Have you ever checked the ingredient list on the back of your food? Do you try to avoid harmful chemicals and preservatives in your diet? It might be time to take the same considerations into account with your toothpaste. Even though you’re not swallowing it, substances can still be absorbed through the thin lining of the gums. Standard toothpastes can contain dubious ingredients such as fluoride, triclosan, glycerine or artificial sweeteners. If you find this concerning, you might like to try using more natural products as toothpaste, or have a go at making your own.
- Baking Soda
Baking soda is a long-used traditional remedy for whitening and cleaning teeth. It’s highly alkaline pH makes it perfect for neutralising acids which lead to plaque and tooth decay. It is also antibacterial and freshens the breath. Not convinced? Many commercial toothpastes already have baking soda in them!
How to use it: Mix baking soda with water to form a paste and use it like regular toothpaste. If you’re not bothered by the taste, you can dip a wet toothbrush in baking soda and brush away.
- Sea Salt
Sea salt contains a number of trace minerals which are great for teeth and gums. The iodine present in sea salt can fight bacteria and neutralise the acids which lead to tooth decay. Other elements, such as calcium, magnesium and sodium, can freshen breath and reduce tartar build up.
How to use it: Dissolve half a teaspoon of sea salt in warm water and use this to brush or as a mouthwash.
- Oil Pulling
Some oils, such as coconut oil, can be used in dental hygiene due to their antibacterial and antifungal properties. Using the ancient practice of oil pulling, you can reduce plaque and gum disease in an all-natural way.
How to use it: Swish a tablespoon of oil around your mouth for 20 minutes a day. When you’re finished scrub your teeth with plain water.