sensation from certain mouthwashes, I have often been left wondering how healthy it really can be for me…
And the truth is, Listerine was created in the 1870s and was first used as an antiseptic to reduce infections after surgery. And get this: It was also used as a floor cleaner! By the 1920s, people were using it to eliminate bad breath, and eventually mouth wash became a normal part of our morning routine.
Dr. Stephen Grundy, the founder of the Center of Restorative Medicine’s solution: Change your mouthwash method!
He recommends swooshing coconut oil—about 1 Tbsp.—around for 30 seconds. And then rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda. This essentially helps the pH balance in your mouth so the good bacteria can get hard a work crushing the bad ones.
Dr. James Cadigan, the owner of the Chatham Dental Centre in Steveston, B.C. is less sold on the coconut oil idea. 30 seconds isn’t enough time, he said. For best results, you’d need to keep the coconut oil in your mouth for 5 to 20 minutes, which is a long time to have oil swooshing around your teeth. That being said, Cadigan reiterated Grundy’s point about the value of baking soda.
“You can even just add a dab right onto your toothbrush,” Cadigan recommended.
Two other alternatives to traditional mouthwash:
- pH Balancing Rinse
Make your own mouth wash by mixing the following:
- 8 oz. water
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 20 drops Peppermint Oil (or another essential oil of your preference)
- Optional: 5 tsp. Xylitol for sweetness (you can find this online or at a local health store)
- CariFree Rinses
CariFree rinse is a pH balancing rinse that doesn’t have dangerous chemical additives, and some of them even have fluoride to help stop cavities. Their ingredients include xylitol, fluoride, and a bicarbonate-based pH neutralizing agent. Check it out here: (http://carifree.com/product/ctx3-rinse/)
What do you think Vernon? How does your oral hygine stack up? But do you even floss?
Something to consider also is that you also detoxify and balance your PH through your mouth and breath, so keeping your mouth and gums cleaned and healthy helps with more than just pleasant breath!