DIY Natural Home Made Oral Care
Keeping breath sweet and lips silky smooth does wonders for your confidence and is essential to overall grooming. Effective oral hygiene is a must of course, and a daily routine of brushing and flossing id important. Coupling this with regular visits to a dentist will help ensure healthy gums and sparkling teeth.
Herbs, spices and simple kitchen ingredients chosen for their special properties, are invaluable as part of an everyday care regime and for dealing with oral problem areas, such as chapped lips or food tainted breath.
Simple Teeth Cleansers
- Sage is a traditional mouth care herb with astringent, antiseptic and antibacterial properties – rub the fresh leaves over teeth and gums.
- Lemons are acidic and gently whitening – rub slices over teeth to remove stains.
- Strawberries are astringent – mash and rub into teeth and gums to help loosen plaque and polish surfaces.
Simple Breath Fresheners
- Cloves, cinnamon, sage and thyme are natural antiseptics – use them in infusions for gargles and mouth rinses.
- Parsley is neutralizing while peppermint is high in menthol – chew the fresh leaves to sweeten breath after eating onions or garlic.
- Juniper berries are pleasantly aromatic and fennel seeds have an aniseed fragrance – chew after meals to mask mouth odors.
Herbal Tooth Powder
Bicarbonate of soda sets teeth and gums tingling and is an efficient cleanser, now used in commercial toothpastes. Use this as an occasional alternative to your normal toothpaste.
- 1 tsp dried peppermint
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 tbsp bicarbonate soda
Grind the dried herbs to a fine powder and mix the bicarbonate soda. Apply to teeth and gums on a dampened toothbrush.
Mild herbal mouthwashes are pleasant to use and gentler than commercial ones containing powerful antiseptics which can upset the natural balance of the saliva and irritate the lining of the mouth.
Spiced Thyme And Rosemary Mouth Freshener
Thyme and rosemary are gently antiseptic and highly aromatic. The fresh leaves are best for this recipe but you can use dried.
- 1 tbsp fresh/dried thyme
- 1 tbsp fresh/dried rosemary
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 300 ml mineral water
- coffee filter paper
- 2 tbsp vodka
Put the herbs and spices in an enamel pan with the water, bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute. Leave until cool then strain through the coffee filter paper. Add the vodka. Decant into a sterilized bottle. Use neat or dilute 2 parts rinse to 1 part water. Swish a little of the mixture round the mouth before discarding. Do not swallow. Use within 1 month.
Mint And Myrrh Mouthwash
It’s best to use peppermint in this recipe, for its fresh but not overpowering flavor, but ordinary garden mint will do. Myrrh is a mild antiseptic.
- 2 tbsp fresh spearmint or mint leaves (stripped from stem and chopped)
- 300 ml mineral water, boiling
- ½ tsp tincture of myrrh or 2 drops pure myrrh essential oil
Roughly chop the mint leaves, put into a jug and bruise with a pestle or wooden spoon. Pour the boiling water over the leaves, cover and leave to infuse for 2 hours. Use a sieve to strain off the mint and then add the myrrh. Use to rinse the mouth but do not swallow. Keep refrigerated and use within 2 to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before use.
Salt is an efficient cleansing agent and helps keep gums in good condition. Simply mix 1/2 tsp of salt into a small cup of lukewarm water and use to rinse out the mouth. Salt rinse is also especially good to reduce sore throat.
Exposure to sun, wind and weather can leave lips sore, cracked or dry. Lip balm helps soothe and protect.
Calendula And Coconut Lip Salve
Calendula has soothing, anti inflammatory properties. You can buy infused calendula oil from specialist suppliers or you can make your own.
To make your own calendula oil, put 1 tbsp dried calendula flowers in a jar and pour in 250 ml lukewarm sunflower or grapeseed oil. Cover and leave in a warm place for up to a week. Strain off the flowers. Keeps 3 to 4 months.
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp infused calendula oil
Put the coconut oil into a bowl over simmering water and stir until melted. Add the calendula oil and mix. Pour into a small jar and leave to cool and set. Keeps for 2 to 3 months.
Apricot Lip Balm
- 1 tsp beeswax
- 2 tsp apricot kernel oil
- 1 tsp wheatgerm oil
Melt the ingredients in a small bowl over simmering water. Pour into a small jar and leave to set. Slick on as required. Keeps for 2 to 3 months.
Honey is healing and antiseptic. Combine it with the calendula oil to counteract soreness and irritation.
- 1 tsp clear honey
- 1 tsp infused calendula oil
Mix the ingredients together. Smear a little over lips before going to bed.