Who knew? Controlling the bacteria and toxin levels in our mouths is also important for rest of our bodies. Infections and bacterial overgrowth in the mouth can travel throughout our systems and lead to cardiovascular disease, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes and low birth weight – all of which are easy to prevent! We asked The Chalkboard Magazine to tell us about their top all-natural tips for keeping your mouth sparkling and toxin-free!
1. NON-TOXIC TOOTHPASTE
Toothpaste is key to maintaining good oral health, acting as an antibacterial, but what type are you choosing? Detox your toothpaste by eliminating Fluoride, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate, Triclosan, Sodium Hydroxide, and other nasty chemicals. These chemicals are damaging to the body as a whole, and can even reduce the healthy bacteria (probiotics) in the mouth. Opt for a toothpaste that uses natural antibacterial agents and breath fresheners such as neem, licorice, eucalyptus, clove and peppermint instead. Or better yet, create your own!
2. TONGUE SCRAPING
The fastest and easiest way to get those bad bugs out of your mouth is with a tongue scraper. A traditional technique in Ayurveda, tongue scraping cleans bacterial build-up, food debris, fungi, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue. This helps to not only clean the mouth, freshening the breath, but it also stimulates the metabolism as well.
3. IONIC TOOTHBRUSH
A toothbrush is used to mechanically reduce bad bacteria in the mouth, but new studies reveal that ionic toothbrushes introduce new benefits. An ionic toothbrush temporarily reverses the polarity of the tooth surface from negative (-) to positive (+), which draws plaque towards the toothbrush head. As a result, you are able to clear more plaque. In addition, because the teeth’s polarity is temporarily reversed, your teeth reject plaque even in areas that haven’t been touched by bristles. Research has proven that ionic toothbrushes reduce hypersensitivity, plaque and bleeding too, making it one of our favorite ways to clean our teeth.
4. OIL PULLING
A simple swish and swirl of your favorite oil is the answer to fresher breath, whiter teeth and a toxin- free body. The practice of oil pulling literally pulls toxins from the oral cavity, which is then spit out and cleared from the body. A research study indicated that oil pulling reduced plaque-induced gingivitis, and the bacterium Streptococcus mutans, which is known to cause cavities. So grab a jar of coconut oil from the kitchen counter, and get pulling!
5. ORAL PROBIOTICS
We’ve been so focused on balancing the good bacteria in our gut with fermented foods and kombucha, that we have forgotten all about the mouth! The mouth needs good bacteria too, which is why taking oral probiotics can be extremely beneficial, especially if cavities are a frequent occurrence. The more good bacteria you have, the more of a defense you have against the bad bacteria, reducing the incidence of inflammation and infection.
6. NEEM OIL
Neem oil is an ancient remedy used for clearing up infections in the mouth. While the oil does not have a pleasant taste, we believe in its healing capabilities enough to endure it. Acting as an antibacterial, neem oil can be used to keep the bad oral bacteria from taking over and proliferating. Clinical studies have shown neem to be effective in lowering levels of plaque and tartar, while reducing inflammation, bleeding gums and dental infections. Simply apply a few drops of the oil directly to the gum line, massage, and allow it to sit overnight.
7. GREEN TEA
Drinking green tea not only protects against radiation, boosts your mineralization and helps you to lose weight, but it can improve your oral health as well. Research has found that the frequent consumption of green tea may help promote healthy teeth and gums, reducing periodontal disease. It is believed that green tea’s mode of action is through its high levels of the antioxidant, catechin. Previous studies have demonstrated catechin’s ability to reduce inflammation in the body, as well as the indicators of periodontal disease, thereby reducing bad bacteria in the mouth.
8. CAMU CAMU
In efforts to not only boost our immune system, but to keep our gums happy too, we are keeping up with a daily dose of vitamin C. Rather than getting it from a synthetic vitamin tablet, we are using the superfood Camu Camu. Camu Camu contains 250mg of Vitamin C per teaspoon, containing more Vitamin C than any other known botanical source. Vitamin C is needed for healthy gums, reducing the incidence of bleeding gums, gingivitis, and even periodontitis. The good news is that the effects of Camu Camu go far beyond a healthy gum line, helping to improve immunity and the texture of the skin, while repairing and maintaining cartilage, bones, and teeth.
9. TEA TREE OIL FLOSS
There is just no way around it – flossing daily is an integral part of keeping our mouths fresh and clean, so why not add an extra bonus with tea tree oil. A natural disinfectant, tea tree oil reduces bad oral bacteria. Research indicates that tea tree oil significantly reduces gingivitis and bleeding of the gums, even in those with gingivitis. So grab some tea tree oil floss to blast those bugs hiding in between your teeth!