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DIY Antiseptic Mouthwash for Better Gum Health

By Dr. Scott Frey

Previously we have discussed pH re-balancing mouthwashes Antiseptic Mouth Rinseand the importance of selecting a mouthwash that is pH balanced, today we are going to cover a do-it-yourself recipe for an antiseptic mouth rinse that is tremendous for improving the health of your gums and controlling bacteria responsible for causing cavities. It is also great for bad breath. All you need is a little bit of Bleach and some water.

That combination might sound scary, but the basic ingredients are exactly the same as tthose in some very expensive treatment rinses available for purchase through your dentist and this type of mouthwash used to be recommended by the ADA in the late 70s. Also I use it myself. However, since this is a prescription strength mouth rinse you consult your dentist before use.

Materials You’ll Need

  • Regular Chlorox Liquid Bleach. Other types of bleaches available have other ingredients that we don’t want in our mouth rinse. It is easier to pour if you purchase one of the smaller bottles.
  • A plastic or glass mixing container that holds at least 24 ounces of liquid.
  • A measuring cup with fluid ounce markings along the side.

Important: Do not use or add different ingredients to this recipe. Bleach is very reactive and doesn’t play well with everything you might want to use.

Mixing the Ingredients

Only adults should be responsible for mixing the ingredients. As with any DIY concoction, you must first familiarize yourself with all the ingredients you'll be using. Before handling the Bleach take time to carefully read the warnings and instructions for use on the back of the bottle. This way if you get any on your clothes, in your eye, or anywhere else you don’t want you’ll know what to do.

The goal is to create a mixture of 20 parts Water and 1 part Regular Clorox Bleach (5.25% NaOCl), so that we produce an effective concentration in solution for our active ingredient Sodium Hypochlorite (NaOCl) of ~.25%. If you are using the concentrated Clorox Bleach (8.5% NaOCl), you'll have to change the mixture to a 32 Water : 1 Concentrated Bleach mix.

  1. Over the sink, carefully measure out no more than 1 fluid ounce of Bleach in your measuring cup and then add it to your mixing container
  2. Rinse out the measuring cup, and now measure and add 20 fluid ounces of distilled water (32 ounces if concentrated bleach is being used) to your mixing container and your mouthwash is ready to use.
If you make extra and store it, store the mouthwash below 30 degrees C (86 degrees F) just like the instructions on the bottle bleach.

Using the Antiseptic Mouthwash

This mouth rinse really works well, and you really only need to use it for two weeks at a time. What I have found most effective is to rinse once a day for a 2 week period every other month. If you want to use this for longer periods of time, ask your dentist.

  1. Rinse for 45s to 1min using about 10ml (a normal amount for rinsing).
  2. Spit thoroughly after use. Do not swallow.
Important:
  • If more than should be used for rinsing is accidentally swallowed, contact a poison control center. This applies to all rinses you buy at the store too.
  • If at any point while using this rinse, you experience a burning sensation or the inside of your mouth becomes painful discontinue use.
  • Do not allow children under the age of 6 to use this mouthwash since they cannot spit effectively.
  • If you want to use this mouth rinse with children under the age of 12, instruct them on good rinsing habits to minimize swallowing and supervise them as necessary until they are capable of using it without supervision. You don't want them swallowing the mouthwash or making a mess since it can take the color out of clothes.

I don’t want to look silly for sharing this highly effective mouth rinse recipe with you, so consult your dentist before use.

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