Home Remedies: Natural and Herbal Dental Care
Sure, the drug store offers a dizzying array of toothpastes, teeth whitening agents and mouthwashes that will keep your teeth and gums beautiful and healthy. But if you prefer a more natural approach to dental care, there are many simple, time-tested home remedies that also do the trick–for less money, and without hard-to-pronounce chemical ingredients.
Of course, the most natural way to keep teeth healthy and help prevent gum disease is to eat a healthy diet. “Sugars are the enemy of the mouth, as well as the body,” says Jonathan B. Levine, DMD. “If your hygiene isn’t great and you’re eating lots of sweets, bacteria work on the sugars to create acid which demineralizes the teeth and starts the decay process.” That means more cavities and more dental visits.
It’s not just the foods you avoid, but the foods you eat, that can make the difference in your oral health. Nutritious foods provide the vitamins and nutrients you need for teeth and gum health, says Dr. Levine. For example, getting enough vitamin C–present in many fruits and vegetables–is essential for healthy gums. It protects them against cell damage, promotes healthy capillaries and makes them more resistant to bacteria.
Foods, herbs and other natural remedies can also keep teeth and gums clean, prevent cavities, freshen breath and whiten teeth.