There are plenty of natural ingredients to help keep your gums and teeth healthy. Whichever you choose, don’t forget that it’s not a replacement for brushing, flossing, or rinsing with a mouthwash. You’ve still got to stick with those good habits to protect your smile.
Natural oral care products typically are safe to use, although not all are as effective as they claim. Overall, we’re still learning which natural ingredients work best to help prevent cavities and gum disease. Fluoride definitely helps you avoid cavities, though.
Peroxide, Tea, and Oils
Some natural or herbal substances, including common foods and drinks, can help clean teeth.
Look for these in your pharmacy or grocery store:
- Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
- Green tea
- Eucalyptol, menthol, and tea tree oil
- Xylitol gum or lozenges
- Vitamin D
Baking soda can help fight tooth decay and peroxide can help fight off certain bacteria. One study suggests that rinsing with green tea extract may help keep your teeth from getting eroded. Another shows it might stop starchy foods, such as crackers or cake, from causing tooth decay. And a third shows that people who regularly drink green tea have healthier gums than those who don’t.
Oils such as eucalyptol, menthol, and tea tree, can help kill bacteria in your mouth. This keeps your gums from getting inflamed. You’ll find toothpaste and mouthwash with these ingredients.
Xylitol, an alcohol used in place of sugar, may help limit your tooth decay. It’s sold as a gum or lozenge, but it’s not clear just how well it works. One study says it helped cut cavities in adults by only 10%. It can also help dry mouth by boosting saliva.
Vitamin D may be good for your mouth by helping your body kill bacteria. Studies show you may be more likely to get gum disease if you don’t have enough of it. Some foods and drinks that have vitamin D are eggs, tuna, salmon, and fortified orange juice.
Remember, Dr. Ranu and Dr. Forman can help point you to the natural ingredients that are best for you.