Our smiles are one of our greatest assets – they’re warm, inviting and understood in every language. It’s obvious, therefore, that treating our teeth with care is of the upmost importance. We should strive to keep them healthy. What better way to approach cleaning and whitening teeth than with natural remedies? As it turns out, there are a number of natural ways you can keep your smile healthy and glowing:
Brush and Floss
No matter what else you choose to use in cleaning your teeth, brushing and flossing should remain a part of your regime. You should brush your teeth and tongue gently (with a soft toothbrush) at least twice a day, and more if you’re eating sugary foods. Use toothpaste with fluoride, which combats cavities. Floss once a day. Combining flossing with brushing has numerous benefits including a brighter smile, decreased cavities and tooth decay and, consequently, lower dental treatment costs. Also consider a great all natural toothpaste such as Earthpaste or Tom’s.
Reach in the Pantry
There are some items right in your kitchen that can help to keep your teeth healthy and clean. Take a peek in your refrigerator and look for foods high in Vitamin D. As in, seek out oily fish like salmon, trout or tuna. Fortified orange juice and cereals also contain Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiencies can be linked to tooth decay, so get a healthy share.
Other items you should be looking for: baking soda and green tea. Both of these products, which are healthy and low/no risk, have been shown to positively impact dental health. While baking soda is mostly associated with whitening teeth, green tea contains compounds that combat bacteria, improve gum health and reduce tooth loss.
Eliminate Items From Your Diet
Regardless what you eat, your mouth will be full of bacteria. When you throw certain foods into the equation, chances of tooth rot increase. What are some of the culprits? Sugary sweets like candies and chocolates love to eat away at your teeth. Sugary drinks like soda, sports drinks and fruit juices (which can be acidic and sugary at the same time) are also bad for your teeth. Refined carbohydrates, found in foods like cakes and crackers, will turn to sugar in your mouth; so while they may not seem as bad as your chewy candies, they should be avoided (or cut back upon) just the same.
While it’s not bad to have these items now and then, binging on them can be detrimental to your dental health. Whenever you do decide to chomp down on some candy or cake, make sure you’re brushing your teeth soon afterward.
Listen to Your Mouth
This may sound odd, but being in tune with your mouth’s feelings can help you to keep it clean and healthy. Become accustomed to the freshness of a clean mouth vs. its dirty state. After you eat certain foods, can you tell that your mouth feels unpleasant? That plaque is building? Strive to maintain that good feeling by brushing accordingly, flossing daily, drinking lots of water and avoiding the “bad foods.” Should you experience a toothache, constant bad breath or other pains/discomfort in your teeth – you should contact your dentist immediately; these are signs you may have a cavity. Take care of any cavities/breaks as soon as possible to avoid further complications.
Try Oil Pulling
Oil pulling, another method that helps to naturally clean and whiten teeth, consists of swishing oil around in your mouth. Doing so allows the oils to bind with plaque and reduce bacteria. While oil pulling has been done with numerous oils (over centuries), including sesame, tea tree and sunflower oils, coconut oil is probably the most popular. Studies show that Streptococcus mutans – which are found in plaque – were reduced in individuals who used oil pulling. Science confirms, therefore, that oil pulling is an acceptable and effective alternative to chemical-based mouthwashes.
Together these methods can bring you a naturally healthy and beautiful smile.
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