Top Ten Tips + Essential Oils for a Healthy Smile
As someone who finally jumped onto the braces bandwagon, I am telling you that there is nothing that leads you to start paying more attention to your mouth care than those shiny metal nuisances. Don't get me wrong, I am excited to have my teeth and mouth in tip top shape but braces don't let you forget about your mouth. Now that oral care is at the forefront of my mind, I am going to share with you the best ways to keep your mouth nice and healthy (and with essential oils obviously!) Some of these tips may surprise you, so keep reading!
Remember that tips that are provided are to help with temporary relief and promote an overall healthy mouth, but be sure to take a trip to the dentist if you are experiencing any ongoing dental problems.*
Also, be sure to click on the hyperlink of any oil mentioned below to learn more about the other benefits you can receive from each oil, because as we love to tell people, every oil is very multipurpose!
1. Make Your Own Mouthwash
There are plenty of mouthwashes out there offering a fresher cleaner mouth but what they don't mention is that most of the mainstream brands are also full of unnecessary dyes and harsh additives. Yuck! It is absolutely so easy to throw together your own mouth wash. I like to make a mouthwash using doTERRA On Guard Protective Blend. On Guard is an essential oil blend that contains wild orange, clove and cinnamon. All these potent oils are formulated to fight off bacteria and viruses.
I mix together filtered water, a few drops of On Guard and liquid stevia. The stevia definitely makes for an easier process as the On Guard blend can be very potent but you can omit it if you feel like you have a tough mouth! Easy, saves money, and is overall much healthier for your mouth.
2. Wonders of Oil Pulling
Oil pulling, which is a Ayurvedic dental technique, that involves swishing oil for about 20 minutes to help draw out toxins. Many people who have tried oil pulling have claimed whiter teeth, better breath and stronger teeth and gums. I say, why not add in a few essential oils to the mix. You can be very creative in this situation. If your trying to battle an infection maybe add in some clove, oregano or wild orange. Add in some peppermint if your just looking to freshen your breath. Frankincense, clove and melaleuca can promote the regrowth of gums which can happen over time if we are not taking care of our teeth. If you are suffering from gum recession try adding a drop of frankincense to two teaspoons of coconut oil, swish for about 20 minutes. and spit out. Make it a point to rinse and brush directly afterwards as you don't want those toxins you just pulled out to be left in your mouth.
3. Tackle That Toothache!
We have all been there, that one tooth that just keeps giving us problems, and as we all know it is not a pleasant experience. Clove oil is an amazing essential for promoting fresher breath and cleaner teeth and gums but what makes it an awesome oil for toothaches is its main ingredient eugenol. Eugenol is a natural anesthetic and antibacterial that works wonders at reducing inflammation inside the mouth. Just add a drop of clove oil to a cotton ball or cotton swab and gently dab it on the affected area. You will immediately feel a relief in pain!
Clove is a very strong tasting oil so if you feel you cannot handle the taste by itself just mix it with a little olive oil before application. But remember, this is not a cure for major tooth problems so definitely go see your dentist if your tooth is consistently hurting!
4. Swish Away Sore Gums
There can be plenty of reasons why we are experiencing sore gums. It can be pesky feeling and ruin your whole day. Sore gums can be caused by something as simple as brushing too hard, canker sores or wearing braces but sometimes can be something more serious such as gingivitis. Despite the reason we all need a little temporary relief from the pain we are experiencing. One common method is to swish with warm salt water. Clove, peppermint and yarrow essential oil can all be effective choices to add your salt water rinse. Yarrow oil has the ability to stop bleeding gums and acts as an aesthetic. So add a few drops to your next salt water rinse and swish away the pain!
5. Cease the Sensitivity
You know the feeling when you eat something hot or cold and all of a sudden you get that sharp jolting pain that you get all the way down into the nerve endings of your teeth. I personally have sensitive teeth and I know it always makes me nervous eating very cold foods such as ice cream. No fun! Sensitivity can be caused by a few factors such as tooth decay, erosion by acidic foods, teeth grinding or even brushing too hard.
When the outer layer of enamel that protects the inside of our tooth, primarily made of dentin, gets worn down, the nerve endings in our teeth get exposed to the cold and hot foods we have just eaten, therefore resulting in the pain we feel. Peppermint, clove and cinnamon essential oils all especially helpful in decreasing the sensitivity in our teeth. Peppermint is very antibacterial and can help in making sure the dentin's protective covering remains intact while cinnamon helps fight off tooth decay which will prevent tooth sensitivity. Clove and wild orange combined can be a great advocate for soothing sensitivity. Add a few drops of each into your oil pulling recipe and voila! You'll be back to eating ice cream in no time!
