ALL-NATURAL MIRACLES FOR TOOTH CARE
If you have started down the path of all-natural body care, I am sure you have stopped to think about what exactly you are brushing your teeth with or cleaning your mouth with daily. If you haven’t yet, you will! Ever since I was old enough to have teeth, I had been using toothpaste just the same as about 99% of the American population to care for and clean my teeth. I never really thought much about it. It was just my normal, daily routine.
That is, up until about 6 months ago. Yes, it is true, I have not used toothpaste or mouthwash in more than 6 months (likely closer to a year; I have not been keeping exact track of when I stopped). BUT I have also not stopped caring for my teeth! On the contrary, I think my tooth care routine is more effective and much more pure now than it has ever been! I have no cavities or pain of any kind since I have stopped using toothpaste, and really have not noticed any kind of deterioration or problems with my mouth since I stopped the normal toothpaste routine.
In this article, I will share with you several all-natural methods for tooth care that you may or may not have heard of. The methods below include all natural methods for cleaning, healing, and whitening your teeth. These will provide you with some interesting alternatives for tooth care.
FOR CLEANING AND HEALING:
1.) OIL PULLING: This amazing method of tooth care is just as simple as brushing your teeth with toothpaste, but much less abrasive on your teeth and gums. All this method involves is swishing around a mouthful of coconut oil for about 20 minutes. You want to use 100% pure, cold-pressed, extra-virgin coconut oil (organic if possible) to get the healing benefits of the coconut oil for your teeth and gums. Any oil that is not extra-virgin and cold-pressed will NOT have the healing properties of pure coconut oil. Heating the oil destroys these properties.
Coconut oil is usually soft, but solid in form. Take a spoonful or so from the container, and the heat from your mouth quickly liquifies the oil. Swish the oil around in your mouth for about 20 minutes, gently pulling the oil (hence the name “oil pulling”) through your teeth. This can serve to both clean and floss your teeth! The oil is gentle and will dislodge particles, as well as cleaning the surface of your teeth. You can swallow the oil once your done, although most people choose to spit it out. I spit mine out as I don’t want to eat a big mouthful of oil right before bed, and I also would rather get rid of the debri and bacteria it just cleaned from my teeth. Either way, it’s up to you! 🙂
Something to note: **Brushing with water or aloe vera gel(described below) BEFORE oil pulling is good for this method. Brushing can dislodge any large particles and remove surface plaque from the teeth so the oil can have it’s maximum benefit of healing, bacteria fighting, and dislodging smaller particles that the toothbrush missed. Be kind to your gums though; use a soft or medium toothbrush!
So why coconut oil, you may ask? Or perhaps you are wondering how this is superior to toothpaste or even worth your time. Let’s look into the benefits of coconut oil vs. the benefits (or lack thereof) of your average toothpaste.
First, we’ll start with the ingredient list in each item.
Coconut Oil: One Ingredient-pure, cold-pressed, organic extra-virgin coconut oil (plain and simple!)
Toothpaste **I am using the brand I currently have (unused) sitting in my bathroom drawer, which happens to be CREST (Scope Outlast Whitening +) : *Active Ingredient: Sodium Flouride 0.243% (0.15% w/v flouride ion). And the bottle does NOT list the other ingredients. I actually never noticed this before, but it is concerning considering the toothpaste is a green paste AND gel and smells like mint, and also claims to whiten the teeth which flouride does not do on its own. So obviously it contains other ingredients, and it’s pretty much a mystery blend at this point. There IS a warning on the back though that says, “Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away”.
Well the comparison here is pretty clear. With coconut oil, you know what you’re using. With toothpaste, you don’t. And the benefits of flouride are very controversial as new studies have indicated it may be more harmful than helpful. But that is research I will leave for you to do if you so choose. Also, with coconut oil, your babies are safe. They may get a tummy ache from ingesting too much coconut oil, but considering the oil has no particulary enticing look or smell, they likely won’t be eating it in gobs. The same cannot be said for the bright green, sugary mint-tasting paste.
As I mentioned above, the benefits of flouride are controversial. Flouride IS a natural mineral found in the earth’s crust, as well as in water. The use of flouride for teeth became common years ago when scientists discovered that children drinking water naturally high in flouride had less cavities than chidren who didn’t. It also has been known to prevent decay in teeth by strengthening them against bacterial attacks and plaque build-up. If you are interested in the science behind this, there are many sources you can read up more about it. Here is a link to WebMD, a popular medical site with information (common knowledge) about flouride.
