It’s been a little quiet on the blog lately because I’m working on a big project and am also in a funk with writing.
I go through these phases and it usually goes along with my cycle (currently in the end of my luteal phase where I enjoy my personal space and alone time!!) and there’s just a lot going on in my head. This too shall pass!
Today we’re switching gears to focus on those pearly whites. I’d like to think that dental hygiene is important to most people… specifically fresh breath and healthy, white teeth. We all love a beautiful smile and it’s the first thing we tend to notice. Being a coffee drinker (and red wine drinker, on occasion) having a white smile takes effort! I used to go the chemical route – hello Crest Whitestrips, but they burned and hurt my sensitive teeth to the point that drinking/eating anything cold was extremely painful and unbearable. So I quit whitestrips years ago and have been experimenting with natural teeth whitening ever since.
I’ve found an amazing way to whiten teeth that you are going to love! I’ve also gotten into a solid routine that works for me, one that leaves me with fresh breath, a clean feeling and sparkly teeth!
>> Natural Routine For Fresh Breath and Whiter Teeth:
1) Oil Pulling:
The concept of oil pulling is an ayurvedic tradition used for thousands of years to clean and detoxify the teeth and gums. It’s the act of swishing around oil in the mouth for 10-20 minutes (before drinking water or brushing) to improve gum health, with the added effect of whitening. Since oil is “sticky”, it navigates around your mouth, up into pockets and tiny areas where a toothbrush can’t reach. Think of it as a natural antimicrobial mouthwash, where it dissolves bacteria and pulls out toxins, food remnants and nastiness.
Coconut oil is my go-to oil for this, but any vegetable-based oil will work (sesame, sunflower or olive oil) just make sure they are raw, organic and unrefined. Coconut oil never ceases to amaze me… anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory – plus I love the taste!
Before brushing your teeth and eating/drinking anything in the morning, do this:
- Scoop out one spoonful/tablespoon of coconut oil.
- Let it melt in your mouth, then swoosh, swoosh for 10-20 minutes – I know it sounds like an eternity but there’s plenty of things you could get done during this time! I like to make coffee, blend up a happy hormone smoothie, snuggle with Taz and start checking emails. It just becomes apart of your routine, like working out.
- DO NOT swallow it! There’s bacteria and nastiness floating around. SPIT IT OUT IN THE TRASH, not in the sink as it will solidify and cause havoc on your pipes.
- Rinse mouth with warm water.
- Now onto step 2.
Always floss before you brush! You want to loosen up any leftover food particles that the oil couldn’t dislodge (so gross, I know) or maybe you didn’t have time to oil pull. Clear out the spaces in between your teeth as this will help reduce plaque and bacteria from building up. Obviously I prefer a more natural floss and still have this leftover one from Boka (as pictured), but any floss will do!
I can’t live without my electric toothbrush and I don’t know how people feel like their teeth are clean after using a regular toothbrush… it just doesn’t do it for me. If I don’t use an electric toothbrush, I can still feel this weird film on my teeth and it grosses me out like no other. So right now, I have an electric toothbrush from vanity planet but also love the Sonicare toothbrushes (it comes in pink!). They are 100% WORTH the small investment and clean your teeth so much better than a normal toothbrush. Just be careful to not intensely brush your gums and keep the pressure on your teeth.
I also switch off between whichever natural toothpaste is on sale whether that is my favorite Desert Essence or Toms of Maine. I’m really not too picky with toothpaste!
4) Tongue Scraping:
The newest game-changing addition to my routine and my most favorite step!!! I feel like tongue scraping is the new rage and I’m cool with that because bad breath often stems from bacteria left on the tongue. I started this ayurvedic practice of tongue scraping because it cleans toxins and bacteria from the tongue, it removes the nasty white/green colored coating on the tongue, it enhances the sense of taste and gently stimulates your internal organs. A coating on the tongue indicates the presence of toxin, which interrupts proper digestion, no thank you!
I feel the need to chew WAY LESS gum than I used to and my tongue no longer has a white film on it (DISGUSTING, I KNOW). Isn’t this fun?! Haha, just being honest. I was and still am amazed at what this tongue scraper scrapes off although I’m so diligent with it now that I don’t notice as much gunk, which is a good thing. I can’t recommend tongue scraping enough!! This stainless steel tongue scraper is the one I ordered, and I love it! There are many different kinds but I felt that surgical-grade stainless steel was the best route.
5) Charcoal Whitening Powder:
This is the stuff! You could probably use charcoal capsules and empty out the powder but this stuff is already messy enough that I didn’t want to have to deal with more of a mess. So I bought the Active Wow Activate Coconut Charcoal Natural Teeth Whitening Powder and was amazed after the first use. It truly does work – not just saying that and the best part? It doesn’t hurt my sensitive teeth. Using natural purifying charcoal instead of harsh peroxides and can be done on a daily basis! All you do is dip your damp toothbrush in the jar and brush it on your front top and bottom teeth for 1-2 minutes, then rinse with water.
6) PÜR Gum: free of Aspartame, Sugar and Sugar-Alcohol!
I was chewing my normal trident original gum when I came across an article on sugar alcohol and chemicals in gum causing bloating and gastrointestinal distress. I read the ingredients on my pack of gum and wondered why the heck I was still chewing this artificial crap! So I did some research and found that most of the popular gum products out there are causing lots of stomach issues!!
I wasn’t surprised but also was surprised at the same time… who would have thought that an innocent piece of gum could cause stomach pain, discomfort and bloating?! It’s usually from the aspartame, sorbitol, mannitol, BHT, sugar alcohols and/or artificial colorings, chemicals etc. So at my next trip to Whole Foods, I picked up some PÜR vegan gum and fell in love with it! There’s many different natural brands out there but I haven’t seen them at Target or Walgreens or the grocery store yet – just Whole Foods, Amazon and Thrive Market. Keep this in mind the next time you want to pick up some chewing gum and/or mints!
What are some of your favorite natural tips for fresh breath and whiter teeth?!
Leave us a comment below!!