While brushing will always be first and foremost when it comes to taking good care of our teeth, there are quite a few other ways we can boost dental health naturally.
Let’s first look at how we should be brushing our teeth
As every dentist will tell you, your brushing routine is extremely important for the overall health of your mouth. You should brush at least twice a day. If you do it properly, brushing should take about two minutes. A timer set for two minutes can help you make sure you’re brushing for the correct amount of time.
- Start your brushing routine in the back of your mouth. If you follow the same routine each time, it will become a habit.
- In order to loosen food debris and plaque that builds up around the gum line, brush in a circular motion downward from the gums.
- Don’t forget the backs of your teeth! The back surfaces are just as important as the front. Food and debris can build up there just as easily.
- Brush the biting surfaces of your teeth to loosen food particles that settle into the indentations.
- Bacteria builds up on your tongue and on the inside of your cheeks. Be sure to brush these areas to promote fresh breath.
We also suggest that you make teeth brushing with kids a fun experience. Read more about how to do that in our blog post here. Our berry, vanilla mint and fresh mint toothpastes are one of our best-selling products, with thousands of families all over South Africa using them!
The average person drinks only two and a half glasses of water per day. To help you stay hydrated, you should be drinking around eight glasses of water every day. Besides keeping your body hydrated, water helps wash away food and bacteria left in your mouth. Your saliva, which is produced from water, neutralises the acidity in the mouth that erodes tooth enamel and weakens the teeth.
If you want to be extra cautious, try to make it a habit to rinse your mouth or swish with water after every meal. This will help eliminate leftover bits of food and speed up the remineralisation process.
Limit sugary and acidic foods
Ultimately, sugar converts to acid in the mouth, which can then erode the enamel of your teeth. These acids are what lead to cavities. Acidic fruits, teas, and coffee can also wear down tooth enamel. While you don’t necessarily have to avoid such foods altogether, it helps to be mindful.
Did you know that a healthy mouth involves your entire body? To keep your mouth healthy, your body needs fat-soluble vitamins and minerals. Not only do these minerals and vitamins support the body, but they also create saliva that is more mineral-rich, which in turn helps to protect your teeth.
Diet alone may be enough, but many foods lack nutrients from being grown in nutrient-depleted soil, so supplements help fill the gaps.
- Vitamins A, C, D, K
- Magnesium (what about an Epsom salt soak bath every now and then?)
- Cod Liver Oil
Look for a high-quality floss that seems to have a bit more “scrub” to it. Some are even infused with tea tree oil (an antimicrobial) or other beneficial ingredients like coconut oil to make flossing a smoother and more luxurious experience. Keep a look out for biodegradable, earth friendly bamboo options – they are becoming more readily available.
Here is how you can make your own natural mouthwash (we recommend this for adults):
In a glass jar, mix half a cup of filtered water, two teaspoons of baking soda, two drops of tea tree oil and three drops of peppermint essential oil. Shake well. Use as you would regular mouthwash, and store in your bathroom cabinet.
Use herbs and spices
Before you head to the pharmacy for a medical alternative, try these natural remedies for common dental issues. Herbs and spices have long been known to clean the mouth and freshen the breath. Many herbs have antibacterial properties, which help keep your teeth and gums from getting infected.
Cloves: Suck on a whole clove to lessen tooth pain (or you can use clove oil).
Aloe Vera: Apply aloe vera gel in small quantities if you have gum inflammation. But be warned: natural aloe gel tastes extremely bitter!
Turmeric: Keep your gums and teeth healthy and infection-free with turmeric, which possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Mix a quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder and a little bit of water into a paste. Brush your teeth with this paste a few times a week to control plaque and prevent gingivitis.
Liquorice: according to a 2011 study published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Natural Products, two important compounds in liquorice helped kill the major bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease.
Your teeth are with you for life. Let’s do all we can naturally to keep them healthy and strong!