Are you poisoning yourself to get “minty fresh” breath?
Commercial mouthwashes are full of toxic chemicals, including ones linked to cancer. Some of these poisons are banned from foods. But government regulators somehow think it’s OK if you swirl them around inside your mouth.
A study published in the Dental Journal of Australia found that using mouthwash significantly increases the risk of oral cancer. Some 40,000 Americans a year are diagnosed with oral cancer. Over 7,500 of them die. This includes cancers of the tongue, the floor of the mouth, gums, and cheeks.1
Here are seven toxins commonly found in mouthwashes:
Artificial dyes. Not only can these stain your teeth, they are linked to tumor development and attention disorders. Commonly used mouthwash dyes like FD&C Green No. 3, D&C Yellow No. 10, and FD&C Blue No. 1 can cause liver damage.2 3 4
Chlorhexidine. It kills bacteria in your mouth—both good and bad. It has also been linked to increased blood pressure and heart problems.5
Hexetidine. This antibacterial and antifungal chemical is linked to unstable heartbeat and allergic reactions. Pregnant or breastfeeding women are warned to stay away from it.6
Methyl salicylate. This chemical is added for flavor but can cause dilation of the capillaries. It is linked to fatal poisonings in children.7 8
Methylparaben. To extend the shelf lives of mouthwashes, manufacturers often add methylparaben or sodium benzoate. Both are endocrine disruptors. They affect estrogen production. A British study has linked methylparaben to breast tumors in women.9
Triclosan. This antibacterial agent is not only added to mouthwash, but also toothpaste and household cleaning products. High doses may lower thyroid hormone levels. It’s linked to cancer, thyroid disorders, and fertility problems. The FDA has banned it from soaps and children’s toys.10
Best Natural Mouthwash
The most natural—and safe—mouthwash? Coconut oil.
It’s an antimicrobial that kills the bacteria that cause bad breath naturally. Using coconut oil as a mouthwash is called “oil-pulling.” It kills streptococcus and candida, which cause tooth decay, inflammation, and secondary infections in the body. Candida is linked to cancer.
Simply swish a tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil around in your mouth for a few minutes. Spit it out when you’re done.
Another option is to use chemical-free mouthwashes. They are available at health food stores and online. Peppermint oil, tea tree oil, colloidal silver, black walnut hulls, and dragon tree sap are all safe ingredients that can give you the breath you want…without the toxins you don’t want.