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Pearly whites, naturally

A clean mouth is a healthy mouth. In addition to conventional care, the main way to keep your mouth clean is to eat a sugar-free, natural foods diet.

fashion and trends Updated: Feb 26, 2011 23:52 IST
Dr Ashish Kakar

A clean mouth is a healthy mouth. In addition to conventional care, the main way to keep your mouth clean is to eat a sugar-free, natural foods diet. The bacteria that cause dental caries (Streptococcus mutans) thrive on sugar. There are also many natural ways to maintain your oral hygiene.

Dental disease has direct relation with overall body health. An unhealthy mouth, especially with gum disease, tends to overload one’s general health every moment of the day and lowers resistance to general disease.

Clean well
Tooth brushing is routine and basic process in oral care. In India, twigs of the neem tree have been time tested and used routinely. A book published in 1992 — The Herbs of Life, suggests that the twigs of Bay, eucalyptus, oak, fir, and juniper all contain volatile oils which stimulate blood circulation, tannins that have an astringent effects to tighten and cleanse gums.

Natural substitutes to commercial toothpastes could be a combination which contains two parts powdered potassium alum (astringent), and one part salt (anti-bacterial). Cleaning the tongue is a critical part of maintaining oral health. Like teeth, tongue also collects food debris and plaque. It reduces bad breath, and helps prevent plaque. Herbs that treat the skeleton and the joints when taken are good supplements for long-term tooth health these include yellow turmeric root, dock root, alfalfa leaf and cinnamon bark.

Dr Ashish Kakar is a consultant orthodontist at Indraprastha Apollo hospital and has a private practice in Greater Kailash part -II