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Ever have anyone recoiling whenever you open your mouth? Or straight out making a comment about your breath smelling bad? Look in the mirror to practice your smile and notice your teeth are the colour of raw maize? Brush your teeth and spit out blood?

We are sure most of you have experienced at least once before. Bad breath, yellow teeth and bleeding gums are the most common oral problems faced by many. It is not as if you never brush your teeth, floss or gargle with mouthwash before. Brushing at least twice a day, and perhaps even after every meal. Yet, these problems seem to never leave.

Although going to the dentist may definitely help with these problems, but the cost for a session is definitely not cheap. For someone like me, who’s always in dire need of money to buy necessities, a visit to the dentist is just not part of the budget!

So how can we, tight-budgeted peeps, fix these main oral problems with a cost as minimum as possible? In this blog, we are going to share with you the oral remedies you can find and try at home!

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Bad breath is a problem faced by everyone we know, including ourselves. Bad breath originates in the mouth, where bacteria are always present. When you eat, bits of food might get caught in your teeth. Bacteria grows on these bits of food and will release a foul smell.

We’re going to share some oral care tips with natural home remedies to tackle bad breath.

1. Maintain Good Dental Hygiene

Poor dental hygiene is the main cause of bad breath. Preventing plaque buildup is key to maintaining a healthy mouth. If you’ve made a habit to brush your teeth at least twice a day, that is good. This time, try brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste for two to three minutes, in a circular motion.

There was an opinion that one must brush after every meal. Some might find it tedious to brush every time or find it hard to brush their teeth if they are eating outside, you can try flossing instead. Flossing at least once a day may prevent bacterial growth from pieces of food that got stuck between your teeth.

Apart from the between the teeth, bacteria can also accumulate on the tongue, causing a foul smell. A practice known as tongue scraping may help remove the thin layer of film. Simply use a toothbrush or a special tongue scraper and clean your tongue every time after you brush your teeth.

Another simple method is just to swish your mouth with water and spit it out after finishing your meal. It’s one of the easy and fastest ways to dislodge any food particles stuck at that stubborn corner of your mouth. Plus it’s an effective method to remove that unsightly and awkward small piece of food or green vegetable or chocolate stuck right in the middle of our two front teeth. Yeah, we’ve been there too.

2. Parsley

Parsley is a popular old remedy for bad breath. This is due to its fresh scent and high chlorophyll content that suggest it can have a deodorising effect. To use parsley for bad breath, simply chew on fresh parsley leaves after each meal.

3. Water

Ever wonder why your breath smells exceptionally horrible when you wake up in the morning or after every nap? A study shows that your mouth naturally dries out when sleeping and it is found that mouth dryness often causes bad breath.

Saliva plays an important role in your mouth. Other than balancing the acid in our mouth to prevent our teeth from dissolving, it also prevents the thriving growth of bacteria in our mouth. Not only staying hydrated is important to keep your body healthy, but it can also deal with bad breath.

Drinking plain water throughout the day will help encourage the production of saliva. Try drinking at least 2 litres of water a day.

4. Green tea

Green tea is well-known for its benefit for health in many ways. Indigestion, fat-burning, antioxidants and many other health benefits. Green tea contains disinfectant and deodorising properties that can temporarily freshen breath.

Adding the tea with mint, it becomes an ideal breath freshener! Just brew two cups of green tea before going to bed. Drink one cup for the night and refrigerate the other cup overnight. Put the cool green tea into a water bottle and you can bring the green tea drink to work or campus!

5. Peppermint essential oil

Peppermint essential oil is one of the most versatile essential oils out there. It can be used to address a number of health concerns, from muscles aches, focus problems and respiratory problems. Peppermint essential oil has a potent antimicrobial that kills harmful bacteria and leaves breath fresh.

Just mix 1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil into a cup of water and rinse your mouth or gargle with it. Careful to not consume the oil, even diluted, since ingesting essential oils can bring harm to your body!

