5 tips for a healthy smile
By Louise Belle BHSc (Nut Med)
Your smile is one of the things people notice most when talking to you (and your breath if they’re standing close enough). Having a nice smile and fresh breath is great for the confidence! Try these top tips for a healthy smile:
1. Oil pulling
This is an ancient tradition, primarily used in Ayurvedic medicine which involves swishing oil around in your mouth. Bacteria are hydrophilic, which means they are attracted to fat. Oil pulling draws bacteria, food scraps and toxins from your mouth. It promotes healthy gums and naturally whitens teeth. Simply swish 1 tbsp of oil (coconut oil is great) in your mouth for at least 10 minutes, pulling it through your teeth. This is best done first thing in the morning before you brush your teeth.
2. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is naturally antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal. It can help to fight bad breath, maintain healthy gums, prevent plaque build up and heal mouth ulcers. Add a couple of drops to some water and rinse your mouth, spit out then rinse your mouth again with plain water. Never swallow tea tree oil. There are also great natural toothpastes on the market that contain tea tree oil.
3. Calcium foods
Teeth are basically little bones, so it makes sense that our teeth need calcium to be healthy. The protective enamel of your teeth is needed to protect against cavities and is mainly made up of calcium. Dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt), fish with bones (such as sardines), bone broth, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, dried figs and amaranth are great sources of calcium. If you struggle to meet your daily requirements or have a greater need (such as ageing adults and women who have gone through menopause), supplementing with calcium could be beneficial. Calcium Complete combines calcium with vitamin D and other minerals that aid in absorption.
4. Tongue scraping
This is literally how it sounds- you scrape your tongue. Like oil pulling, tongue scraping is an Ayurvedic ritual that involves using a copper or metal scraper to remove the build-up of plaque, toxins, bacteria and dead cells from the tongues surface. This should be performed of a morning prior to oil pulling and teeth brushing. Scraping the tongue can help to improve breath and to keep your gums nice and healthy.
5. Activated charcoal
This one has become somewhat trendy in recent years. Activated charcoal is well known for its ability to absorb and remove toxins, but did you know it can actually whiten your teeth? It can help to remove stains and plaque build-up, leaving you with beautiful pearly whites. Simple wet your toothbrush and dip it in some charcoal powder and brush your teeth for a minute or so. Rinse with water.