Brushing your teeth isn’t just about avoiding cavities! Your oral health has a direct connect to your physical health. And, good news, maintaining a healthy mouth is easier than you think!
Did you know your mouth has the potential to impact your health negatively? I know ~ kind of crazy but it’s true! If your mouth is not a healthy environment, your teeth, gums, and overall health could be at risk.
I think it’s safe to say that we all like our teeth and kind of want to keep them around, and looking nice, for as long as possible. And most of us are looking for easy ways to improve and protect our health. Some of that requires caring for the Whole Mouth! As I began to look for ways to keep my teeth and gums healthy, I also began to see how a healthy mouth impacts a healthy body. So it goes without saying that taking good care of our pearly whites matters on many levels and for many reasons!
I’ve got pretty good teeth. It’s my gums that are the issue. But if the gums aren’t healthy, the teeth aren’t healthy, and neither is the mouth. And visa versa ~ If my mouth is filled with bacteria left unchecked, it’s going to contribute to the overall health of my teeth and gums.
My gums have been through it due to the fact that I’m a clencher! Hard core clencher! I’ve tried night guards and other ways to reduce my clenching habits but to no avail. I unknowingly take the night guards out of my mouth during the night and usually find them in the bed, on my side table, or on the floor. Three of them have been chewed on and destroyed by our dogs.
The pressure from clenching causes inflammation in the gum line, which leads to receding gums, which can result in bone loss and exposed roots. Not fun. I’ve been through 2 oral surgeries for gum grafts to stabilize my teeth and protect my jaw line from bone loss.
And while I haven’t found a perfect solution to the clenching part of the problem, there are a lot of other things I can do to improve the overall health of my mouth. So that’s what I’ve chosen to do.
I’m always looking for ways to care for myself with natural products when I can. I really do want my teeth to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible so I do my part daily to keep my mouth clean and healthy. And now that I know a clean mouth can protect my brain and gut in addition to keeping my teeth strong and healthy, I’m in! Taking care of yourself with the “whole you” in mind is really important.
Disclaimer, I’m not over here living a perfect organic girl life! But I do what I can when I can and trust that it all counts for something. Whenever I can make choices to live and eat clean, I do. Because I believe it matters and makes a difference for my life and the environment.
There are so many things that influence our health. Some are in our control some are not.
And while there are circumstances we can’t always immediately change, there are so many we can:
What we put on our skin
In our hair
What we allow our minds to dwell on
What we eat
How much we exercise, etc.
And our mouths are definitely something we have a lot of control over. I’ve been shocked at how significantly the cleanliness of our mouths can impact our overall health. Since I’m not the expert, I’m going to share a few articles from those that are! See below.
The good news is, improving your oral health is easier than you might think. Over the years I have found a routine I really like and it is making a difference. Here’s what I do!
For starters, I do oil pulling for the first 15-20 mins everyday. I’ll share more on that in another post another time but simply explained - oil pulling is swishing a small spoonful of coconut oil around in your mouth for 15+ mins which deals with bacteria and draws out toxins. Spit it out in the garbage when done.
I follow that up with one of two options and typically alternate between the two. I Use a homemade toothpaste and a tooth and gum solution from OraWellness.
I LOVE the OraWellness tooth and gum solution and have been using it for several years. All the ingredients are **“simply organic and wild crafted essential oils in a base of certified organic carrier oil” and help clean and freshen your whole mouth. The ingredients in OraWellness target bad bacteria which helps reduce tooth decay and gum disease. Everything feels super clean and healthy when I consistently use this product. **Quote from OraWellness product page.
The other part of this routine is a simple homemade toothpaste alternative. Using both the toothpaste and the orawellness solution has greatly impacted the health of my mouth, teeth, and gums. I hear from my dentist and oral hygienist every time I’m in how healthy my teeth and gums are (despite my clenching)! And plaque has significantly decreased as a result.
I finish up with a good old fashion flossing session at the end of the day! Call me weird but I love to floss!
It would be great if I could just find a simple solution for clenching. But probably not! In the mean time, this is what I do and it’s helping keep my mouth as healthy as possible!
Here’s my recipe for the homemade toothpaste:
3 T coconut oil
coconut oil is antimicrobial//antifungal and helps clean the mouth + its a great carrier for the additional ingredients.
2 T baking soda
baking soda is a mild abrasive that helps clean up your teeth super well + it is alkaline//creates healthier environment overall by cutting down acid. Bob’s Red Mill is my favorite!
40 drops of pure peppermint essential oil
Cools, refreshes, freshens! I start with 40 drops but typically end up putting in around 60+. I like the peppermint strong.
20 drops clove oil
Clove oil is known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties soothing and calming irritated gums and tissue. Great for teething babies. Great for adult mouths, too!
20 drops Trace Minerals
Can assist in remineralizing the teeth. Here’s the brand I use.
Some like to sweeten it up a bit. I’ve tried it with and without xylitol and it’s fine either way. This is totally a personal taste thing. But if you do want to use xylitol, this is my preferred brand here.
Mix in a small mason jar and seal well with a lid. If your environment is warm, it may liquify, and if cooler, it may harden. I simply dip my brush head into toothpaste and brush teeth as usual.
THE ONE CAVIAT HERE is that you need to spit this into a lined trash canister! The coconut oil will not be good for your drains so don’t spit in the sink.
There are so many recipes out there with additional ingredients but this is one I have grown to love and use consistently.
Here are a few articles to read more on the health of your mouth and how it can impact your health overall. From brain, to gut, to auto-immune conditions. Very interesting!
Life In, Life Out! Take good care! xo