We grew up with the idea that mint-flavored mouthwash or breath mints can make our breath smell fresh and pleasant. Relatively, it’s true but using them is only an attempt to conceal your wild breath to mask the reeks passingly.
As a matter of fact, breath mint or mint candy acts like a cover up that feeds the odor-causing bacteria more sugar. If you pay attention closely on the label of the commercial mouthwash available in the market, you’ll notice that you are not getting much more that a taste of synthetic coloring or flavoring and chemicals.
This gives you a short minty-fresh breath. Apart from that, the main ingredient in mouthwash is ethyl alcohol which apparently does little help but sap or weaken the lining of your gums in the long run.
The Side Effects:
A daily use of product like mouthwash can become very dangerous if you ingest a lot of it. This is because most commercial mouthwashes contain ingredients like chlorhexidine gluconate, ethanol (ethyl alcohol), and methyl salicylate which can become poisonous.
These chemicals reduce the odour-causing bacteria in your mouth, but high concentrations of it can end up disrupting your cell membranes. Other chemicals like ethanol and alcohol have also been linked to an increased risk of oral cancer. With so many harmful side-effects, would you still risk using it or allowing your children to use it?
So, by concocting your mouthwash at home using natural ingredients, you’ll steer clear of the nasty chemicals like preservatives, dyes, artificial sweeteners and anti-microbial agents present in the commercial mouthwashes. Homemade mouthwashes will help you get rid of bad breath and promote overall mouth and gum health.
- Juice of 2 freshly squeezed lemons
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/2 or 1 teaspoon baking soda (optional)
- 1 ½ tsp of honey
- 1 cup of warm water (to melt the honey)
- A clean bottle or a jar with lid
① Mix all the ingredients and give it a quick shake. Swish or gargle 1-2 tbsp of mixture for a minute after brushing your teeth or in times that you wish to freshen up your breath.
This natural mouthwash can be refrigerated for up to a week or two.
Why These Ingredients:
Honey: Aside from it’s antibacterial properties that kill bacteria en masse, adding honey to everything make it tastes palatable. Use organic raw honey for better results.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon gets rid of the odor by killing off odor-causing bacteria. The International Association for Dental Research found that people who chewed cinnamon gum had a 50% decrease in oral bacteria versus people who chewed mint.
Lemon juice: Lemon has a strong refreshing citrus scent that can help with nasty cases of bad breath.
How to Sniff Out Bad Breath
① To determine how awful your breath smells, simply cup both hands over your mouth, breathe in and take a deep whiff. If you feel your breath stinks, others feel the same way too.
② You can also try another “sniff test” by using dental floss after pulling it off between your teeth. Or you can ask your dentist to check your breath using a device called Halimeter, in case you become desensitized with your smell.
③ This instrument is used to measure the level of volatile sulfur compounds in the mouth – which is what makes our breath stinks to high heaven. While virtually everyone experiences a foul-smelling breath occasionally, proper oral hygiene should keep it to a minimum.
However, bad breath that persists can be an indication of intestinal complications, cancer or lung or kidney issues. If you can’t banish the bad breath by regular brushing and flossing, you should make an appointment with your dentist to see if your breath smells fruity or sweet as this could be a sign of diabetes.