Essential Oil Benefits for Dental Health
When I was growing up, I went to the dentist every six months. My dad had incredible insurance and all I ever remember giving the lady at the desk was a form filled out by my mom. Money never changed hands. It was a rude awakening the first time as an adult, without dental insurance, I went to the dentist and was told how much I owed for a cleaning and a check up, not to mention how much it would cost to fill any cavities I might have. Yikes! Luckily, I have good genes and strong teeth. I also have a good preventative routine: I brush my teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly. I have a relatively healthy, natural diet: I don’t eat a lot of processed sugar and I never drink soda. I have done pretty well (knocking on wood), but I’m getting older and starting to worry about my aging teeth. After all, I’ve had most of them for about 40 years!
Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about homemade toothpaste and mouthwash. I think I’m going to try making these things at home. I’ve read many pros and cons about baking soda, how it’s too abrasive, but when I read the ingredients on commercially made toothpaste, I have to wonder: isn’t that stuff “abrasive” too? Would it work without those ingredients? I’m going to try making my own toothpaste with baking soda. I’ve read a lot about the benefits of coconut oil for dental health, as well: it has been found to be antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, and has been found to eliminate Candida. There are so many essential oils that are beneficial for oral health that I will plan to do another blog on just that very soon. I think I’m going to start with Dreaming Earth’s Germ Buster essential oil blend.
Here is a toothpaste recipe that I’m going to try:
2 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons coconut oil
10 to 20 drops essential oil of your choice
Optional ingredients: ¼ teaspoon hydrogen peroxide (not recommended for children!), stevia extract or powder to taste.
Heat the oil so that it is in liquid form. Mix the soda and oil together well, then add the essential oils, adjusting to your taste. Some suggestions of which oils to use are: peppermint, spearmint, clove, cinnamon, lemongrass, oregano, Dreaming Earth’s Germ Buster. If you need to make it more palatable, use the stevia to taste. Store your toothpaste in an airtight container, like a small mason jar. I’ll let you know how mine works.
For mouthwash, here’s an easy one to try:
1 cup distilled water
1 teaspoon baking soda
5-10 drops of the essential oil of your choice dissolved in 50ml of grain alcohol or vodka (or a little less than an ounce.)
Take one tablespoon in your mouth and swish around!
Again, I think I’ll use the Germ Buster, because I like the spicy flavors and I like the combination of anti bacterial and anti fungal properties. Please be careful not to swallow any oral hygiene product made with essential oils. (one shouldn’t swallow toothpaste or mouthwash anyway!)
While doing research on essential oils and oral hygiene, I kept coming across articles about oil pulling. Oil pulling is an ancient ayurvedic practice that involves taking a tablespoon of coconut, sesame or safflower oil into one’s mouth and swishing it around for 20 minutes. (yes, you read that right: 20 minutes!) Actually, you can use any vegetable oil, as long as it is food grade, preferable organic and unrefined.
Not only is it reported to improve overall oral health–whiter, stronger teeth, fresher breath, re-mineralization– but it supposedly relieves all kinds of other ailments from acne to back pain. It is believed to be a detoxifier: the oil pulls out toxins from blood vessels in the tongue while you’re swishing it around in your mouth. I’m not sure I believe it does all of that, but I am intrigued and have decided to give it a try. The first two times I did it, I used extra virgin olive oil, but I switched to organic safflower oil. I’m mixing in 2-3 drops of the Germ Buster blend. (I make sure that the essential oil blend is well mixed into the safflower oil.) I started 3 days ago and I can already report that my mouth already feels very clean. I think it’s too early to see teeth whitening and other anticipated results, but I do like the feeling of having just imbibed a big glass of cool, clear water all day! I will tell you how it goes in future blogs.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only, and not intended to treat, prescribe, cure, or diagnose any disease or condition. This information is not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician or other health care provider. Dreaming Earth Botanicals is not responsible for any adverse effects resulting from the use of any of the suggestions, preparations, or procedures discussed. All matters pertaining to your physical health should be supervised by a health care professional. Keep all aromatherapy products out of reach of children.