There are so many things that we can do to keep our oral health in check. As with all health, diet plays a major role. It is important to limit sugar intake, limit or eliminate dairy, include plenty of healthy fats to support gum health, make sure to eat a variety of fresh fruits and veggies to ensure you are getting the vitamins and minerals needed to keep teeth strong and healthy, and eat both prebiotic and probiotic foods to balance and maintain your oral microbiome.
In addition to our diet, oral hygiene is key. We all know that we need to brush our teeth at least twice a day. We also know the importance of flossing regularly (Dr. Tung's Smart Floss is my favorite floss, hands down), not just before you go in to see your dentist! Regular oil pulling (I like to do mine while I shower) is also very beneficial, as is using a tongue scraper (I use mine after every time I brush). Using a mouthwash/rinse is also helpful.
The problem with many commercial products, including mouthwash, is the harsh chemicals, additives, and dyes that they contain. Mouthwash that contains alcohol may actually kill the beneficial bacteria in your mouth and change the pH. I personally like the feeling of using mouthwash, so I decided to make my own to control the ingredients being used.
My mouthwash is relatively simple and uses items to support overall oral health, rather than hinder it. I use bentonite clay for it's ability to remineralize teeth. I include xylitol because it not only provides a bit of sweet flavor to the mouthwash, but it is also proven to help reduce plaque and prevent cavities. While it is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol, it is thought that the bacteria in our mouth's cannot digest it. Because I love a good minty flavor in my mouthwash, I also include therapeutic grade peppermint oil.
Not only does my mouthwash support oral health and there for overall healthy, but it also tastes good and saves money. Plus, if you're anything like me, mouthwash is that item I always forget to put on my list and never remember to buy until it is time to use it again. Now I can make it anytime I need it and you can too.
Remineralizing Peppermint Mouthwash
- 2 cups of distilled water
- 1 tablespoon bentonite clay
- 2 teaspoons xylitol
- 15 drops of peppermint oil (therapeutic grade only)
- glass jar with tight fitting lid for storage
Because bentonite clay takes some work to evenly mix in water, I like to place all ingredients in Vitamix (blender) and blend on high until all clumps of clay are smooth. Pour mixture into a glass jar and be sure to shake before each use. Swish, spit and smile!