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Home remedies for all your oral health problems

Here are some home remedies that you can use to beat all your oral health problems.

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : March 19, 2015 10:40 AM IST

If we didn't have teeth, we couldn't eat most of the stuff we enjoy and our ability to pronounce words clearly too would get affected. That said, you need to take care of it every day in order to maintain it. Brushing, flossing and using a mouthwash daily is extremely critical in order to maintain good oral hygiene. However, what you eat also determines the health of your teeth and there are several foods you can eat to beat oral health issues like tooth decay, bad breath, mouth ulcers, gum disease and yellow teeth.

Home remedies for whiter teeth

We've heard so many weird home remedies that people use for whiter teeth. Though we do not endorse any of the below ourselves, thought we should share some of the most common ones:

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  • Sesame oil

Our own traditional medicine the Ayurveda has a simple home remedy for whiter teeth in the form of oil pulling. It not only whitens the teeth but also detoxifies and cleanses the body. This simple and inexpensive technique involves rinsing your mouth with oil! Take a tablespoon of sesame oil in your mouth early in the morning on an empty stomach. Gargle and swish it around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes ensuring to cover all corners of your mouth. Spit out the oil and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water. Practice this every morning and your teeth are sure to sparkle.

  • Bananas

You probably know the health benefits of banana. But did you know that the banana peel could possibly help your teeth sparkle too? Rub the white inside part a banana peel on your teeth. Leave it on for a couple of minutes and rinse. Banana peel is a good source of minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, etc. It's a good antioxidant and is also rich in carbohydrates and fibre.

  • Tulsi

You can either use dried, powdered leaves of the holy basil as it is or mix it with mustard oil/ orange peel powder for brushing your teeth. The highly valued holy basil (tulsi) is known to protect against bleeding gums and also increase the whiteness of the teeth. Here are the top 10 health benefits of tulsi.

  • Babul

Charcoal of babul wood mixed with roasted alum and rock salt can be used as toothpowder for teeth whitening. The twigs of the babul (acacia or gum Arabic) tree have long been used as disposable toothbrushes and are useful in arresting gum bleeding and strengthening loose teeth. Charcoal's adsorption quality makes it a good cleansing agent.

  • Roots of banyan tree

Chew on the roots of banyan (bargad) tree to keep your teeth pearly white. The aerial roots of the banyan tree are also another source of disposable toothbrushes. The astringent property of the roots helps whiten the teeth.

  • Vinegar

Gargling with apple cider vinegar is very effective in brightening your smile. It is known not only to remove stains to whiten teeth but also to kill the gum disease causing bacteria in your mouth. But avoid excess use as it may weaken the enamel.

  • Vitamin C rich foods

Vitamin C can lighten and brighten your teeth. Applying vitamin C rich lemon, tomatoes, oranges, strawberries, etc. directly on the teeth can help clean and whiten them. But since they are acidic, use them not more than once or twice a week. And remember to brush your teeth immediately after.

Home remedies for bad breath

Bad breath can be embarassing for you, and extremely unpleasant for those around you. Drinking more water, eating foods rich in Vitamin C and avoiding foods like onion, garlic and radish are just some of these tips.

Nutritionist and weight management expert Amrapali Patil shares tips on how to keep your breath fresh:

  • Water

Just swish and swirl some water in the mouth like gargling (but softly, not loudly) and drink it up or rinse it out. Hydration is one of the solutions as when you get dehydrated, the saliva generated in the mouth automatically decreases. Saliva tends to clean the mouth by diluting the bacteria. Bacteria and their by-products are responsible for that offensive bad breath.

  • Vitamin C rich food items

Oranges, sweet lime, lemons, kiwis and all citrus fruits rich in the vitamin help in keeping the breath fresh. Vitamin C is known to fight bacteria.

  • Apples

When we crunch on to an apple, salivary secretion gets stimulated. This literally bathes the mouth and rinses out the odour generating bacteria in the mouth thereby making the breath fresh.

  • Cinnamon tea

It is helpful in keeping the mouth and breath fresh. Read about some other health benefits of cinnamon.

Here are some more things you can add.

  • Mint

Most products available in the market claiming to freshen your breath use this ingredient. Mint leaves or pudina, when eaten raw have a strong and cooling effect that freshens your breath.

  • Cloves

Cloves are great for your oral health, and they've been traditionally used to alleviate toothache. They are also an excellent remedy for bad breath. You can either eat them raw, or mix it with your tea.

  • Fennel seeds

Extremely popular in India, and served in many restaurants at the end of your meal, fennel seeds or saunf are a great way to fight bad breath. Additionally, they also help secrete saliva in your mouth making them great for digestion too.

