We’ve always been taught that drinking a cup of tea can lead to ugly brown or yellow stains on our teeth. That may be true of black tea, but the green variety actually does something quite unexpected for your dental health!
In fact, a mouthwash made of green tea extract can actually remove teeth stains. This natural alternative is also more effective at removing plaque than commercial mouthwash.
Although mouthwash is supposed to help fight plaque and gingivitis, many of us use it for an entirely different reason – fresh breath! The bright green and deep blue hues entice us every morning with their great-tasting flavors. Who wouldn’t want breath that tastes like mint candy, and come standard with names like arctic chill or peppermint blast?
Yet, some brands of mouthwash have alcohol in it, which can make your mouth and gums feel like they are on fire. The original Listerine formula comes to mind – you know, the light brown stuff that tastes like jet fuel! It was actually originally developed as a surgical antiseptic before it was marketed as an industrial floor cleaner. In the end, it finally found its footing as a mouthwash.
The alcohol content is so high in some of these brands of mouthwash, that they are banned in prisons! As far as dental health is concerned, alcohol can dry out your mucous membranes, which can lead to bad breath.
Most other brands of alcohol-free mouthwash aren’t any better. They’re filled with chemicals, fake flavors and artificial colors. It seems quite counter-intuitive to use junk-filled products to maintain great oral health.
Your doctor may have told you to take a probiotic supplement to maintain good gut health. The beneficial colony of bacteria living in your gut is known as your microbiome. It can do great things for your health, such as boosting your immune system.
Well, your mouth actually has a microbiome as well, and it’s just as important as the one in your gut!
However, when you swish commercial mouthwash inside your oral cavity, not only are you killing off the bad bacteria, but you’re also eliminating all the good guys too.
According to Dr. Mercola, the oral microbiome:
“…has a protective component that protects you from deadly viruses and bacteria in the environment.”
The oral microbiome is essential to your salivary immune system. It also helps aid digestion, which begins in your mouth, and not your stomach.
Unfortunately, you can’t add probiotics to your mouth to replace good bacteria. In order for your beneficial microbes to flourish, you actually have to quit using mouthwash that employs a “scorched earth” policy against all bacteria.
In other words, instead of killing everything in your mouth, focus on making sure the amount of good bacteria outnumber the bad.
There is actually a better alternative to commercial mouthwash, and it’s called green tea! Clinical researchers even went so far as to compare green tea rinses against regular mouthwash. An Egyptian study that was originally published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene showed:
– The catechins in green tea exhibit an anti-carcinogenic effects, which may prevent the formation of oral cancers.
– Polyphenols in green tea prevent the streptococcal mutans bacteria from adhering to tooth enamel, thereby reducing plaque and dental decay.
– Rinsing with green tea mediates protective saliva components, such as antibodies that fight disease.
– The amount of food starch and particles that get trapped in the mouth was noticeably reduced. This has the effect of preventing plaque from building up on your teeth.
– There was also a marked improvement in gum bleeding that is caused by gingivitis.
The study also showed that after rinsing with green tea, beneficial anti-carcinogenic catechins remain in the mouth for up to 60 minutes.
It’s easy to make your own DIY green tea mouth rinse! Just follow these simple instructions.
– 1 quart of boiled water
– 7 tablespoons of green tea leaves
– Let the mixture steep in a bowl for at least an hour, but longer is okay too.
– Strain out all the leaf particles and discard.
– Add 1/2 quart of distilled water to the green tea liquid.
– Store the tea in a clean glass bottle in the refrigerator.
– After brushing, swish the tea in your mouth for approximately 30 seconds.
– Spit out the liquid when you’re finished rinsing.
Even though the green tea is all natural, it’s probably not a good idea to swallow any icky microbes that may still be leftover.
Watch this cool video to learn about the other health benefits of green tea.
Using green tea as a twice-daily mouth rinse is a much better alternative to chemical laden commercial mouthwash. It’s easy to make, and inexpensive, too! Are you going to start using green tea mouthwash?