You’ve probably heard about the importance of a healthy gut lately, but did you know that your mouth has a completely separate microbiome of its own?! So aside from the obvious which is a healthy diet, keep reading to learn some of my fave ways to maintain a healthy mouth using only natural and holistic products 🦷
So just how important is a balanced oral microbiome? According to Dr. Mercola:
- Thousands of studies have linked oral disease to systemic disease, including Alzheimer’s, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes
- Advanced periodontal disease or gum disease can raise your risk of a fatal heart attack up to 10 times; there’s also a 700 percent higher incidence of type 2 diabetes among those with gum disease
- The oral microbiome has a protective component that protects you from deadly viruses and bacteria in the environment
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Maybe you can relate, but I despise going to the dentist! Growing up I had SO many cavities and dental issues. I’m basically scarred for life because of the dentist. But lately, it hasn’t been so bad because I’ve completely changed my oral hygiene routine and my mouth is so much healthier. So this post will cover a couple of ways that you can naturally improve your dental hygiene. We’re going to talk about:
- Oil pulling with coconut oil
- The best natural fluoride-free toothpaste
- Natural mouthwash
- Safe and natural ways to whiten teeth
- Eco-friendly toothbrush
- Low waste natural floss
- Tongue scraping
- Mouth taping
- Tooth remineralization
You can click to jump ahead to a certain section. Let’s get started!
Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil
Oil what?! I know it sounds weird, but it’s extremely beneficial. You take either coconut oil or sesame oil, and swish it around in your mouth for a few minutes and then spit it out. Basically, it collects all the toxins in your mouth and balances the microbiome. It also whitens your teeth and has a ton of other benefits. I do it almost every day and totally notice a difference; my mouth feels gross if I don’t. This has probably been the most helpful thing I’ve done for my own dental hygiene!
Oil pulling is definitely something that takes some getting used to, but it’s so worth it. See my guide to oil pulling to learn about the benefits, how to do it correctly, and my tips and tricks to make it more bearable!
Related post: “Coconut Oil Pulling for Healthier Gums & Naturally Whiter Teeth“
Fluoride-Free Toothpaste (+ Water!)
Wait, aren’t you supposed to have fluoride to prevent cavities?! That’s what I was taught growing up and constantly heard from my dentist. However, it actually does more harm than good and I personally avoid it. My blog post about water filters goes into more detail about fluoride and its negative side effects; it’s actually a pesticide and neurotoxin! I even recommend filtering fluoride from your water.
You can also listen to this podcast episode with Melissa Gallico – she is a fluoride expert and we chat all about it and an interesting connection with acne.
My Favorite Natural Toothpaste Brands:
As far as toothpaste goes, make sure you look for a natural one that doesn’t include fluoride, sulfates, or synthetic ingredients like artificial flavors and dyes. The world of natural toothpaste has come a long way and there are lots of awesome options on the market. Some that I use and recommend:
- RiseWell Fluoride-Free Toothpastes: I love the wild orange flavor! They also have a Cake Batter flavor for kids (but hey, I enjoy it too). I really love this brand because they use hydroxyapatite, a naturally occurring mineral that makes up 97% of our tooth enamel and has been scientifically-proven to strengthen and protect your teeth. Code ORGANICALLYBECCA gets you a discount.
- David’s Natural Toothpastes: If you’ve tried a natural toothpaste that just wasn’t “foamy” enough for you, then you need to try this one! It’s the closest texture and experience to a conventional toothpaste, in my opinion. Plus, it’s packaged in a recyclable metal tube. Code ORGANICALLYBECCA gets you a discount.
- Dr. Brite Natural Toothpastes: These are not very foamy but there are a lot of yummy flavors like Coconut Chai and Berry. These also contain hydroxyapatite.
- Georganics Natural Toothpaste Tablets: If you are looking for a zero waste toothpaste option! You just chew on a tab until it starts to dissolve, then brush like normal. These make my mouth feel really alkaline. Code BECCA10 gets you a discount.
Natural Mouthwash & Breath Spray
Conventional mouthwashes and breath sprays have some not-so-safe ingredients as well: dyes, artificial flavors, fluoride, sodium lauryl sulfate, etc. Not to mention a sneaky culprit…alcohol! The purpose is to kill off bacteria and act as an antiseptic. However, the risks of using antiseptic mouthwash far outweigh the benefits. They basically bomb your entire oral microbiome and wipe out all the beneficial bugs too!
Thankfully, there are some lovely alcohol-free natural mouthwash options out there. I really like the RiseWell Alkalizing Mouthwash because it’s minty but doesn’t burn (and helps naturally balance your mouth’s pH). Code ORGANICALLYBECCA gets you a discount!
If you’re looking for a mouth spray, Dr. Brite has a Soothe & Restore Spray made with essential oils. It freshens breath and also helps soothe inflamed gums. Dr. Brite also has alcohol-free natural mouthwashes. I love the Coconut Chai and Wildberry flavors!
