Take a deep breath in! Can you smell it yet? Spring is in the air. Bulbs of nestling flowers are starting to peek their heads up through the ground ready to spread their pretty little selves all over Central Park. The birds are starting to clean out from the winter and build a safe and welcoming home for their babies whose heads will be pecking their way out of their shells and singing the melodious songs that fill our city with peace and the reminder of newness and life.
Are you preparing for spring as well? Spring seems to sweep in with a desire to clean out, freshen up and make a somewhat new appearance into the world for each of us. The house gets a deep clean sweep. Paint gets freshened up from the winter’s weather, and your wardrobe seems to “need” a few new fresh and current pieces added to it.
How about your mouth? Ever thought about getting a fresh new start on your oral care? After a long winter or the same routines over and over again, it may be time to brush up on your oral routine, so you can make your new fresh appearance each day.
There are many mouthwash products on the shelves of your grocery and drug stores that claim to do the job of freshening your breath, preventing tooth decay, reducing plaque and preventing gingivitis. Most of these are available without a prescription. There are two types of mouthwashes. Therapeutic mouthwashes help reduce plaque, gingivitis, cavities, and bad breath. Those that contain fluoride help prevent or reduce tooth decay. Cosmetic mouthwashes temporarily control or reduce bad breath and leave the mouth with a pleasant taste, but it doesn’t deal with the causes of bad breath, kill the bacteria that cause bad breath, or help reduce plaque, gingivitis or cavities.
These mouthwash options are the most common method that people use, but they have their downsides. Mouthwashes can be a superficial mask to bad oral hygiene. They can irritate canker sores, they typically have a high alcohol content, which can cause damage to your gum and cause dry mouth. They also can cause stains and discoloration. For children, there are health hazards when the use of mouthwash is not supervised.
When considering an oral deep cleaning, did you know you could get an oral deep clean and remove toxins at the same time with coconut oil? This method is called “oil pulling.” Coconut oil makes a great, organic substitute for mouthwash because it contains Vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant, and also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It contains lots of easily digestible, fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K. Vitamin A is good for the immune system. Vitamin E has strong antioxidant properties for the skin and can provide some protection against UV rays. Vitamin D is good for strong bones and teeth. Vitamin K is good for blood clotting. The method of oil pulling is an age-old remedy rooted in Ayurvedic medicine. It also has the added effect of whitening teeth naturally.
How Oil Pulling Works
- Put 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil into the mouth. It will first feel thick, but it will quickly turn into a liquid substance that is easily swished in your mouth.
- Swish for 20 minutes. This gives the oil a long enough time to break through plaque and bacteria but not long enough that it will begin re-absorbing the toxins and bacteria. It will double in volume during this time due to saliva. This can make it difficult, so you may need to begin with a five-minute swish and work your way up in five-minute increments.
- Spit the oil into the trashcan (NOT the sink!). The oil will clog your pipes if spit into the sink. Do not swallow the oil, as it is hopefully full of bacteria and toxins that you’ve pulled out of your mouth and body.
- Rinse well with warm water. You may also opt to swish/rinse with warm salt water.
- Brush well.
Les Belles NYC wants to encourage all of our patients to explore natural methods of teeth cleaning that are good for your mouth, body and the environment. Call and book your consultation today to discover the technology and methods that we use in our office that minimizes exposure to harmful chemicals for the patient as well as the environment.