  • Cardamom

Another extremely popular breath freshener, cardamom or elaichi is used to flavor many foods. Eating them raw can give your mouth a strong aromatic scent. You could also add them to your tea.

Home remedies for toothache

Toothache can be extremely difficult to handle, and it is recommended that you see a dentist each time you experience it. But, if it occurs at a wrong time then you can try these remedies for instant relief.

  • Cinammon

Cinnamon oil is known for its antibacterial properties. It is essentially good for the teeth and gums. For toothache, chew on a small piece of cinnamon, to get some relief.

  • Garlic

Simply put some crushed garlic clove directly on the affected tooth can help relieve toothaches due to its antibacterial and analgesic properties. But be aware that it can be irritating to the gum.

  • Clove

Clove is one of the best home remedies for toothache. Just pinch some clove into powder form and apply it directly wherever you are experiencing pain. You will get instant relief from toothache.

Home remedies for mouth ulcers

If the mouth ulcer is causing a lot of pain, gently rub a small ice cube over the spot or rinse your mouth with ice-cold water. This won't make the ulcer disappear, but it can help reduce the pain. Similarly, you could also chew on a clove bud (lavang) and direct the juice so generated to the area where the ulcer is located. The mild anaesthetic effect of the clove will reduce the pain you feel. To prevent the ulcerated area from getting infected, make it a point to rinse your mouth with a little salt water.

  • Tulsi

The leaves of the tulsi plant have amazing medicinal properties and one of the important actions of tulsi is as an adaptogen a substance that aids the body to adapt to stress. Chew a few leaves of tulsi along with some water about three to four times every day. This will help the ulcers go away faster and also have a preventive action against their recurrence. (Read: Top 10 health benefits of tulsi)

  • Honey

Honey is a natural humectant that is, it helps to retain moisture and prevent dehydration. It also helps reduce scarring and hastens the process of new tissue growth. This, along with its anti-microbial effect ensures faster healing of the mouth ulcer. You can either dab a little honey onto the mouth ulcer or mix in a little turmeric to make a paste that can be applied to the affected area. Here are some health benefits of honey.

  • Poppy Seeds

Poppy seeds khus-khus in Hindi are said to have a cooling effect on the body. According to Ayurveda, too much heat in the body manifests as mouth ulcers and therefore, poppy seeds are a good remedy to overcome this problem. Read how can you actually use poppy seeds to treat your ulcers.

  • Coconut

Dry coconut, coconut oil and coconut water are the three products of the coconut tree that are very useful in treating mouth ulcers. Drinking tender coconut water helps to cool the body down. Applying a little coconut oil directly onto the mouth ulcer or chewing some coconut (fresh or dry) helps to reduce pain and inflammation and this helps the ulcers heal faster.

  • Licorice

Called Mulethi in Hindi, Yashtimadhu in Sanskrit and Adhimadhuram in Tamil, licorice has several medicinal properties. Scientific studies have found that it contains ingredients with marked anti-inflammatory properties which are responsible for its action against painful mouth ulcers. Mulethi is available as stem pieces as well as in powder form. Rub the stem with a little water on a grinding stone and apply the paste to the ulcerated area. Or, if you buy the licorice powder, disperse it in some honey or medicinal quality glycerin and apply to the mouth ulcer. You can also mix a little licorice powder with turmeric into a glass of warm milk and drink three or four times in a day for good results.

Home remedies to prevent gum disease

The best way to keep gum disease at bay is good oral hygiene. In most cases it can be reversed by practising proper plaque control. Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Floss once or twice a day preferably after dinner. You could also eat the following foods to keep gum disease at bay.

  • Whole grains

Research has shown that whole grains are great for your teeth. A study from McMaster University, Canada found that men who ate at least three servings of whole grains were 23% less likely to suffer from periodontitis than those who ate more wholegrain breads. It also stabilised blood sugar levels in diabetics which reduces periodontitis.

  • Green vegetables

Not only is green tea great for your overall health thanks to its high antioxidant value but it's also great for your mouth! It has anti-inflammatory powers to prevent periodontal gum disease, prevents tooth loss and keeps bad breath away! In fact, it's better for preventing bad breath than more commonly used items like mints and chewing gums!

  • Herbal remedies

In many parts of rural India, it's the norm to use neem twigs to brush one's teeth instead of toothpaste and brushes. The plant itself has immense antimicrobial and antifungal properties. A study tested whether neem could be used to treat gum disease and they found that it was actually better than regular mouthwash! Other than neem, ginger is known to help maintain healthy teeth and gums and prevent plaque. The highly valued holy basil (tulsi), a natural antibiotic, is known to protect against bleeding gums and also increase the whiteness of the teeth. The antibacterial property of basil can prevent dental plaque build-up and eliminate bad odour too.

With inputs from IANS

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