Gum Disease (Gingivitis)

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums usually caused by a bacterial infection. If left untreated, it can become a more serious infection known as periodontitis. Our gums are actually attached to the teeth at a lower point than the gum edges that we see. Food and plaque can get trapped in this space and cause a gum infection or gingivitis.

Plaque is a thin film of bacteria. It constantly forms on the surface of our teeth and as plaque advances, it hardens and becomes tartar. An infection might develop when plaque extends below the gum line.

Gum disease, or gingivitis, often cause problems such as bleeding gums, sensitive teeth and everlasting bad breath. If the problems are too serious, you definitely should go to the dentist for a remedy.

Meanwhile, you can try curing the initial stages of gingivitis with natural home remedies tip shared below!

1. Saltwater mouthwash

Salt is a natural disinfectant that helps the body to heal itself. Saltwater can soothe inflamed gums, help ease the pain, reduce bacteria, remove particles of food and even relief bad breath.

To use saltwater mouthwash:

(i) Add 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of salt into a glass of water. Mix well.

(ii) Swish the solution in your mouth up to 30 seconds.

(iii) Spit out the solution.

(iv) Repeat 2-3 times a day.

Although, it is found that using saltwater mouthwash too often or too long can have a negative effect on tooth enamel. Long-term use may cause teeth to erode because of the mixture’s acidic properties.

So instead of doing it daily, try using saltwater mouthwash weekly, bi-weekly or monthly to prevent these negative effects.

2. Lemongrass essential oil

Apart from saltwater, you can also make a mouthwash by using lemongrass essential oil. Lemongrass essential oil is found to be more effective in reducing plaque and gum disease levels due to its high level of antibacterial properties.

To use:

(i) Dilute 1 drop of lemongrass essential oil in a cup of water.

(ii) Swish the solution in your mouth up to 30 seconds.

(iii) Spit out the solution.

(iv) Repeat 2-3 times a day.

Lemongrass essential oil is generally safe to use, but it is very concentrated. Always start with a highly diluted mixture so that it doesn’t cause further irritation.

3. Guava leaf mouthwash

Guava leaves have long been an effective treatment used to manage oral hygiene. The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties found in this have a positive effect on controlling plaque. Guava leaf mouthwash may also reduce gum inflammation, relieve oral pain and freshen breath.

To use guava leaf mouthwash:

(i) Crush 5-6 tender guava leaves with mortar and pestle.

(ii) Add crushed leaves to 1 cup of boiling water, and simmer for 1 minute.

(iii) Allow solution to cool and add a small amount of salt.

(iv) Swish the lukewarm solution in your mouth up to 30 seconds.

(v) Spit out the solution.

(vi) Repeat 2-3 times a day.

4. Coconut oil pulling

Oil pulling is a technique that involves swishing oil around in your mouth for 20 to 30 minutes to reduce harmful bacteria, eliminate toxins, and improve oral health. This technique has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine.

Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. A study found that using coconut oil for oil pulling significantly reduces plaque and signs of gingivitis.

Coconut oil pulling may also whiten teeth, relieve headache and tension, freshen breath and clear sinuses. When doing coconut oil pulling, make sure to use cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil or virgin coconut oil since it retains more of their natural benefits.

To do coconut oil pulling:

(i) Put 1-2 teaspoon of liquid coconut oil into your mouth.

(ii) Swish the oil in your mouth for 20-30 minutes. Careful not to let the oil touch the back of your throat.

(iii) Spit out the oil.

(iv) Rinse your mouth with water and then spit it out.

(v) Drink a full glass of water and then brush your teeth.

Coconut oil pulling is safe to practice. You only have to make sure not to swallow the liquid as it contains toxins and bacteria pulled from the tissue of your mouth.

If you can’t handle swishing the oil in your mouth for 20 minutes straight, you can spit the oil after a minute or two and repeat it until you reach 20 minutes. You may also find it helpful to do it 10-15 minutes, twice a day.

