Caring for our mouth is one of the most vital practices we do in our daily lives. The moment we became conscious of what is happening around us, we sure heard how the adults constantly remind us of brushing our teeth three times in a day and how that retained until the present times. It is normal to realize the importance of oral health and how we are including more products as a mouth wash, dental floss, and even breath sprays as we age.
The intention is good for certain: we want to maintain proper oral hygiene.
The question for us is: are we really caring for our oral health through these everyday practices?
Like most parts of our body, Ayurveda suggests ways on how we could better care for our oral health in the long run.
Brushing Your Teeth
Being mindful of the toothpaste you use is as important as brushing your teeth.
You may be overwhelmed by the numerous brands and flavors of toothpaste that you are seeing at the grocery store or even online. There might be instances where you just grabbed the most popular ones or those endorsed by your favorite artists.
Most of these kinds of toothpaste contain ingredients that can’t be properly deciphered because of their scientific terms. These flavorful toothpastes that you normally use may even cause tartar formation instead of the other way around. Aside from that, an excess amount of fluoride can weaken your gums and teeth like discoloration.
An Ayurvedic toothpaste is far different from the latter as it’s made of numerous herbs and natural substances that not just promote healthy teeth and mouth but also has a great effect on your digestive tract. Good examples are basil, neem, and clove.
This toothpaste may not have that instant cooling and foaming effect you are looking for a regular one but will improve your overall oral health with daily use.
Of course, if it’s Ayurveda, we must have oils!
Oil pulling, also known as Gundusha, is the practice of swishing oil in the mouth. Have a tablespoon or two of any of the following oils: sesame oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and olive oil. Do this for about 20 minutes.
Gundusha promotes oral hygiene including the prevention of gingivitis and formation of cavities, strengthens your teeth and gums, gets rid of microbes and bacteria residing in your mouth, whitens the teeth, makes your lips soft, and reduces bad breath. This is seen to also improve your overall health in general like improving the circulation of blood throughout your body.
This oil pulling is a good substitute for your mouthwash, the only difference is the product you are using. There is also a slight difference in the procedure as 20 minutes is too long for a mouthwash given its cooling formula that might hurt your gums. Since oils are gentle, holding it for that long won’t cause you pain. Brush your teeth with water after doing so to get rid of residues.
Aside from the usual swishing, you could also massage the oil gently on your gums to prevent gingivitis and make your gums stronger and healthier.
The tongue is prone to millions of bacteria that build up overnight. With this, it’s crucial to clean your tongue after brushing your teeth.
Jihva Nirlekhana or tongue scraping is part of the daily routine or dinacharya in Ayurveda. This simple habit helps remove bacteria, prevents the cause of bad breath and gum diseases, and activates hundreds of taste buds in your tongue.
You could choose from using a copper, gold, or silver tongue scraper that works best for you.
As for scraping, stick out your tongue and gently scrape it starting from the back with the right amount of pressure.
These simple steps are similar to the activities we familiarized ourselves with as we grow up, it’s just made better with Ayurveda.