Ayurvedic Dental Care

 

AYURVEDIC dental careTooth care is important not just to be able to chew well, but to speak well, look our best, and for overall heath.  The saying is that “ignore your teeth, and they’ll go away” is sadly true, and there are many ways to improve and maintain oral health besides “brush and floss”.   Here are some Ayurvedic and other simple methods for improving oral health.

Ayurvedic methods

1.  Tongue scraper daily – essential.  Tongue scrapers or cleaners are U shaped metal utensils designed to clean the fuzz from the tongue, from back to front, usually first thing in the morning as a regular habit.  Usually made of stainless steel, they can also be found made of copper or silver.  Just scrape from back to front a few times and rinse the tongue scraper well.  This not only reduces bacteria count, it cleans off toxins that accumulate on the tongue overnight, and helps stimulate different organs of the body via reflex points on the tongue.

2.  It is important to rinse the mouth very well (squishing between teeth) with several mouthfuls of warm water after every meal – salted water is even better.

3.  Using twigs for tooth brushes - this is actually much healthier than plastic and nylon germ ridden tooth brushes, many of which actually degrade the gums.  I used to use eucalyptus twigs when I lived where I could get them;  neem and mango twigs work as well.  The bendy tender twigs are good.  Peel the end which can be chewed and then used like a brush, or the twigs can be cut on a slant and used that way.  A simple way is to cut a number of twigs and soak them in a cup of water to have on hand for several days.  They can even be cut a little long, and then after using, cut the used section off and soak again for the next use.   My teeth never felt so clean as when I used twig tooth brushes.

4.  Oil pulling – an old friend told me her experiences with this, and there are many websites describing this method.  A mouthful of sesame oil (some use coconut or other oils, I much preferred sesame oil) swished in the mouth and teeth for 10 to 20 minutes, and then spit out and rinse well.  The best is refined black (not toasted) sesame oil.  The first few times a gag reflex may occur, the best thing is to persevere.  This can also be tried –   put a few drops of essential oils such tea tree or peppermint or lemon into the oil, mix well, and use the flavored oil; this can make it easier.  There are many benefits but at the least this is said to heap clean out all kinds of bacteria from the teeth and gums.  My friend was supposed to have major gum surgery, she had very infected gums which were pulling away from her teeth, in fact her teeth were all getting loose!  So she did the oil pulling 3 times a day for 20 minutes each time, and within three months, the gums were growing in nice and pink, no more infection or bad smell, the teeth were tight in the gums, and the periodontist was amazed.

5.  Using bitter and hot and astringent tooth powder, sticky sweet tooth pastes are very damaging to oral health.  People in India commonly use a red clay based tooth powder.  It is simple to make powdered clay based tooth powder using similar ingredients and it works very well.  Teeth are much cleaner than with sticky sweet tooth pastes.   The basic ingredients are powdered clay, salt, baking soda and essential oils, and one can add some powdered herbs if desired.  I’ve noticed that using clay based tooth powder even just rubbing the clay with your finger, without a tooth brush gets the teeth squeaky clean.

Other Measures:

1.  Baking soda used as tooth powder kills a type of bacteria called spirochetes which create plaque in the mouth, and are also thought to contribute to other health problems, even Alzheimers.   I read some research about this a couple of years ago and now use baking soda as well as the clay tooth powder and when I last went to the dentist (an evil butcher…) they did a little quick test to see the bacteria level in the mouth and mine was so low he couldn’t believe it.  I attribute it to daily dental flossing and the baking soda and clay tooth powder, as well as the other Ayurvedic methods such as tongue scraping, rinsing after eating, and oil pulling.

2.  It’s best to avoid the sticky sweet toothpastes and also commercial mouthwashes, they do more harm than good.  Why is that?  Take a look at the ingredient lists, for one; also a sweet tasting toothpaste, according to Ayurvedic principles, going to harm teeth and promote bacteria.  The tastes best for tooth care are hot, bitter and astringent, rather than sweet.  Most people find that using these tastes leaves the mouth feeling much cleaner and fresher than sweet pastes.  There are many other types of tooth powders such as charcoal and clay based (as above).  A mouthwash with salt added is the most effective without chemicals or artificial sweeteners which are usually toxic, and a few drops of essential oils can be added.  The easiest method is to make a concentrate of plain essential oils and any time we want to use a mouthwash, just sprinkle a drop or two into a cup of water and use that.  Good ones for mouth wash are clove, peppermint, spearmint, eucalyptus, tea tree, wintergreen and even citrus like lemon, lime and orange.

3.  Using dental floss daily, carefully.  We all know how to do this.

4.  Using gum stimulators regularly helps clean under the gums, which toothbrushes often miss.  These are metal holders with small rubber tips that can be removed and replaced.  After brushing and flossing, you work the little rubber tip between the teeth and gums and clean out any remaining residues.

5.   Avoiding clenching or grinding teeth at night – this can not only wear down the enamel, but put stress on the roots and create pain or even infection.  There are various kinds of tooth guards one can buy, they are placed into hot water and then molded to your teeth.

The content on this website is not medical diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your healthcare provider.


Read more about Ayurvedic Oral Hygiene here

Tooth brushing, oil pulling and tissue regeneration: A review of holistic approaches to oral health

The content on this website is not medical diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your healthcare provider.

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