Oral hygiene and fresh breath are understandable - high on the priority list for many people. If we neglect this, it can lead to various dental issues including halitosis.
Bad breath is an embarrassing problem. Chronic bad breath can devastate an individual’s self-worth with feelings of humiliation, shame, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, poor self-image and even suicidal thoughts.
Feeling embarrassed with bad breath? You are not alone
“Despite all the advances in our ability to prevent, detect and treat dental disease, too many Americans—for a variety of reasons—are not enjoying the best possible oral health,” said American Dental Association’s President Dr. Maxine Feinberg. The amount of money that an average American spends on dental care is also alarmingly increasing.
It is important to understand that bad breath does not denote a flaw in you as a person — it is simply a condition that requires your thoughtful care, attention and some changes in your lifestyle, diet and dental care products.
Most people deal with bad breath in varying degrees throughout their life, and they successfully overcome chronic bad breath using simple and natural bad breath home remedies or over-the-counter products and making relevant dietary changes. It could be as simple as eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and cutting down on non-vegetarian food as our teeth are naturally built for vegetarian diet.
Many studies also reveal that processed and synthetic formulations such as mouthwashes and chemical-based toothpastes most often aggravate the problem and are the things that indirectly cause the bad breath.
Get rid of bad breath permanently
Yoga and nature has provided a wealth of techniques and herbs that have a phenomenal effect on oral health with absolutely no side effects. These "miracles" of nature are so powerful that our forefathers have used them for thousands of years to get rid of the bad breath permanently and naturally. The biggest reason to switch to natural dental care products is toxic chemical exposure and artificial sweeteners. There will be a bit of an adjustment period when you switch to natural oral-care products, but once you get adjusted to it, you will be hooked on to it.
Here are 7 easy, quick and extremely effective yogic, ayurvedic and natural tips for clean and sparkling teeth and to make your breath smell good:
1) Use a tongue scraper for fresh breath
Tongue scrapers and cleaners have been used since ancient times in China and India. Although many different styles of tongue scrapers and tongue brushes have been developed, the stainless steel one is the best to my experience. Using a stainless steel tongue scraper, gently scrape the entire tongue from the back forward for 7 to 14 strokes every morning and at night, and observe these benefits for yourself:
- Clears toxins & bacteria from the tongue
- Helps eliminate undigested food particles and remove coating on the tongue that leads to bad breath
- Enhances the sense of taste
- Promotes overall oral & digestive health
2) Oil Pulling to whiten teeth and prevent bad breath
To beautify your teeth and gums, gargle with lukewarm oil, then hold it in your mouth for one minute before expelling it. Next, apply some oil to your index finger and gently massage your gums. This can be done every day or at least thrice in a week. While a number of different oils can be used for pulling, but try to use the best quality oil you can find – unrefined, cold-pressed, natural plant-based, organic oils. The most common oils used for pulling include sesame, sunflower, olive, and coconut oil.
If you have not been successful with the conventional western methods using baking soda, lemon, banana peel, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, apple cider etc that promises to whiten your teeth overnight, try this one and see the results for yourself in about week’s time without any side effects.
Apart from its beautifying effect, oil pulling can also
- Prevent cavities
- Soothe pain of impacted wisdom teeth, receding gums sensitive teeth
- Reduce allergies, migraines, inflammation
3) Eat mineral-rich seeds for stronger, whiter teeth
Problems with your teeth are often related to a deficiency of calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
To compensate and to prevent future problems, chew a tablespoon of mineral-rich white sesame or chia seeds (roasted or toasted) every morning before breakfast. Then brush your teeth with plain water so the residue of the sesame seeds can rub against your teeth, polishing and cleaning them.
4) Natural herbal toothpastes for total oral health
Before modern medicine became popular simple herbs and spices aided in oral health and treatment of dental problems. Some of the well-known dental herbs are: Babul (Acacia Arabica), Neem, Clove, Eucalyptus, Spearmint, Cinnamon, Bakul, Mayaphal, Black pepper, Catechu (Khadir) bark and Ginger.
In a study to determine the most effective method for reducing plaque formation and the level of bacteria on teeth surface it was found that micro-organisms found in inflamed gums are resistant to antibiotics but not to many antibacterial plant extracts. And unlike antibiotics, antibacterial plant extracts produced no allergy in the gingival that could inhibit their effectiveness.
Luckily, there are some excellent quality herbal toothpastes and mouthwashes available in the market today. Of course not all natural toothpastes are equal.
Out of many toothpaste that I have tried, my current favorite is: Sudanta Toothpaste.
This is a potent formulation that uses the power of many of these natural herbs to prevent dental issues and maintain excellent oral health. It tastes good, leaves a fresh aftertaste, and gets foamy. I have personally found it extremely useful and I just love it. Many of its users echo the same.
Moreover, the everyday ritual of brushing your teeth with a certified non-fluoride toothpaste made from ancient herbs like Sudanta toothpaste supports the education of thousands of underprivileged children in India. It gives me so much of a feel-good value and sense of contentment and joy to use this toothpaste!
Also, by reducing stress, improving posture and lessening inflammation, many ancient yogic techniques have proven to be extremely useful in maintaining dental health...
5) Sadanta pranayama (cooling breath) to reduce inflammation of gums
Let the upper teeth touch the lower teeth. With the tip of the tongue behind the teeth and air is sucked in. Inhale through the crevices of the teeth and the air moves over the gums slowly and continuously into the mouth and passes down the trachea into the lungs. Close the mouth and exhale through the nostrils slowly. Feel the warm air is exhaled out slowly through trachea and nostrils. This completes one round of Sadanta breathing. Repeat nine rounds.
- Prevents sensitive teeth and alleviates the pain.
- Highly beneficial to people with pyorrhea and hypersensitivity of gums.
This pranayama helps a lot to cure bad breath associated with sensitive teeth and pyorrhea. Pyorrhea means oozing of pus from gums. Pus causes bad breath. This could be due to inflammation / infection. Stress is one of the top reasons for inflammation and reduced immunity. Sadanta is a cooling breathing exercise (pranayama). Because of its cooling effect, it soothes down inflammation and it helps in calming down the mind by removing the mental anxiety and tension.
6) Tongue rolling to improve oral blood circulation
With closed lips and upper teeth over the lower, move your saliva-coated tongue in the mouth in circles making sure that the tips of the tongue touches all the inner sides of your cheeks, lips and palate.
- This improves blood circulation and keeps your teeth and gums strong and healthy, preventing bad breath.
7) Meditation for preventing acid reflux and giving your smile a glow
Meditation has been used as a treatment for certain stress-induced eating and digestive disorders, like GERD. Acid reflux is not only uncomfortable, it can do serious damage to the esophagus. At night, when a person with an acid reflux disorder sleeps on their back, the acid can make its way to the throat and mouth, which can weaken or damage gums and teeth. Meditation, by reducing stress, therefore aids oral health in multiple ways. Using meditation, in conjunction with medication, can dramatically reduce the symptoms of acid reflux and improve the quality of sleep.
As Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, global spiritual leader, explains: “Every day you brush your teeth, that is oral hygiene, and every day you meditate, that is mental hygiene.”
Moreover, meditation will give you that unshakable inner smile that will add a million times more shine to your outer smile than any other toothpaste!
Keep smiling, shining and spread smiles!
Now, let us know your opinion…
By Sejal Shah, E-YRT 500, YACEP, Art of Living Teacher, Mind-Body Wellness Writer, Yogi, Meditator, Homeopath
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