Something to smile about!

One oft-neglected regimen in our daily lives is our mouth and dental hygiene. We take our teeth, lips, saliva, etc. for granted until we have a problem. Then we run to the dentist.  It is beneficial to get an annual dental check up. When’s the last time you saw the dentist?  Make an appointment today if it’s been a while since you got checked for cavities or other possible dental problems.  We can utilize a holistic approach to dental health to make that visit to the dentist a pleasant experience.

Let’s take a look at some holistic ways to cultivate dental health.

Take a look at your toothbrush. How old is it? The American Dental Association recommends replacing it every 3-4 months.

Brush your teeth first thing in the morning after you get up.  Do not consume food or liquid before you brush!Lots of bacteria have built up in your mouth while you slept, so if you start eating or drinking before you brush, then you’re taking those germs into your body as well.  It’s beneficial to brush after meals as well, if possible.  Make sure you brush before you go to bed. This is a way of removing the toxins that have accumulated during the day and it prevents them for circulating while you sleep.

Get a metal tongue cleaner. The majority of toxins in your mouth accumulate on your tongue, so cleaning your tongue after you brush (and before you rinse out your mouth) is a great way to remove these contaminants.  Brush before you consume anything in the morning to avoid ingesting all the bacteria that has accumulated overnight.  Do not use a plastic tongue cleaner; they’re usually formulated wrong (in the shape of a triangle).  A stainless steel one is best for all body types. Using your toothbrush shaves the papillae (those pink bumps) on your tongue and cause redness.  Most health food stores are selling tongue cleaners these days.  Hold the tongue cleaner by the corners and scrape your tongue from back to front.  Rinse the tongue cleaner and repeat. Wash the tongue cleaner and rinse out your mouth.

In both Ayurveda and Oriental medicine, each part of the tongue is connected to a certain bodily organ.  Trained professionals use tongue diagnosis to examine where health concerns exist.  White coating in a certain area, cracks, indentations, and discoloring are all indicators that some organ may not be functioning up to par.  Scraping the tongue early in the morning also stimulates the bodily organs and assists with their optimal operation.  

You can get stainless steel tongue cleaners from this website.

Concerned about bad breath?  It originates from the tongue, so keeping the tongue clean will minimize bad breath.  Chewing roasted sesame, cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds after a meal minimizes bad breath and aids digestion.

The dangers of fluoride and its links to illness are pretty well publicized these days. Examine your toothpaste and see if it contains fluoride.  You may want to make another choice next time.

Dentists say that regular flossing can help prevent lots of dental problems.  Make that part of your regular routine; it can take less than a minute and save lots of money down the road in dental bills.

Do you have mercury fillings in your teeth?  The hazards posed by these has also been documented.  Ask about getting them removed, one at time or all at once, as your budget allows.

A good source of natural calcium is chewing white sesame seeds. A mixture of sesame seeds and raisins are an excellent source of calcium and iron and make a tasty snack!

Dry lips? Try putting some ghee (clarified butter) on them (ideally the homemade kind made with organic butter).

Have your massage therapist massage your jaw and neck to relieve tension that’s held there. Or find someone who specializes in cranial-sacral therapy.

If your mouth is happy and healthy, then you’ll really have something to smile about! And so will your dentist.