When it comes to dental hygiene it's common knowledge that brushing your teeth alone just isn't enough to achieve ultimate cleanliness. To ensure that your teeth are clean and your gums are healthy, there are some unconventional dental practices that you may not have considered! When you want to amp up your dental routine, forget regular brushing and flossing! Why not try tongue cleaning or oil pulling? These unconventional techniques have proved highly effective at removing toxins and whitening your teeth. What more could you ask for!
1. Tongue Cleaning
Did you know that 50% of the bacteria living in our mouths is found on the surface of the tongue?1 While brushing and flossing is great for your teeth and gums, tongue cleaning is needed to remove the remaining bacteria! The best way to do this is by scraping the tongue... which isn't painful at all! Using a tongue scraper is significantly more effective at removing volatile sulfur compounds compared to brushing your tongue with a toothbrush.2 These compounds found on the tongue are bad breath causing bacteria. According to Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar, BAMS, MD "Tongue Cleaning is more than removing bacteria to freshen breath. Touching the tongue (which is a lymphoid tissue) with a stainless steel tongue cleaner, and the gentle pressure from back to front, actually helps stimulate the immune system, taste buds and senses. It also enlivens all related organs."
The tongue cleaner that I use and recommend is the Dr Tung's Tongue Cleaner! It's the number one best selling tongue cleaner on the market! This tongue cleaner is made from stainless steel that removes bacteria and plaque built up on the surface, by scraping away bad breath causing bacteria. It may even help increase the overall taste perception of the tongue by removing the coating that can dull taste receptors! To use, gentle press the metal part of the scraper as far back on your tongue as you feel comfortable with, then pull the scraper forward. You can do this each morning before you brush your teeth!
2. Oil Pulling
If you haven't heard of oil pulling, this dental trend is actually an ancient technique that can be used to whiten teeth and remove impurities from your body. It works to detoxify the body and promote dental hygiene. Through this detoxification process, oil pulling may help prevent cavities and gingivitis, strengthen teeth and promote optimal gum health. It may also reduce headaches, lessen jaw pain and help soothe sensitive skin conditions such as acne and keratosis pilaris.
When it comes to oil pulling, I love the Dr Tungs Oil Pulling Concentrate. This time tested remedy contains 24 plants and herbs that are ideal for oil pulling. It has a sesame oil base which works to pull toxins from the body. This Oil Pulling Concentrate is also great for ridding the mouth of harmful bacteria while leaving the good bacteria behind. You only need to use this oil for five to fifteen minutes due to the effectiveness of the included ingredients. It's a gentle formulation based on this ancient tradition.
When you are travelling or just starting out, the Keeko Coconut Oil Pulling Treatments are a great option. These 14 day starter kits come with naturally flavoured Certified Organic Coconut Oil, making the process so much easier and more enjoyable! When using regular oil, the taste can become unpleasant when left in your mouth for the duration of the treatment. Keeko's flavoured oils are the perfect resolution! You can choose from three delicious flavours; Morning Mint, Citrus Burst or Sweet Sensations. If you would rather a selection of all three, they also have a Lucky Dip pack. To use, warm the sachet under hot water and pour the contents into your mouth. Swirl around gently for five to fifteen minutes, spit out and brush as normal.
3. Smart Flossing
While regular flossing does a good job at removing excess plaque build up missed by your toothbrush, the Dr Tungs Natural Dental Floss Smart Floss removes up to 55% more plaque than mainstream floss! It's lightly waxed with beeswax and has the ability to stretch and expand between teeth. This is ultra gentle on the gums and provides a thorough clean. In a clinical study conducted by Dr Tungs, results actually showed that subjects using this floss saw a 70% reduction in plaque build up. How amazing is that! Use as you would regular dental floss. It also comes in a totally biodegradable, box which you can place in your recycling bin!
4. Natural Teeth Whitening
Gone are the days of messy trays and professional whiting systems that can burn the gums. This all-natural Dr Brite Antioxidant Whitening Pen comes in two flavours; Apple and Mint and it uses food grade Hydrogen Peroxide and Vitamin C designed to whiten the teeth 2 shades, in 2 days! They also have a Hydrogen Peroxide Free version that helps to whiten your teeth by 8 shades in just one week, this option uses a combination of all natural ingredients including Vitamin C, Baking Soda and Coconut Oil! Both whitening pens help to protect your gums while gently whitening the teeth. To use, brush and floss as usual before gently drying teeth with a tissue. You will need to prime the pump by clicking it around 20 times. Rub the gel onto your teeth in a circular motion, then leave on for two minutes. You can do this up to three times a day!
Another traditional dental technique used to whiten your teeth naturally is brushing with charcoal! I love this Warpaint Natural Teeth Whitener! It is made from Activated Coconut Shell Charcoal, Peppermint and Calcium Bentonite, this super fine black powder turns to a liquid when it gets wet and may help to whiten teeth by removing stains. The Activated Coconut may also help to assist in balancing the mouth's pH levels and kill bad bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gingivitis. It is designed to remove discolouration without harming the enamel of the teeth. To use, dip a clean wet toothbrush into the powder. Brush in gentle circles for two minutes. Mix with coconut oil if you would like a toothpaste consistency!
5. Weleda Salt Toothpaste
Did you know that this salt toothpaste uses our own saliva to clean our teeth? The Weleda Salt Toothpaste actually uses the natural components in our mouth to clean the teeth by stimulating saliva production which then clean the teeth naturally as well as promotes healthy gums and neutralises harmful plaque acids. It also has a uniquely addicting taste, like a salty-peppermint explosion and is made with natural ingredients including Ratanhia Root, Sea Salt and Peppermint that leave your mouth clean and minty fresh! For best results, use on a dry toothbrush.
(souces: 1dentalhealthweek.gov.au, 2ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)