Get a clean mouth and a brilliant smile—without hurting planet earth
For most of us, dental care is not the first word that springs to mind when one thinks of green or “Eco-friendly” practices that conserve our planet. However, when you consider all the nasty things that enter our mouths—things like coffee, red meat, hard fruits and vegetables that we need to grind into a paste with our teeth in order to swallow. Eating is a pretty nasty process, and it does a number on our teeth, especially when you consider foods and drinks that stain (such as coffee and red wine) or could harm our teeth and gums (such as meat on the bone or harsh citrus fruits).
Because we care so much about keeping our mouths clean and smelling good, we put our teeth and gums through all sorts of unfriendly earth practices—like flossing; teeth whitening using store bought strips, and using harsh; chemical-laden mouth washes.
Here are a few ways that you can attain a clean mouth and white smile without hurting planet earth…
1. Don’t use store-bought toothpaste
If you buy popular store-brought toothpaste brands—like Crest or Aquafresh—look at the label on the tube. You’ll notice that most store-bought brands of toothpaste contain fluoride, along with a ton of other chemicals you can’t pronounce, and ingesting too much of these chemicals can really impact your health negatively. Instead of infusing your mouth with chemicals twice a day, try making your own natural toothpaste by mixing together 3 tablespoons baking soda, 10 drops tea tree oil, and 10 drops peppermint essential oil in a glass mason jar. Or alternately, buy Eco-friendly toothpaste from your local health food store—it’s fresh breath without the toxins.
2. Don’t gurgle with brand name mouthwash
Similarly, mouthwash is also full of a ton of chemicals that can actually dry out your gums. So make your own gentle mouthwash by mixing 2 drops peppermint oil, 2 drops tea tree oil, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 cup warm filtered water. Store in a glass bottle and gurgle to your heart’s content.
3. Don’t use whitening strips
Most of us have used those sticky whitening strips in the past, but did you know that they can actually strip away the protective layer of tooth enamel that prevents tooth decay. These strips actually weaken the teeth after long-term use due to the harsh hydrogen-peroxide ingredients used as a whitening agent. You can get just as much white effect by dipping your wet toothbrush in baking soda and brushing your teeth before you brush with paste.
4. Freshen things up naturally
Mouth wash isn’t the only way to banish bad breath—try chewing on a spring of fresh parsley or mint to freshen things up. Plus, these both aid digestion as well, and they’re much better for you than a dinner mint.
5. Floss with the right stuff
Most store-bought brands of dental floss are not biodegrade. That means after you dispose of a string, it sits in the landfill site almost forever. But there are Eco-friendly flosses available that will break down naturally over time. You just have to pay a little extra at your natural health food store.
About The Author
Carolyn is a former Dental Hygienist turned stay-at-home-mom and writer on topics concerning cosmetic dentistry and oral health. As a mother, Carolyn is committed to raising a family in an organic, pesticide free home, and so when she can’t buy organic, you will often find Carolyn rooting in her large garden for the ingredients to make her own soaps, cleaning supplies and nutritious, organic meals and remedies.