One of the things that many dentists recommend for both halitosis (bad breath) and overall dental health is a good mouthwash...but sadly, this stuff at the grocery store is not only filled with chemicals and preservatives you should not be swishing! And along with that, it's overpriced and 99.9% of the time can only be found in plastic packaging...which doesn't fly in our household.
After a bunch of research, I found inspiration from this recipe from Almost Zero Waste that has worked really for us, then tweaked it a wee bit after a few run-throughs, as I wanted one that was quicker to make and better fit our budget. Here's my modified recipe...
1/2 cup organic aloe juice (buying leaf or prepackaged gel is more expensive, and the folks who so the gel in plastic make the juice...in glass! and cheaper! )
1/2 cup filtered water (or tap water, trust me you won't die if it's not filtered)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda (buy this in the bulk aisle, it's a fraction of the cost!)
1 tsp xylitol (refill shops are starting to carry this for bulk purchases, woo hoo!)
1/8 tsp peppermint oil (we use this for our toothpaste as well, so we buy the biggest 'buy once/cry once' bottle which is ultimately cheaper per ounce)
Combine in a mason jar, shake well, and give it a try! Note: The original directions said to refrigerate but swishing your teeth with super cold water is not fun for everyone, and we go through it fast enough where it's just not necessary, so we keep it right on the bathroom counter. Swish just a wee bit of it - don't gargle - to get it in between and around all your teeth.
PS - as far as the breath, if you don't brush your teeth & tongue beforehand, you might as well not use mouthwash. Read here why.