Just like your skin is your business card to the world, a healthy mouth (beautiful teeth, healthy gums, fresh breath) is the mirror of your digestive health. And since the majority of your immunity functions happen in your gut, one can argue that your digestive health is a mirror to your overall health.
Yet achieving and maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile has become increasingly complicated. Bad breath, often related to unhealthy diets and an unhealthy gut, is unattractive and embarrassing. You hear crazy stories about the dangers of fluoride and other chemicals added to your toothpaste and mouthwash. There are potential risks associated with using metal fillings and root canals.
Whether you're dealing with conflicting information about dental hygiene or treating a nagging dental issue, there are natural, safer steps you can take today to help you get a gorgeous, healthy smile.
1. Nourish yourself.
We eat sugary, processed food that lacks basic nutrients and is filled with man-made chemicals. These foods lack the fat-soluble vitamins that are essential for teeth and bone health. Sounds cliché but if you want optimum dental health, you must pay attention to what you eat. Consuming fresh, raw, organic leafy greens, vegetables and fruits grown in nutrient-rich soils, along with an occasional grass fed animal product can decrease your chances of developing tooth decay.
2. Use neem.
Neem is an ideal herb to prevent tooth decay. Neem strengthens the immune system and the body’s resistance to tooth decay. You can consume it as a supplement in capsules or brew the herb and consume it as a tea. There are also toothpastes containing neem extract as one of the ingredients, and neemstick is as effective as a toothbrush in removing plaque.
3. Keep an eye out for coconut oil.
Look for dental products containing coconut oil. Ancient Ayurvedic medicine used coconut oil as a mouthwash. Coconut oil functions as a natural antibiotic, and it has been found that it can fight the streptococcus bacteria that cause tooth decay.
4. Brush with oil of oregano.
Oil of oregano is a natural antiseptic with powerful antibacterial properties. Tooth and gum infections respond quickly to the oil of oregano. You can apply it directly to the gums of teeth, apply a few drops to your toothpaste twice per day or add it to your mouth wash. If you need to use more than a few drops, dilute it in base oil (like olive or sesame oils), as it's so potent that it can burn the skin. Used regularly, it can significantly improve oral hygiene.
5. Try sage water as mouthwash.
Sage is another great antiseptic herb that’s very refreshing and effective when used as mouthwash. Simply boil sage and peppermint leaves in water until the water is dark, let it cool and pour it in an empty bottle of mouthwash. Add a few drops of thyme essential oil and use it twice a day for a great mouthwash alternative.
6. Avoid carbonated drinks.
Studies have shown that people who consume soft drinks are at higher risk of developing tooth decay and cavities not only because they contain sugar, but mainly because the acidity of carbonated drinks are proven to break down the enamel of the teeth, weakening them and increasing the risk of decay.