5 Simple Practices for a Healthy, Sparkling Mouth
With all we do to take good care of our bodies, our mouths might start to feel left out. Brushing and flossing are definitely two valuable places to start, but did you know there are a few more practices you can add to your oral hygiene routine that almost guarantee healthy, sparkling teeth and a healthy tongue and gums?
Ayurveda and the Mouth
According to Ayurveda, digestion first begins with the tongue and taste. From the tongue, you can get a glimpse of the status of your organs, as Ayurveda considers the tongue to be a map of your internal organs. Our tongues can even show us how hydrated we are, whether our bodies are processing nutrients, and how strong our digestion is, among other clues to our health.
Next, the gums. The coloring of the gums can indicate the health of other soft tissues in the body.
And, of course, the teeth. They obviously play important and functional roles in helping us eat and talk. But they do more—connected to asthi dhatu, or the bone tissue layer, the health of our teeth can give us a glimpse of our overall bone health.
Taking holistic care of our mouths is going to have a broader impact on the health of our bodies, beyond our teeth, gums, and tongues. Because of the connections with our organs, digestion, our soft tissues, and our bones, taking care of our mouths will impact these various parts of our bodies. Incredible!
Ayurvedic Best Practices for a Healthy Mouth
Below are five simple and effective practices you can do daily for a healthy, sparkling mouth.
1. Scrape Your Tongue
You know that white film you see on your tongue every morning? Well, that’s all a build up of toxins that we want to get rid of. Here’s where things get a little different. Scraping your tongue with a tongue cleaner every morning before brushing your teeth will pull those toxins off and out of your body. When you begin to scrape your tongue, you will see gunk come off and fall into your sink. It’s terribly disgusting, yet super fascinating at the same time.
And as the tongue is like a map of the internal organs, including our digestive system, an added bonus of scraping your tongue every morning is that you begin to wake up your digestive system to prepare it for the day ahead. Yay!
A more mundane practice, but just as important. Plaque build-up can be detrimental to your teeth and gums. Don’t like traditional floss? Try a water pick, which is equally as effective.
3. Brush Your Teeth
This one is pretty basic. Everything your dentist tells you is true. Brush your teeth twice a day. Pretty self-explanatory. For added health benefits, try Banyan's Tooth Powder.
4. Use Daily Swish Oil
Swishing, or oil pulling, has definitely started to hit the main scene, and there are about a million benefits from starting. Oil pulling takes care of your gums, pulls toxins from deep within your mouth, helps strengthen the teeth, and so much more.
After you have brushed your teeth and scraped your tongue, use about 2 tablespoons of Daily Swish Oil to swish through your teeth and around your mouth for 15–20 minutes. The easiest way I pass the time without getting bored is swishing while in the shower.
If this seems like a lot of oil for a long time, you can start with less oil and swish for much less time, working up to more oil and for a longer length of time.
This may seem out of place here, but it’s so important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Saliva production is integral for good digestion and also for keeping the oral bacteria in check. Don’t skip out on the water!
Along with being a beautiful recipe for a happy and healthy mouth, these additional steps are super easy and need not take a lot of time. Even if you don’t have time to oil pull every day, try it two or three days out of the week and see how you feel. I wish you beautiful smiles and a lifetime of strong teeth and healthy gums. Oh yeah, and a fresh tongue!