Most people follow the well-known dental hygiene rules of brushing multiple times a day and flossing at least once per day. But, there’s a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to taking proper care of your pearly whites. When’s the last time you swapped out your toothbrush? Do you know what’s truly in your toothpaste or mouthwash?
While you’ll want to keep on with your daily brushing and flossing, there are some additional dental hygiene rules that you’ll want to make part of your routine.
- Switch Your Toothpaste
Most people just care about what their toothpaste tastes like and the added benefits such as whitening or tartar control. But, have you ever looked at the ingredients that are in your toothpaste? While most store-bought toothpastes use harmless ingredients like baking soda and peroxide, there are other ingredients that have proven to be harmful.
One ingredient to look for in mainstream toothpastes is triclosan. Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical that is said to fight plaque and gingivitis. But, the chemical has also been linked to endocrine disruption and antibiotic resistance. Disruptions to the endocrine system can increase the risk of ovarian, prostate, testicular, and ovarian cancer and may also impact maturity during puberty.
Another harmful ingredient to be aware of is fluoride. While this ingredient helps to slow and prevent tooth decay, its effectiveness has been questioned in recent years. Ingesting fluoride can also be dangerous, especially for children. Other harmful ingredients to stay away from include artificial sweeteners, sodium lauryl sulfate, and diethanolamine.
Enjoy clean and fresh teeth without the danger of fluoride by using tooth powders. The best tooth powder is made with natural and safe ingredients that will protect and remineralize your teeth.
- Upgrade Your Toothbrush
It’s recommended that you replace your toothbrush every three months. Believe it or not, your toothbrush is home to more than 10 million bacteria, germs, and other microorganisms. When it’s time to walk down the dental care aisle and pick out your new toothbrush, don’t grab the same old thing. Traditional plastic toothbrushes can be harsh on the gums and teeth. Others are made with plastic that contains BPA, which is harmful when ingested.
Thanks to the ever-growing popularity of natural dental care, you should be able to find a nylon-based toothbrush or even one made entirely out of plants. If your local store doesn’t carry a variety of toothbrushes, there are tons of options online including:
- A toothbrush with charcoal-infused bristles
- Castor bean oil bristles
- Bamboo toothbrush
With an all-natural toothbrush, you can upgrade your dental hygiene routine. Brush with the peace of mind knowing you’re not introducing harmful plastic and other chemicals into your mouth!
- Try Oil Pulling
Not too long ago, oil pulling was all the hype. While charcoal tooth powder and other alternative dental care techniques have taken the front and center, oil pulling is still an effective way of removing toxins that have built up in the teeth and gums.
Oil pulling was used nearly 5,000 years ago as an Ayurveda practice. The technique not only removes toxins and plaque, but it whitens and strengthens the teeth. It also removes plaque and can even help with curing other diseases. Some even claim its ability to cure cavities and cancer, though not proven. While the idea of swishing warm oil in your mouth may not seem like the most pleasant experience, it’s definitely not the worst.
Some of the most popular oils to use include olive, coconut, sesame, palm, and sunflower oil. If using coconut oil, you’ll need to blend it with other oils, otherwise the coconut oil will harden and you’ll be oil chewing versus swishing. Swish one to two tablespoons of oil for at least 10 minutes a day and reap the benefits immediately. Make sure you spit the oil out in the trash can, as it can solidify in the sinks and drains.
- Skip Alcohol-Based Mouthwash
Walk down any dental care aisle in the store and you’ll have a hard time finding a non-alcohol based mouthwash. While these mouth rinses definitely leave your mouth feeling clean and tingly, alcohol is known to dehydrate the cells in the mouth. In time, this leaves the mouth more vulnerable to carcinogens. In fact, some scientists believe that commercial mouthwash is partially responsible for the uptake in oral cancer around the world.
A healthier and safer option is to create a mouthwash at home. With just a few simple ingredients you can have fresh breath all day long without the side effects of alcohol. To make all natural mouthwash you’ll need:
- Water – ½ Cup
- Peppermint essential oil – 2 Drops
- Tea tree essential oil – 2 Drops
- Baking soda – 2 Tsp
To make this mouthwash even better, add a drop or two of mineral drops to remineralize your teeth while you swish.
No matter how often you brush your teeth, flossing is the more critical dental hygiene step in taking care of your teeth and gums. While brushing gets rid of the plaque, tartar, and other bacteria that are built up on the outside of your teeth, it doesn’t get rid of the pesky bacteria that are lodged between them. This is where flossing comes into the picture. Daily flossing removes plaque, food, and other things that get caught between your teeth. Not flossing will increase your risk of gum disease, bad breath, and other oral hygiene issues.
What’s your dental care routine like? Have you tried natural dental care products? Tell us all about it!