Surprising Natural Oral Care Options

Natural products versus household staples. Chances are that you’ve probably seen this battle play out firsthand when it comes to just about any shopping trip you make. Perhaps your friends and loved ones are a bit cynical when it comes to some of the offerings from the larger companies, and believe that going smaller, organic, or natural is a way to ensure that you get the best final result. This can stem from food to cleaning products, but it can be especially contentious when talking about health, oral health include. As things turn out, there are a few natural items you may want to add along with your brushing and flossing—just be sure to talk to a dentist first. Here are some standouts.

Green Tea Extract: Some believe that green tea extract, which has been used for a variety of purposes in recent years, can also help keep your teeth from decaying.  One study showed that it slowed negative effects of starch on teeth as well.

Probiotics: This one may surprise you for oral health, as most people take probiotics to help ease their digestion. Well, as things turn out, the same positive effect can play out in different areas. Just like our gut, our mouth is the home for a wide amount of microorganisms and bacteria called a microbiome.  We still haven’t discovered exactly all the different ways that these microbiomes play out, but what we do know is imbalance can lead to major issues, especially in the gums. For the longest time, it was believed that all bacteria should be eliminated from the mouth, now it’s looking more like getting the right bacteria in. This is where probiotics help.

Cloves/Clove oil: Chances are that you may even still see this particular option in your dentist’s office, even if you don’t notice it at first. This is commonly used to help provide pain relief from toothaches, due to the presence of a substance called eugenol. Eugenol numbs the area while also providing natural anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. If you want to use it yourself, there are a few different ways to do it. You can either chew a single clove, apply it directly to the area in pain, or create an easy-to-make clove mouthwash.

Supplements: We already talked about probiotics, but there are other supplements out there that will help boost the natural capacity of your body to heal when it comes to oral issues. Examples include vitamin D and cod liver oil. When you take any sort of dietary supplement, you want to run it by a doctor, even if you’re just taking it for your teeth.

It’s important to note that when we talk about natural products and health, there are a lot of things that you can do that don’t require any sort of medication at all when you’re grappling with a tooth problem. A lot of the time, simply thinking smart can save you a lot of trouble, even in a dental emergency.

According to Dr. Sam Carroll, DMD, of Yuma Smiles in Yuma, AZ, “if your tooth is knocked out, there are steps you can take to maximize our ability to re-seat the tooth successfully. Call our office immediately if you lose a tooth. Quick reseat is chance of keeping the teeth.  Locate the tooth and try not to touch the roots when handling it. If the tooth is dirty it can be gently washed in a dish of warm water. Do not submerge the tooth under running water.

If possible, place the tooth back in the socket. You can bite down gently on a piece of gauze or a moistened tea bag to keep it in place. If the tooth can’t replace in the socket, you can soak it in milk or saline solution or wrap it in a clean piece of cloth or paper towel moistened with saliva.”

There’s nothing wrong with trying to use modern techniques to try and handle a potential health issue, but you want to make sure you know every option on the table before you do so. This desire is part of what sparked the trend towards natural health in the first place, and is unlikely to change in the future. Just keep your dentist and other health professionals in the loop, and you’ll be surprised what new tools you find in the quest for healthy and beautiful teeth.

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