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Dean George is the Marketing Specialist and Content Creator for Dental Insurance
Store and its social media channels. He is a regular contributor to Agent Straight Talk, the
only consumer blog explaining the ins, outs and in-betweens of dental insurance and
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Exclusive! Mother Nature On Oral Hygiene

Oct 09, 2013

Mother Nature looked nothing like I imagined.

Maybe it’s Hollywood’s depictions from The Santa Clause movies or the images conjured up by the classical poets.  Maybe I’m just a sucker for pretty sunsets and snow-capped mountains. Anyway, quite by happenstance I encountered Mother Nature one recent morning while I was out walking to buy a newspaper. 


Photo Source: Arkansas.com

She was hovering over a bench near the town gazebo conducting a chorus of song sparrow sopranos, cardinal altos and a bird in the handful of blue jay basses in an accapella rendition of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.  This melodic group was just finishing the composer’s final summer movement when I impetuously decided to spring into action and ask Mother Nature’s help on this month’s blog topic, Natural Ways to Improve Teeth.

“Mother Nature,” I exclaimed. “I’m sorry to interrupt but I could use your help.” Smiling demurely she motioned to the bench. “Give me just a minute young man (wow, age really is relative) and we can chat for a few minutes.  Please help yourself to some break of dawn or morning star contemplations if you’d like.”

A few minutes later Mother Nature, aka, Earth Mother, aka Mother Earth, joined me on the bench with a sigh of contentment. “I just love changing the seasons,” she said with a luminous smile. “Now how may I help you?”

After explaining why I sought her counsel, Mother Nature graciously agreed to help. “When human teeth were created,” she explained, “the intent was for the teeth to last a lifetime. And they would,” she said looking at me with a slightly stern, overcast look, “if people would be mindful of what they eat and drink.”

Squirming, I got the distinct impression she was staring pointedly at my own teeth. “You’re a coffee drinker, aren’t you young man?” she asked.  “Yes, but I brush twice daily and floss regularly,” I said before quickly averting her gaze. “Uh, huh,” she said with a dubious look.

I was anxious to change the subject of me to the topic of thee, dear reader, because as we all know, it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.  Here are the four tips Mother Nature confided to me that morning that I’m now sharing with you:

Salt Water Rinse Gargling or rinsing your mouth with salt water daily helps kill oral bacteria that can cause cavities and cold and flu viruses. Not to mention it’s the closest I’ll come to a sandy beach all year. Rinsing with warm water and sea salt is also recommended for inflammation after a dental procedure because it soothes gum tissue. Gargling or rinsing with salt water daily also alkalizes your oral pH balance, neutralizing the growth of harmful oral bacteria.

Tongue Cleaning The thought of cleaning your tongue is hardly a party occasion and about as much fun as vacuuming the refrigerator vent. But cleaning your tongue by scraping the surface with a tongue scraper or tongue cleaner can go a long way toward treating bad breath. The bumps and ridges that make up our tongues make an excellent breeding ground for smelly bacteria called volatile sulfur compounds (VSC’s) like hydrogen sulfide, dimethyl sulfide and methyl mercaptan.

What’s worse than performing a menial task? Having to buy the components to do it, right? Fortunately tongue scrapers are priced about the same as a manual toothbrush and considerably less than an electric toothbrush. Usually made of plastic with a curved edge, you simply place the scraper toward the back of your tongue and carefully drag it forward to the tip.  Brushing your tongue with a toothbrush will accomplish similar results, but studies have shown that tongue scrapers are 30% more effective in removing VSC’s than brushing your tongue with a toothbrush.

Oil Pulling Mother Nature first shared this secret with practitioners
of Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine thousands of years ago, but like a well-thrown boomerang, the trend is back. Oil pulling involves swishing vegetable oil in the mouth. The oil acts as a detoxifying agent by removing disease promoting toxins.

Oil pulling as we know it today has been credited to Dr. F Karach, a Ukrainian oncologist. Dr. Karach’s method recommends swishing sunflower oil in the mouth for 10-15 minutes first thing in the morning, before breakfast. He recommends pushing and pulling the oil back and forth down between the teeth, mimicking a chewing motion. Sunflower and sesame seed oils are the most commonly used in oil pulling, although coconut oil is increasingly utilized and is believed to be the most effective in combatting Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria most responsible for tooth cavities.

While oil pulling is used to treat asthma, allergies, fatigue, diabetes, migraines, PMS and chronic skin issues, the first noticeable improvement users will see is improved oral health. Problems such as bleeding gums, tooth decay, and gum disease are greatly diminished if not completely healed. If you try oil pulling, take care not to swallow the oil when you finish rinsing. And don’t use anything labeled 10w30.

Diet If you experience a sense of déjà vu when reading this, it’s because Felicia and I have both written extensively about the importance of diet on teeth and oral health in general. It seems like it was just last week – hey, it was just last week – that we stressed the importance of foregoing sugar and processed food in favor of sugar substitutes and whole, natural foods.  The bottom line is because we eat on a regular basis (some more than others, I fear), focusing on what we put in our pie holes every day is one of the easiest ways to maintain a healthy smile, along with brushing twice daily, flossing regularly and visiting the dentist twice a year.

While I was disappointed that Mother Nature declined my request to endorse our dental plan offerings, she did compliment us on our choice of green in our color scheme (her favorite color) and promised to put in a good word for us with the Tooth Fairy.

Thanks for reading Agent Straight-Talk, and stop by next week when Felicia will share more natural ways to improve your teeth.  

Copyright 2013 Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC© 

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