Unfortunately (and I found this out the hard way), it stains just as bad as coffee. I have experienced a long string of dental hygienists who looked into my mouth and sighed—dispirited by the long, difficult task that lay before them.
Thankfully, my current hygienist (who is awesome) recommended a trick to help significantly decrease staining and buildup. She actually recommended two options… but I latched onto the one that was the simplest and least chemical-laden.
She suggested rinsing with either Listerine Whitening or hydrogen peroxide. I’ve read the ingredients on the Listerine bottle before… so I immediately opted for the latter.
The trick is to rinse before you brush. That way, the rinse stays on your teeth and does even more work whitening your mouth and getting rid of germs while you are brushing.
Easy, cheap, and effective! The sustainability trifecta.
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There are many DIY mouthwash recipes out there. I use this because it is very fast and very easy to accomplish; thus, I am much less likely to skip/forget it. If you want a bit of extra freshening oomph, you could add a few drops of essential oil to the mix. Just avoid anything citrus-based in order to protect your enamel… and if you are storing it for later, be sure to put it in an opaque container so that the hydrogen peroxide doesn’t lose any strength!
1 tsp water
1 tsp hydrogen peroxide (3%)
- Mix equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide in any container of your choosing. I do this one application at a time… so I keep a little leftover dosage cup from one of my daughter’s meds and use it to measure each time.
- Swish the mixture around in your mouth for at least 60 seconds, then spit it out. Brush as you would normally (and rinse with water, as you normally would). And you’re done. It’s that easy!
Note: If you want to add essential oils or store more at a time, remember to use equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide. I’d recommend a glass container over plastic for long-term storage… and keep it out of the sunlight for best results. A 1-cup mixture will only need 5-10 drops essential oil. Common ones used include peppermint and tea tree to help with freshening and killing bacteria.