The problem is, flouride has been added to a host of other ingredients (apparently not worth mentioning on the toothpaste bottle) that it has become FAR from natural. Also, newer studies have indicated that flouride may be a cause for a host of problems such as thyroid disfunction, decreased IQ levels in children, and even possibly cancer. Do scientific studies immediately make this information true? No. But is it something that shoud be taken into serious consideration? In my opinion, absolutely. If you are interested, there is plenty of information out there to research. I will reference this one article (since there are so many) that discusses the controversy behind flouride use. It has many articles referenced to fact check as well. You can read it here.
The benefits of coconut oil, however, are not as controversial. The “oil-pulling” method is actually one that has been used by humans for thousands of years for mouth care. The oil causes the bacteria to bind to it, effectively removing bacteria from your mouth. Also, coconut oil is known for its anti-microbial/ anti-bacterial properties, so it also kills harmful bacteria and can help prevent plaque, mouth disease, and tooth decay. You may read about the method on WebMD. There is also a popular article/blog by someone that swears they have actually healed cavities using the oil-pulling method. You can read that article here.
And now..onto our next method for tooth care…
2.) ALOE VERA GEL: This method of tooth care is very simple and very effective. All you need is some aloe vera gel (straight from a plant you can have growing on your windowsill), and a toothbrush. Just replace your toothpaste with aloe vera gel!
Aloe vera gel is well-known for its healing abilities. It is very easy to grow in your own house in a pot (I have several plants myself), and it’s an awesome natural medicine to have on hand. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties, along with many other reported uses for health an wellness. It also has been used topically to relieve burns, itching, and stings.
The benefits of using it as a toothpaste are obvious. It will clean your teeth by killing bacteria and healing any bacterial infections, pain or soreness you may have on your gums. It has also been studied as a remedy for mouth disease, specifically periodontal disease, and incurable gum disease. Using aloe vera gel to heal periodontal disease has even been studied with positive results by the United States Federal Government. Read their study here. In the study, they treated people with periodontal disease by lifting the gums from the teeth and injecting aloe vera gel into the infected pockets above the teeth. Lifting and cleaning under the gums is typical treatment for patients with this disease, but inserting the aloe vera gel is not commonly practiced. Not surprisingly, the results of the study showed significant improvement in the people that were part of this study.
So now you have even more reason to ditch the mystery blend, flouride toothpaste! Nature has an effective and simple toothpaste for you to use that you can easily grow in your own home! 🙂 Now that we’ve covered cleaning and healing for your mouth, let’s move on to whitening.
BAKING SODA: This simple and natural tooth whitening agent is no secret. Many name-brand toothpastes use baking soda in their formulas to give “whitening power” to their pastes and gels. It is much cheaper (and much more natural), to just buy a box of baking soda for your bathroom and keep in on hand for each night you brush your teeth.
It is extremely simple to use. Brush your teeth at least once daily with baking soda to whiten them. You can sprinkle some on the toothbrush on top of your aloe vera gel, and get not only a healing and cleaning from the aloe vera gel, but whitening from the baking soda. This is a method just as good (in my opinion, much better) than any store-bought toothpaste or gel blend!
WHAT YOU DRINK: You can also help out the whiteness of your teeth by altering what you drink each day. I know, this is a tough one. Coffee and tea are notorious for staining your teeth. So, if you aren’t too in love with either of these dark drinks, try cutting back on them! Your teeth will be noticeably whiter after some time goes by if you are a heavy consumer of either of these. If you cannot part with your beloved drink, however, (believe me, I can relate) then just use the baking soda each day to try to negate the effects of the staining of your teeth. 🙂
And there you have it! A few all-natural tips and tricks for keeping your teeth healthy, happy, and sparkly white! 🙂 There are many more tips and tricks for tooth care, which if you are interested, you may find online with more research. I will end here for the day since this article is getting kind of lengthy as it is, and you already have all these new methods to test out!
Thanks for taking the time to read this; I hope it was informative and beneficial for you! If you want more articles and information like this, follow this blog, or even better yet, follow me on Facebook at Appalachia Naturals. I sell all-natural products here and also offer blog articles with DIY recipes, and tips and information on how to care for yourself naturally. Hope you have a blessed and healthy day!