Many of my readers have been asking me what my routine is for natural oral care.
And to be honest, I hadn’t ever felt like I really had any sort of routine. In fact, it will likely surprise you what I do *most* of the time for oral care. And if anything, that would be more of what would be considered “routine” for me.
I will reveal that shortly.
In the meantime though… after some thinking… I realized that there are a certain number of things that I do… oral care wise, even if it isn’t every single day.
I would like to start off by saying… I do not rely on a dentist or dental hygienist to keep my oral health in check any more than I rely on a medical doctor to keep my physical health in check. I’m not convinced they are interested in the prevention or healing path, more than they are the medicine/surgery (bandage) path. Maybe I’m wrong, and I certainly cannot place all medical professionals under that umbrella.
At any rate… I take oral care into my own hands. And I will say… I have no tooth or gum pain, they look nice, and I have strong choppers, and a nice smile if I do say so myself 🙂
I think that the “routine” I follow for my health care contributes to:
- a nice smile
- good strong teeth
- good breath
- healthy sinuses
- and fewer colds!
My MAIN Oral Care Tool
OK, I will confess. I actually brush my teeth maybe 5 to 6 times each day. But only when I am home all day (which is most of the time because I work from home).
And most of those times I don’t use any toothpaste at all… just water, and I only brush for less than a minute.
I notice when my teeth feel yucky, and I gently brush them, and massage my gums with my medium bristled ordinary run-of-the-mill toothbrush. No expensive horsetail variety. Straight up pharmacy bought toothbrush for a buck. I change my toothbrush every 1 to 2 months. It’s not an expensive habit.
I take care to touch every tooth surface gently during these “quick-but-gentle brushings” and I angle my brush to about a 45, and gently clean the front of each tooth with a downward stroke. I then brush the tops and bottoms. I then do the same on the insides, and I spit a lot and rinse the toothbrush often. So yes, I DO keep the water running the whole time! Sorry about that.
Truth be told… like push-ups for exercise, if I was allowed only one thing for oral care, it would be this. I think that toothpaste is largely overrated. I do use some natural fluoride-free toothpaste here and there (I like Tom’s brand because the tube packaging used makes it easy to get all of the toothpaste out), and sometimes I even use toothpaste with fluoride (but very rarely).
However, I do also feel that healthy food choices contribute significantly to proper oral care (and even tooth healing!).
Morning Oral Care Routine
Aside from doing the quick and gentle water brushes as described above, most every morning I also include gentle “tongue scraping” in my oral care routine. In fact, it’s often the very first thing I do.
It’s quite a nasty thing. I think that throughout the night my body pushes out some nastiness onto my tongue as part of natural cleansing. But with a few scrapes and rinses, it disappears, and my tongue looks fresh and nice again.
I never gag myself anymore by trying to brush my tongue. I use this specially designed soft-metal tongue scraper and my breath is much much better, and my mouth is so much cleaner, because of it.
Another part of my morning routine, usually in the shower and/or while brushing… I pull up phlegm and spit a lot. Gross I know! I’m glad my family loves me! This, I feel, keeps my sinuses nice and clean, and keeps me healthier as a result.
As a kid, when I had a runny nose, I would generally suck it back and swallow. Again, gross I know! And my Dad would always say…. that stuff needs to come out, not stay in. Don’t be ashamed, and spit and blow that stuff out! Blow your nose thoroughly in the morning. Clean out that gargly mucous.
All of this is helpful, in my opinion, for optimal oral care, pleasant breath, and fewer respiratory illnesses. Try it!
Tea Tree Oil as Part of a Natural Oral Care Routine
I love love love using tea tree oil for tooth and gum care. And really even to treat sores like cold sores. It is an incredible tool in the bathroom!
Before starting to use tea tree oil enriched oral care products, the idea to use it as a standalone product came to me after utilizing a mixture of essential oils in a similar way as I am about to describe.
There was a time when I used to visit the dentist and at multiple visits they would tell me that the gap between my gums and teeth was widening, either from vigorous brushing or some other improper tooth care routine.
Their suggestions, like “rubber tipping everyday” never worked. In fact, nothing they suggested worked and kept trying to convince me that root canals or tooth removal was in my future if I didn’t address this issue.
Well, I decided to listen to some advice by a natural tooth care professional (which I discussed before in an older article), which suggested I apply a mixture of essential oils (expensive!) to my dental floss before use. And this worked!! I noticed a difference, and upon my next visit to the dentist they confirmed it. The gaps between my teeth and gums were tightening up.
I was going to stop going at that point, but I went a couple more times afterwards to see if everything was continuing in the right direction, although I was feeling intuitively that it was. I actually ended up switching to using just 100% pure tea tree oil instead, and I was getting the same results. I realized after that there is a natural dental floss with tea tree oil baked right in. I use either method now.
If I apply the oil myself:
- I just take out a long strand of dental floss
- The I put a drop of tea tree on my thumb and finger
- The I slide my coated fingers down the floss, then floss as normal
It doesn’t taste wonderful I won’t lie, but it feels so cleansing.
I also sometimes add a drop or two to my wet toothbrush and brush my teeth with it. Be careful not to add too much if following along with this idea. It can burn. I find that adding a drop or two to a wet toothbrush has been perfectly fine for me.
Lastly, I choose a nice natural mouthwash that boasts its main ingredient as being tea tree oil. It is alcohol free, tastes bad, but works well. I swish a cap full around for several minutes for maximum effect, and rinse my mouth out multiple times with fresh water. It offers such a clean healthy feeling afterwards. Sometimes I may gargle a bit (diluted) if I feel the need to kill some germs around my throat area.
Natural Oral Care Routine
As mentioned above, I don’t do *all* of the steps described below multiple times a day, or even everyday at all. In fact, I might do them once per week, or 3 times per month… just whenever I feel the need. And when I have 20 minutes to dedicate to oral care.
I mostly do one or some of the steps, whatever I intuitively feel like doing at the time. If I tried to commit to doing them all regularly I think I would be wasting time, energy, and money and probably ultimately give up. I like my non-routine routine as it is.
OK… here are the steps for my oral care:
- Gentle tongue scraping
- Fresh water rinse
- Tea tree oil dental floss
- Gentle teeth/gum brushing with either: just water, water and tea tree oil, fluoride-free toothpaste, or regular ol’ toothpaste
- Sometimes I scrape my tooth surfaces with the tips of those personal angled flossers
- Thorough rinse, and possible gargle, with some good natural tea tree oil mouthwash
- Multiple fresh water rinsing
- Mucous cleaning: spitting, nose blowing… getting rid of the phlegm and loogies
- Sip a nice glass of room temperature water
Ahhhh…. now gimme a big mooch! I feel so fresh and so clean clean. 🙂
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