My kids have on occasion stared at me with a thoughtful expression and said things like, “Mom, you have yellow teeth.” I can’t describe the warm fuzzies these types of revelations give me. Especially when done in public. In a not so quiet voice. Sigh.
But often times these observations are dead on. And so it is with my teeth. They have stained a less than pearly white shade over the years (what can I say? I love my English Breakfast tea).
Plus, going to the dentist is a nightmare for me thanks to exposed roots. Boy when they hit one of those, I about come out of my chair and resemble a cat clinging to the ceiling.
So I’m all about that…healthy mouth. You thought I was going to say bass didn’t you? And now that song is stuck in your head isn’t it? You’re welcome.
I love researching, learning and experimenting (not Jekyll and Hyde stuff), and have come up with some mouthy wisdom to pass on to you. So without further ado, but probably with more commentary, I give you three toothy tips:
1. No matter what you use on your teeth, if you don’t floss, you are doing a great disservice to your mouth. Really, this is the number one thing you should be doing for your teeth and gums. Floss. Floss. Floss. And then floss some more. Make this a solid habit. Test out various flosses until you find one you like best.
I honestly hated flossing. Winding floss around my fingers hurt. Hitting my gums with floss hurt. Hitting the side of my mouth while trying to get those back teeth hurt. It was a bloody mess (and now I’m thinking in an English which actually happens often). But as I’ve implemented these tips and started using homemade toothpaste (recipe coming this Saturday), it’s not hurting or bleeding like before. Plus, I am using floss picks so no more sore fingers. I dare you to find the kind that works for you and stick with it for two weeks.
2. Use a soft brush. Anything more tears up your gums, and can lead to more damage and recession. My dental hygienist taught me this tip. She also nagged me about flossing every. single. visit. She’d be proud of me now. Anywho, use a soft bristled brush and scrub well getting to the back teeth as well as behind your teeth well. Gently brush your gums, too. While you’re at it, you might as well brush your tongue and roof of your mouth. Any good toothpaste (preferably homemade) will have enough grit to gently scrub your teeth well.
3. Swish with Coconut oil. Coconut oil is so good for you, and your mouth is no exception. It is an antioxidant, and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It also reduces inflammation and whitens teeth. I swished every day the week before my dental appointment (desperate measures), and it was the least painful and best visit I’ve had in a long time. Even my hygienist commented on how much better my gums were. One week people. I’m sold.
So how do you swish? Ultimately, the goal is to swish one tablespoon of coconut oil for 20 minutes. I recommend you start with a teaspoon for at least ten minutes and work your way up. Don’t swish vigorously. You’ll wear out your jaw muscles. Just move it around gently and then spit it into the trashcan (you don’t want to clog your sink pipes). Don’t swallow it! Spit the toxins and bacteria it’s collected out. Swish your mouth with warm water to rinse it out after.
I usually read, journal or putter around to pass the time. The taste isn’t bad, but warming it to a liquid state might be easier than taking it in solid form. Make sure your coconut oil is a quality organic, virgin, and unrefined oil. Oil swishing doesn’t need to be a daily thing, but I recommend doing it a couple of days a week for best results.
Do you have any terrific toothy tips to share? I’d love to hear them as I continue my quest for a happier and healthier smile. Don’t forget to come back Saturday if you are interested in a homemade toothpaste recipe.
Disclaimer: I am not a dentist nor do I play one on TV. I’m a mom who has researched, experimented and drawn conclusions. These I share with you to encourage healthy teeth and gums. Use at your own risk, and definitely do some research as you decide if this is something you want to try.
Now, go forth and show those pearly whites (well, the white part might take some time).
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