An increasing number of people have been turning to more natural alternatives to toothpaste. Whether it’s due to wanting a more economical means of oral hygiene or a desire to avoid some of the chemicals that are so often present in over-the-counter toothpastes, many people are finding that natural alternatives work just as well as the more expensive name-brand products. Here are a few natural ways to keep your teeth clean and healthy.
- Baking soda: One age-old natural way to clean your teeth is with baking soda. Although the taste isn’t the greatest, not to mention the gritty consistency, baking soda actually works quite well at removing plaque.
- Sea salt: This one may come as a surprise. Sea salt – which is rich in essential minerals — can be a great way to whiten your teeth. But you’ll have to be sure that it’s diluted properly since it can be abrasive on tooth enamel if it’s not properly diluted.
- Peroxide: You may have noticed that peroxide is one of the ingredients in several toothpastes and tooth whiteners, so it should come as no surprise that it can be an effective alternative to regular toothpastes. But you should exercise caution with peroxide. You’ll need to dilute it with water to avoid burning your gums.
- Sesame, sunflower or coconut oil: A nice addition to your oral hygiene routine is to swish one of these essential oils around in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes each day. This practice (once referred to as “oil pulling” in ancient times) helps to fight gum disease and reduce plaque. Just remember that you’ll need to actually brush your teeth in addition to this method.
- Essential oils: Many people swear by essential oils, and for good reason. Several types are anti-bacterial and can be excellent ways to clean your teeth. Simply combine a couple drops of oil in water and use this solution to brush as you normally would. The best choices are peppermint, lemon, rosemary, eucalyptus and cinnamon.
Whether you choose a natural alternative to toothpaste, or one of the myriad of over-the-counter toothpaste brands, be sure to brush thoroughly twice a day and floss at least once a day. Practicing this oral hygiene routine day in and day out, combined with regular trips to your dentist office for professionals cleanings and exams at least twice a year, will help to ensure that you enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.