Bad breath is embarrassing, but it’s often easy to fix at home. Good oral hygiene, including the use of mouthwash, can prevent or eliminate bad breath. Home remedy mouthwashes are made from common and easily obtainable ingredients. Some mouthwashes have antiseptic germ-killing properties that attack the source of bad breath and help prevent gum disease. Homemade antiseptic mouthwashes use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to kill germs.
A simple, easy mouthwash uses baking soda to refresh your breath. Mix1/4 teaspoon baking soda with 2 ounces water and add one drop of peppermint essential oil. TeensHealth, a website maintained by the Nemours Foundation, states that a home remedy baking soda mouthwash can help ease the pain of canker sores if used four times daily. Mix 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt into 4 ounces water, and use it to rinse. Make small batches of baking soda mouthwashes -- just enough for a day or two -- because it doesn’t store well for very long.
Herbs and Spices
Mouthwash can be made by infusing herbs or spices in water. Fresh herbs work best, and you can use a single herb or combination of herbs with one simple recipe. Boil 1 pint of water and pour over 2 tablespoons of herbs in a jar. Allow the mixture to steep overnight and then strain out the herbs. Store in the refrigerator. Mint and rosemary are common and effective herbs for mouthwash. Using cloves is an old remedy for fresh breath and can be prepared in the same manner as herbs, but use only 1 tablespoon of cloves.
One cup of water mixed with 1 tablespoon of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide is an easy and antiseptic home remedy mouthwash. TeensHealth recommends mixing equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water if you have canker sores. Don’t worry if the mixture foams a bit when you’re rinsing; it’s a natural reaction.
A quick alternative to mouthwashes is to chew leaves or seeds for instant fresh breath. This method works particularly well when you’re away from home, because you can store the ingredients in small containers or plastic bags. You can eat a few leaves of fresh parsley, basil or any kind of mint to refresh your mouth. Chewing a few small seeds, such as fennel, cardamom or anise, is an old remedy. These seeds all have a licorice flavor.
The American Dental Association warns that if bad breath is ongoing, you may have a more serious problem. Gum disease can cause bad breath and should be treated by a professional. Never swallow mouthwash; some ingredients can be harmful if ingested.