Healthy teeth and gums not only give you a beautiful smile, but also indicate good oral health and hygiene that play a very important role in your life.
Good oral hygiene helps prevent cavities and stained or yellowed teeth, as well as bad breath. It is essential to your overall health as well.
Studies suggest that in addition to oral problems, oral bacteria and inflammation can lead to many other health problems, including heart disease, strokes, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney disease, diabetes and oral cancer. Women with oral disease also show higher incidences of pre-term, low birth-weight babies.
In addition, gum disease, tooth pain or other oral issues can affect people psychologically. The health of your teeth and gums has a direct influence on how you look, speak, chew and taste food.
It can even make some people shy away from socializing. Also, dental treatments are expensive and good oral health can help you save hundreds of dollars.
Fortunately, there are simple ways to keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy from childhood to old age. For good oral health, the first step is to maintain proper oral hygiene.
It means brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing once or twice a day (preferably after dinner), rinsing your mouth after each meal and using a mouthwash at least once daily.
Here are the top 10 ways to get strong teeth and gums.
1. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling, also known as oil swishing, is an age-old practice used in Ayurveda that helps strengthen the teeth, gums and jaw while preventing tooth decay. It helps draw out bacteria from the mouth, keeps your gums healthy and brightens your teeth.
According to a 2009 study published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research, oil pulling with sesame oil benefits in the treatment of plaque-induced gingivitis.
In addition, oil pulling detoxifies and cleanses the body, which is good for oral as well as overall health.
- Put 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in your mouth.
- Gently swish it around for about 20 minutes.
- Spit it out. Avoid gargling or swallowing the oil.
- Rinse your mouth out with warm water. Use salt water for added antimicrobial benefits.
- Brush your teeth as usual.
- Do this daily in the morning, on an empty stomach.
You can also do oil pulling with coconut oil.
Note: Do not gargle or swallow the oil.
Turmeric contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help keep the gums healthy and teeth free from bacterial infection.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology found turmeric mouthwash to be effective in controlling plaque and preventing gingivitis.
- Add a little water to ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder to make a paste. Brush your teeth with it, a few times a week.
- Alternatively, prepare a paste with 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and ½ teaspoon each of salt and mustard oil. Massage it on your teeth and gums once daily.
- You can also boil ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder in 1 cup of water, allow it to cool and use it as a mouthwash once daily.
3. Guava Leaves
According to a review of studies published in the Pharmacognosy Review in 2014, guava leaves are effective in the treatment of periodontal disease.
As an excellent antiplaque, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent, guava leaves help maintain strong teeth and gums.
They also help keep your breath fresh and clean. Herbalists recommend using tender leaves or tender twigs of guava trees to maintain oral hygiene.
- Chew a few well-washed tender guava leaves thoroughly, then spit them out.
- You can also grind some tender guava leaves and use it as toothpaste to brush your teeth.
- Another option is to prepare a mouth rinse by boiling 4 to 6 guava leaves in 1 cup of water for about 5 minutes. Strain the water and allow it to cool. Use it as a daily mouthwash.
4. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac, also known as neem, has antibacterial properties that help maintain oral health by easily destroying bacteria that cause cavities, plaque, gingivitis and gum disease.
In a 2011 study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, researchers found neem to be effective for treating plaque-induced gingivitis.
- Grind 2 or 3 neem leaves into a paste. Use this paste to brush your teeth a few times a week.
- You can also rub the juice from neem leaves on your teeth and gums, allow it to sit for 5 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water. Do this daily.
- You can even use a twig from a neem tree to brush your teeth.
5. Green Tea
A 2012 study published in the Archives of Oral Biology found green tea to be a promising natural product in oral health.
The natural fluoride, polyphenols and catechins in green tea can destroy the bacteria that cause tooth decay, cavities and gum disease. It also prevents bad breath.
- Drink 3 to 4 cups of green tea every day. To promote oral health, drink green tea without sugar or honey.
- You can even chew sugarless gum made with green tea.
According to a 2011 study published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Natural Products, licorice root may help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Scientists reported that the two predominant compounds in licorice, licoricidin and licorisoflavan A, help kill the major bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease, the leading causes of tooth loss in children and adults.
- Use a little bit of dried licorice root powder to brush your teeth on a regular basis.
- You can also use a soft licorice stick like a toothbrush to brush your teeth daily.