The dentist just told Nate he has six cavities. SIX!

Colgate Total

We used to be really meticulous about taking care of our teeth. We flossed and brushed and gargled like it was going out of style. And then we had kids. I always blame the kids when stuff in my life goes awry because, well, they're easy targets. The kids take up a lot of time and energy. By the end of the day, sometimes we're so exhausted that we just pass out on the couch watching Castle before groggily stumbling our way to bed…without brushing our teeth.

Gross, I know.

But we can't be the only new parents who've been guilty of neglecting ourselves a little…right?

the dentists are following us

I started feeling guilty about my newly-formed bad habits and resolved to find a good dentist in our area to help clean up our act. It took awhile and in the meantime, I swear I saw teeth everywhere. Does that ever happen to you? You start obsessing over something and all of the sudden that thing shows up all over the place? I kid you not. Giant teeth were literally popping up on the street in front of us during a local parade one day. It was ridiculous.

uses for mouthwash

We finally saw a dentist and he confirmed that we really need to get our butt in gear and take care of ourselves. He recommended mouthwash to stave off gum disease, an issue which happens to run in my family. Did you know your genes can predispose you to gum issues? Yup. Lucky me.

I wanted alcohol-free mouthwash since we're making conscientious choices about all of our purchases lately. I did my research and found out that alcohol-based mouthwashes actually decrease saliva production, leading to dryness and bacteria and increasing the likelihood of oral cancer. No bueno. So I stocked up on alcohol-free Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield mouthwash. This stuff rocks. And it doesn't sting like the alcohol-based kind (which is honestly one of the things that kept me from using it consistently).

Randomly, I discovered that there are a lot of household uses for mouthwash as well. I Googled “Uses for Mouthwash” and came up with a huge list of things I could use this for. I tried a few and found that the alcohol-free stuff works particularly well for a few tasks around the house. Here are my favorite uses (aside from actually cleaning my mouth, of course!).

6 Surprising Uses for Mouthwash

6 uses for alcohol free mouthwash

  • Foot soak: 1 part mouth wash, 1 part vinegar, 1 part hot water. Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes to soften calluses and kill foot fungus that can cause yellow, brittle nails.
  • Flower freshener: Mouthwash inhibits bacterial growth in water, helping preserve plants. Place cut stems directly in a mixture of 2 tablespoons per gallon, or spritz onto live plant leaves.
  • Dandruff buster: Spritz a solution of 1 part mouthwash, 1 part witch hazel and 8 parts water onto wet hair before styling.
  • Toothbrush cleaner: Soak your toothbrush in a cup of alcohol-free mouthwash to eradicate lingering germs.
  • Lubricant: One of my favorite uses for mouthwash is to use it like WD-40 for squeaky wheels and hinges.
  • Sore throat relief: Pour a tablespoon of mouthwash in your mouth, tip your head forward and breathe in forcefully without sucking the mouthwash up into your throat. The air carries the mouthwash's antibacterial properties to the back of the throat to disinfect the area.

in the dentist chair

Of course, top on our list of uses for mouthwash is to actually clean our mouths. Hopefully with continued use, we'll be seeing a little less of THIS vantage point!

Do you know any other uncommon uses for ordinary products?