FYI, that pie hole of yours may only see gluten-free plant-based treats, but it’s still filled with microorganisms – some of which are beneficial (think probiotics), while others can lead to issues like bad breath, gingivitis, plaque and cavities. We’re taking on our makeup bags, our pantries, and winter cleanses this month, so why not detox our mouths as well?
Beyond stanky breath and other oral hygiene challenges, your mouth (much like your gut) can have a serious impact on overall health. Clinical studies show the bad bacteria in the mouth can be serious – poor oral hygiene can be linked to cardiovascular disease, bacterial pneumonia and even diabetes. Kinda makes you want to go brush your teeth, like immediately, right?
Here are eight great natural additions to the holy trinity (brushing, rinsing, flossing) of oral health – from oil pulling to gold-infused toothbrushes to enhance your daily detoxifying oral cleansing routine.
8 Ways to effectively detox your mouth:
Copper Tongue Scraper
This Ayurvedic practice helps to clean debris, bacteria, dead cells, reduce bad breath and may even help to reduce cravings. The addition of copper is antimicrobial and adds to the bacteria reducing benefits of the practice.
Tongue scrape morning and night by holding the tongue scraper in both hands, gently gliding along the surface of your tongue from the back to tip of your tongue. Repeat 8-12 times. Rinse your mouth with cold water and best results follow up directly with oil pulling.
The ancient Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling has become very popular as a way to safely whiten teeth and pull toxins from the body. It is believed that by simply swishing sesame oil (traditionally) or coconut oil for 20 minutes a day, oil pulling may help prevent and treat cavities, improve the appearance of the skin, relieve TMJ issues, dry mouth, canker sores and other mouth irritations and overall strengthen immunity.
Whatever your stance on fluoride, we’d personally rather brush without. Over the years toothpastes have evolved to the point where they contain quite a few things that make us feel less than squeaky clean. The high sugar, saccharin and preservatives, just to name a few are ingredients that just seem counterintuitive to our overall oral health.
While it may not foam the way we have come to expect a typical toothpaste to, we’re big fans of Eco Dent’s products. Made with natural cleansing and whitening ingredients like baking soda, sea salt and silica -this is a toothpaste that truly strengthens and whitens without all the other additions.
TCM pick: Eco-Dent Extra Brite Tooth Whitener
Bentonite clay and activated charcoal are excellent additions to our oral health routine. Bentonite clay has the ability to bind to heavy metals and toxins and activated charcoal additionally helps to polish and whiten. Both help to strengthen our teeth by providing essential minerals as well.
TCM pick: Natural Whitening Tooth & Gum Powder
Gold and Charcoal toothbrush
Why not take your brushing one step further with this gold and charcoal infused toothbrush. Merging the antibacterial properties of gold with the natural whitening power of bamboo charcoal, this brush helps to keep your toothbrush and mouth free of additional bacteria and effectively whitens teeth.
TCM pick: Nano-B Gold and Charcoal Toothbrush
We know that probiotics are essential for our overall health and immunity, but probiotics are equally important for our oral health too. These microorganisms (microflora) are the good bacteria that keep pathogens (harmful microorganisms or bacteria including those in our mouths) in check and aid in proper digestion and nutrient absorption.
TCM pick: The Best Probiotics at Every Price
salt water rinse
This ancient practice is a helpful way to reduce bacteria first thing in the morning. Add a couple of teaspoons of unprocessed raw salts to warm water and gargle for a couple minutes and spit. The minerals help to increase the pH balance of your mouth while also reducing inflammation and soothing mouth sores. It may even help us recover more quickly from sore throats and colds.
TCM pick: Celtic Sea Salt
Sometimes we need something a little stronger to help soothe those pre-existing conditions like red inflamed gums or toothaches. We love uber-natural Living Libations herbal gum oil, including powerful herbs like cinnamon, clove, oregano, peppermint, rose, tea tree, sea buckthorn, and thyme. Add a drop or two to your toothbrush, floss, mouthwash or tongue scraping routine for added benefits and fresh breath.
TCM pick: Living Libations Happy Gum Drops