Imagine a morning without toothbrush and toothpaste and you will find something missing in your daily routine. It is true these small unnoticeable things play a big role in our oral health care. The significance of brushing has been understood since ancient times and different ingredients like charcoal, pumice stone even brick powder was used to clean plaque and shine the teeth. Various formulations have been invented since the invention of first toothpaste in 1914 and it reached every household all over the world. This industrialization has compromised the quality of toothpaste and many harmful ingredients were added to make it more attractive, tasty and foamy. But modern consumers are smarter than their predecessors and that is why they are now inclining towards natural alternatives of toothpaste. If you are also looking for some natural ways to clean your teeth then you are at the right place. Let’s see what can we do for our teeth instead of using toothpaste.
Stop using toothpaste
You will think that this is end of your oral health care but it is true. Your teeth and oral cavity can still remain clean if you stop using toothpaste. The most important thing in keeping your teeth healthy is proper brushing and flossing. Toothpaste just provide abrasive agent which grind and polish your teeth and gives you a pleasant sensation after brushing. The exception is its fluoride content which helps in strengthening of teeth and gums by helping in remineralization of enamel.
If you don’t want to skip toothpaste or brushing session in morning then here are some methods which can help you to get clean and white teeth.
This technique has been found to be very useful in plaque removal, reduction of gum bleeding and even tooth whitening. According to prevention magazine (September edition of year 1997) a study performed on 128 individuals for the period of six months has shown that dry brushing for 90 seconds with soft, dry toothbrush has effectively removed plaque buildup. The participants have experienced 50 percent reduction in gum bleeding and 67 percent reduction in plaque buildup on their back teeth. If you want to try dry brushing then begin with inner surfaces of your lower teeth and proceed to the upper surface because these regions contains most of the germ buildup. Finish your brushing session by cleaning the outer teeth surfaces. If your toothbrush’s bristles feel stiff then run your finger over them and then use it for brushing.
Rinsing your mouth after every meal is important for maintaining oral health as it reduces any acid attack and staining. It removes any small food particle stuck between teeth. You just need to sip mouthful of water and swirl it around your oral cavity for 30 seconds and then spit it into the sink. There are many natural ingredients which you can team up with water to clean your teeth.
Using salt for oral health care is an age old method; remember the salt water remedy for toothache. This is an inexpensive and proven method to clean your teeth. Salt make you salivate and saliva creates a natural antibacterial coating on your tooth enamel thus fight off germ buildup and strengthen your gums. Just dab your toothbrush in sea salt and brush your teeth but if you are afraid of its high abrasive content then you can add little water to it and then dip your brush into the solution and apply it on your teeth to clean them.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
It is another inexpensive and proven age old method to clean your teeth. It alkalizes the saliva and thus helps in fighting off the bacteria. Experts say that regular brushing with baking soda can absolutely prevents all periodontal (gum) diseases. But you have to dissolve it in water before use because it is very abrasive. It has been used as the basic ingredient for homemade toothpaste. Mix it with few drops of peppermint essential oil and stevia to give your mouth a minty fresh sensation.
It is a proven method to clean and whiten your teeth but never use its concentrated form. Always dilute it in water before use. You can also team it up with salt and baking soda for additional benefits. For that, you need to dip your toothbrush in the diluted hydrogen peroxide and then in a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and sea salt. This combination will whiten your teeth by bleaching action of oxygen in hydrogen peroxide and also by the abrasive action of salt and baking soda. The drawback of hydrogen peroxide cleaning method is that it can leach off mercury from tooth filling. It means you have to avoid this method if you have tooth filling. It should also not be used on open sores as it can delay the healing process. Don not swallow it and keep it away from your eyes. When you are done with its use then always rinse your mouth thoroughly with tap water. Keep your clothing away from hydrogen peroxide as its bleaching effect can cause fading of color.
Grind sea salt and dried horsetail stems in a coffee grinder; mix the dry and wet ingredients separately to make a paste out of it.
Medicinal clays are rich in minerals and abrasive agents which help in cleaning the teeth if used for brushing, draw out toxins from body and help in remineralization to some extent. Try to use very finely grounded (ultrafine) clay because this type is easier on enamel than other materials like chalk powder (has been used as tooth powder for whitening in England).
Here are two recipes to make homemade toothpaste from clay
White clay toothpaste
Mix 100 gram of white clay, pinch of sea salt and water (drop by drop) until you get a cream like consistency. Add five drops of essential oil e.g. tea tree oil or peppermint oil to the above paste and use it for brushing. Essential oils are bactericidal and prevent any onset of bacteria in the paste while white clay helps in rebuilding bone tissue in teeth and thus make your teeth stronger and decay resistant.
Bentonite clay toothpaste
Take 1/3 cup of Bentonite clay and mix it with quarter cup of boiling water until you get a creamlike consistency. Let it cool down and add a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil, pinch of high quality sea salt, Xylitol or stevia and twenty or more drops of essential oils. Xylitol is a sweetener which fights against cavity and gum diseases. Besides that it gives a sweet flavor to your homemade toothpaste and takes away bitterness or unpleasant taste of any other ingredient.
Caution: store this homemade toothpaste in a glass or Mason jar and not in plastic one.
Comfrey root (Symphytum officinale radix)
It has many medicinal properties like anti-inflammatory, pain reliving and swelling reduction when used topically. If you want to make tooth powder from this ingredient then you can mix finely grounded comfrey root with Xylitol, magnesium chloride, green clay and baking soda. Hold it in the mouth as long as possible but don’t swallow it as its pyrrolizidine alkaloids content can harm your liver. It should also not be used regularly.
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