Whiten Your Teeth Safely
Ditch the harsh Crest White Strips or conventional whiteners which can cause tooth sensitivity and wear down enamel. There are many natural, holistic ways that you can whiten your teeth safely:
- Oil pulling with coconut oil
- Brushing with activated charcoal or turmeric
- Dr. Brite Teeth Whitening Pens (these are quick and easy)
- Lumineux Non-Toxic Teeth Whitening Strips (I notice the most immediate difference with these)
Okay so your toothbrush at home isn’t “toxic” but, did you know that over a BILLION plastic toothbrushes end up in the ocean each year!? So sad. Plus, I try to avoid plastic when possible for health reasons.
That’s why I like these bamboo replacement heads for my Sonicare electric toothbrush. They’re on the softer side but fit nicely on my toothbrush (which I feel cleans better than a manual toothbrush, just sayin’!). They have options for charcoal-infused bristles or fading bristles, too.
Bamboo is naturally antimicrobial and a much more sustainable option compared to plastic. But if you want a regular old-fashioned toothbrush, I also like these natural bamboo toothbrushes. It’s what I use packing in a travel bag!
Low Waste & Natural Floss
Sadly, most conventional floss has additives like artificial flavorings, fluoride, or PTFE (nonstick material)! I opt for this floss from RiseWell. It’s very durable, yet gentle, and glides through teeth nicely. Plus it’s infused with hydroxyapatite which is soooooo cool. It uses vegan wax, spearmint oil, xylitol, and stevia. Code ORGANICALLYBECCA for a discount.
The only downside to the RiseWell floss is that it contains polyester and is packaged in plastic. So I also like this silk floss from Radius! It’s compostable and you can get it in a cardboard box instead of plastic.
Tongue Scraper to Remove Bacteria
Have you ever noticed a “film” on your tongue?! Yeah, that’s bacteria! While we sleep, our body removes toxins and deposits them on our tongue (also why it’s important to oil pull in the morning!). And if you have bad breath, you’ll definitely want to invest in a tongue scraper.
According to askthedentist.com, tongue scraping can enhance the flavors of your food, improve heart health, prevent cavities, get rid of bad breath, boost your immune system, and improve digestive health.
Tongue scraping is also more effective than brushing your tongue with a toothbrush. All you do is gently pull the scraper from the back of your tongue towards the front to remove the buildup. The best part is that it literally only takes a few seconds 👅 I have a stainless steel tongue scraper and a copper tongue scraper. Both are great, but overall I prefer a copper scraper. Copper is a bacteria-resistant metal and it also provides important enzymes that help beneficial microbes in the mouth!
Mouth Taping & Nose Breathing
This is going to sound extremely bizarre, but hear me out. I wear a piece of tape over my mouth at night. Essentially, it forces you to breathe out of your nose which has undeniable benefits (such as increased nitric oxide levels, less risk of dry mouth, and better sleep).
But what is the connection to dental care? Dr. Mark Burhenne, DDS considers mouth breathing the number one cause of cavities—even ahead of poor diet or bad dental hygiene! Basically, a dry mouth puts you at risk for bacteria growth.
I will say that for me personally, my mouth feels way less disgusting in the morning if I mouth tape the night before. I no longer have that “morning breath” feeling. It’s a staple in my wellness and dental care routine!
What tape should I use for mouth taping?
- Dryft Lip Tape is an amazing place to start if you’re new to mouth taping! It’s medical-grade and uses a gentle adhesive. The strips are in the shape of a mouth with a little vent in the middle. They are more pricey so I’d recommend these if you want to get the hang of mouth taping. Use code DRYFT10 for a discount on your first order.
- For the mouth taping pros that want a budget-friendly option! This hypoallergenic surgical tape is super affordable and will last you a LONGGGGGG time. However, it is stickier compared to the Dryft strips and can be hard to peel off in the morning. So I’d recommend either applying some lip balm before applying or putting the tape on the back of your hand and peeling it off 1-2x to lessen the stickiness first. But it gets the job done!
I know it sounds extremely weird, but I swear by it. You might accidentally pull the tape off at night the first few times you try it, but you’ll get used to it. Give it a try!
Tooth & Enamel Remineralization
You can actually reverse cavities and remineralize your teeth, isn’t that cool?! I absolutely love swishing with Uncle Harry’s Remineralization Liquid a few times a week. It’s made with alkalizing ionic minerals, pink sea salt, and essential oils. Not only does it leave your mouth feeling super fresh, but it also protects tooth enamel by:
- Neutralizing acids and bacteria
- Supplying calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus for strengthening teeth
- Promoting an alkaline pH of the mouth
- Also available in a powder formula
Another reason I use Uncle Harry’s products is to reverse dental fluorosis. If you read about fluoride above, you’ll know that it can actually cause deep staining to your teeth (either in the form of white specks or deeper yellow/brown stains) which I, unfortunately, suffered from as a child. Although I do whiten my teeth, the staining is so deep that it’s hard to go away completely. These remineralization products have helped!
What are your favorite ways to maintain healthy dental hygiene? It’s such a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle that definitely shouldn’t be overlooked! Let me know if you have any questions below in the comments.