6. Keep That Gleam!
We all want our teeth to be a little bit whiter, otherwise you wouldn't see ad after ad advertising the newest teeth whitening method. Over the counter whitening treatments a majority of the time have unnecessary chemicals and additives that can be absorbed through our mouths. Essential oils can be great alternatives if we are trying to whiten or remove stains from our teeth. Pure essential oils are potent enough to help us do just that, because a lot of essential oils are made from the rinds and peels of many fruits, they are rich in a compounds such as Limonene. Limonene is a natural solvent found in citrus rinds which helps break down the nasty stains that have developed on our teeth. So if your looking to add an extra boost to your toothpaste or homemade baking soda paste, add some drops of lemon or wild orange oil to add that extra gleam. You can also try doTERRA On Guard Natural Whitening Toothpaste if your looking to switch your toothpaste entirely.
7. Teeth Grinding Bind
Many of us don't notice it but a majority of people grind their teeth at night. This can result in some nasty teeth problems if this nightly clench becomes overly routine. Actions we can take to help reduce our teeth clenching actually happens for the most part outside of our mouth. Most people grind their teeth because they are feeling overly stressed or have difficulty breathing properly during sleep. One tip is that if your clenching at night your most likely clenching during the day. Try to put focus on when your clenching your teeth and help train yourself to relax your jaw muscles throughout the day. Lavender essential oil is a great oil to use if your trying to get relaxed; put a diffuser by your bed a night so you can breathe in the relaxing properties lavender can give you while you are sleeping. If you feel your muscles are tense before bed give yourself a nice jaw massage focusing on the areas where your feel the most tension, that way your muscles are nice and relaxed before going to bed.
Another reason people resort to teeth grinding is sleep disordered breathing. During sleep if the airflow gets interrupted than oxygen to your lungs gets reduced, as a result most people may start to grind their teeth. Try rubbing some of doTERRA Breathe on your chest just before going to bed to help keep open the airways, or better yet, having it running in a diffuser while you sleep so you get the extra boost of breathing help.
8. Position That Tongue!
Did you know that position of the tongue in your mouth has a huge impact on the overall health of the mouth? No, I'm serious. The tongue is a powerful muscle and most of us are using it wrong. Improper tongue positioning can lead to tooth decay, improper breathing and swallowing, teeth grinding and recessed chin. That is just to name a few!
For a lot of us the tongue rests at the bottom of the mouth pressing against the bottom teeth. If this is you than you are practicing improper tongue positioning. Proper tongue positioning is where the WHOLE (this is very important) tongue rests at the roof of the mouth, with the end of the tongue sitting just behind the back of the teeth (but not touching them.) Lips should be sealed and teeth resting slightly apart. If this is done on a regular basis than it can expand the palate, preventing your teeth from overcrowding and opening up your sinuses. This results in breathing better at night, helping with crooked teeth and even neck and jaw pain. So get that tongue positioned and soon you will be in awe of how powerful that muscle in your mouth really is!
9. Our Devious Indigestion
We don't think of it this way but dentists are work closely with the digestive system day in and day out. Why? Because our dental health is closely connected to a healthy digestive system. Acid reflux or heartburn symptoms can actually cause serious damage to our teeth, leading to erosion of tooth enamel. Acid reflux is a common problem where acid from the stomach leaks up into our esophagus. And goes where? You got it, right into our mouth. People who suffer from acid reflux on a regular basis are at greater risk of tooth erosion because of the constant exposure to the stomach acid coated on our teeth. One easy move on your part is if you are experiencing heartburn make sure you rinse your mouth with water and brush about an hour later. (sometimes teeth can be sensitive right after so you may not want to brush immediately.) Another method, is try to combat that terrible acid reflux from ever starting! Either after or before eating try rubbing some peppermint on the sternum of the stomach or where you typically feel the burning. You can also take peppermint internally by adding a few drops to your water.
10. Feeding Your Mouth (The Right Stuff!)
Every food that we eat and drink that we drink first comes into contact with our teeth, which means that our everyday eating choices continually impact the health of our teeth and gums. Most of the typical American diet consists of food that is sugary, processed and highly acidic, all foods that eat away at the enamel on our teeth, causing cavities. Try eating foods that help give our teeth the nutrients they need, especially calcium. If you already eat healthy but your looking for a way to help your body digest and absorbs nutrients better try taking doTERRA DigestZen Terrazyme Enzyme Complex. Enzymes naturally help the body digest and absorb nutrients into your body but many times when we have a lot of cooked food the natural enzymes can get destroyed. Taking an enzyme supplement can help digest food further and make sure you are getting all the necessary nutrients for those pearly whites.
We hope that this list helps with your journey to a happier healthier mouth.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
*We use doTERRA essential oils because they have a rigorous quality assurance process to make sure that the oils are safe for use topically, internally, and aromatically; not all brands are created equal and many of the brands available in health food stores and online might not meet this standard.