Healthy teeth are not only important because they help us eat and contribute to our physical appearance, but keeping our teeth healthy and clean is also important for our overall health. Below are some ways to properly care for our teeth and gums.
Floss daily with non-waxed floss: Flossing removes excess food particles and sticky bacteria that lodges between our teeth and gums. If you notice bleeding after you floss, it is a sign of gingivitis and inflammation. This means the bones and dental ligaments are under attack by a host of bacteria, weakening their ability to support healthy teeth. Daily flossing and proper brushing should be continued until no further bleeding occurs. It would be wise to see a dentist if bleeding persists for longer than a week.
Brush at least twice daily: Ideally, it would be best to brush after every meal. However, if we can't manage to do so, it is important that we at least brush in the morning and before going to sleep: Your toothbrush should be held at a 45-degree angle and gently moved in a circular fashion, approximately 20 times per location. Brushing too briskly or forcefully can damage the gums and cause receding gums.
Clean your toothbrush: Soaking your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide once a week. This will help minimize bacterial colonization on your toothbrush. It’s also wise to replace your toothbrush as soon as the bristles bend or fray.
Use natural toothpaste: Natural toothpaste will help reduce the bacteria load and strengthen the teeth. Here is an easy homemade natural toothpaste that is full of anti-bacterial properties found in coconut oil, essential oils, and minerals found in sea salt or trace mineral drops.
4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 tablespoon xylitol powder (may be found at any local super-center)
20 drops cinnamon or clove essential oil
20 drops peppermint essential oil
30 drops trace minerals (for sodium, potassium, chloride, Magnesium, sulfate, boron and lithium).
You can substitute orange essential oil, tea-tree essential oils, and sea salt instead of trace mineral salts.
This recipe was adapted from Dr. Axe's "Food is Medicine" website.
Avoid sugar and carbs: Diet plays an important role in dental health. By avoiding processed sugars and carbohydrates (especially white flour), you prevent the proliferation of bad bacteria that causes tooth decay and gingivitis.
Keeping our teeth healthy is not a difficult task, and is a habit you won't regret having. Start with these tips today, and enjoy healthier, brighter, and stronger teeth!