Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mouthwash Debacle - In Transition

I use Listerine every night, as part of my "teeth cleaning routine":

Step 1: Floss
Step 2: Brush
Step 3: Rinse with mouthwash for that o-so-fresh-and-crisp feeling

...and then it occurred to me - what IS this stuff I'm rinsing my mouth with? And as much as I love that burn, why does it burn oh-so-much.

I've been using mouthwash (the original flavoured Listerine, to be precise) for as far back as I can remember, which kind of scares me as I begin to consider its impact on my body. And, in the past little while it's started to make my mouth sting even more. So - here's the scoop (or should I say....Scope?) ....

I've been slowly changing over all the products I once used to chemical-free/minimal packaging ones, and I've come pretty far. Here's a list off the top of my head:

Chemical --> Natural 
Pantene ProV Mouse ------------> Homemade Flax Seed Gel (scroll to bottom)
Shampoo ------------------------> Baking Soda & H20
Conditioner ----------------------> Apple Cider Vinegar & H20
Deoderant -----------------------> Witchhazel + Tea Tree Oil ---> EDIT:Coconut Oil, Arrowroot Powder, Baking Soda
Face Wash ----------------------> *see conditioner*
Face Cream & Body Lotion -----> Jojoba Oil
Bug Spray -----------------------> "My Bug Stuff"

Turns out there are a number of things wrong with what I currently use to rinse my mouth, and as much as I love that crisp and stinging feeling, it's got to be put to an end. I did a little research and it turns out that oral washes that have alcohol in them greatly increase the chances of oral cancer if used over a prolonged period (yes, I realize everything gives you cancer). If I wasn't already convinced, upon examining the ingredient list, I came across Benzoic Acid and according to my cheat sheet that I keep in my wallet, from the book "There is Lead in Your Lipstick by Gillian Deacon, that is a toxin we should avoid. The acid in there, and my continual use of this product, could be a major reason as to why every dentist I've ever had always asks me if I have acid reflex when looking at my teeth...

In conclusion - I am sorry Mr. Listerine, but you're life in my mouth is officially over. Sigh, breaks-ups are hard, but I think my mouth and body will be happier now. I'm thinking I will just use a sea salt/water concoction, and maybe add some mint leaves for good measure? Any ideas?

I need to do some investigating. I'm wondering, though, will the sea salt impact me, in terms of sodium intake? Would this be cause for concern? If anyone has any tips, do, please, let me know.


  1. Awesome. How did your homemade mouth rinse journey end up, two years later?

    1. Thanks! :) I use this one made by Spry now, but only on occasion... I found the less I used Listerine, the less I felt my mouth craved it - it was almost an addiction...that burning feeling that it provides. Downside with Spry is, I did not make it, and comes in a plastic bottle so, while I buy a big version, and have yet to actually finish one up and buy another (so I have no comment about recycling it ..) it's still plastic - ideally I'd be able to make my own, and in re-reading my blog - I like this mint leaf idea but because I kinda just stopped using it as much, I didn't seek out an immediate replacement. What do you use?