Yellow Teeth

Yellow teeth is a problem faced by many people. This problem has caused many self-esteem issues since we are more afraid to smile since we are embarrassed by the yellowing teeth, which made us look unhygienic. Some yellowish teeth are caused by stained from coffee, tea, red wine, smoking habit or other food-related and it is inevitable. These can be easily taken care of with some simple natural home remedies to whiten the teeth.

Some teeth turn yellow naturally especially as you age and is not caused by food or smoking habit. As the outer enamel wears away, the yellow dentin underneath becomes more visible. Dentin is the calcified tissue beneath the enamel. It can be pretty frustrating because most of the time, there is nothing much we can do about it. Even bleaching or doing teeth whitening treatment won’t do any good because it gets yellowish from within and not coming from stains on the surface of the teeth. The best that we can do for people in this group, is to try to minimize stain as much as possible on the surface of the teeth, so as to reduce the yellowish-ness.

For others, you’d think about going to the dentist for teeth-bleaching or teeth whitening treatment but you don’t have the money to book a session as it can get pretty pricey. Argh! Fret not. We have some natural teeth-whitening home remedies you can try at home.

1. Brush your teeth

Yes, seriously.

The first thing you should do is brush your teeth and maintain basic oral hygiene. There was an observation that most of us are brushing our teeth wrongly and rather too quickly.

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, the optimum is to brush three times a day for two to three minutes. When brushing, make sure to get into all the cracks and crevices as you will need to get rid of the tiny pieces of food that got stuck between your teeth. Always brush in circular motion to protect your gums, and don’t forget to brush inside, outside and the chewing surfaces of your teeth.

2. Baking soda and strawberry

Yes, you read that right. Strawberry.

Not only does this particular fruit is sweet, sometimes sour, and delicious, strawberries contain a lot of malic acids, a tooth-whitening agent.

To make a strawberry toothpaste:

(i) Mashed one strawberry to a pulp and mix with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

(ii) Use a soft toothbrush to spread to the mixture onto your teeth and leave it for five minutes. You may cover use aluminium foil to cover your teeth. Careful not to hurt yourself!

(iii) Brush your teeth with toothpaste thoroughly to remove the mix.

(iv) Rinse your mouth with water. If you feel some strawberry seeds stuck between your teeth, floss.

(v) You can use this method once a week.

3. Coconut oil pulling

Just like the coconut oil pulling mentioned above, this method can also be used to whiten your teeth. Just put 1-2 teaspoon of liquid unrefined coconut oil into your mouth and swish the oil up for 20-30 minutes a day.

4. Apple cider vinegar mouthwash

Apple cider vinegar is to be used in a small amount. To make apple cider vinegar mouthwash:

(i) Add 2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into 6oz water. Mix well.

(ii) Swish the solution in your mouth up to 30 seconds.

(iii) Spit out the solution.

(iv) Rinse with water and then wash your teeth.

Research in 2014 found that apple cider vinegar has a bleaching effect on cow teeth. However, it should be noted that it has the potential to cause damage to the hardness and surface configuration of teeth. So use with caution and only for a short amount of time.

5. Lemon, orange and banana peel

There is a belief that rubbing lemon, orange, or banana peels on your teeth will make them whiter. It is because of the compound d-limonene found in some fruit peels will help to whiten your teeth.

Simply gently rub the fruit peels on your teeth for about 2 minutes. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water and brush your teeth.

A recent study tested the potential of citric acid extracts from four different types of orange peel as a teeth whitener. They were shown to have varying abilities on whitening teeth but found that tangerine peel extract had the best results.

 

If you ever have self-esteem issues due to oral health problems, do give it a try with the tips we have provided in this blog. It’s one of the safest, cheapest and fastest oral care with natural home remedies.

For severe cases of oral diseases, please do consult your dentist to address the issue the soonest possible to avoid any unpleasant discomfort or pain. Procrastination will only make things worst!

Good luck and happy trying!

Love,

Wani

 

References:

  1. http://healthline.com
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/gingivitis
  3. https://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20410846,00.html
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4382606/

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