You might know that I use a miswak twig (or tooth-cleaning twig) to clean my teeth. But I also mentioned there are other ways to clean your teeth.
Well, now I am going to share a few more ways, since God left a plethora of choices.
What is important to me is if something is really natural. You will find that some toothbrushes are half or part breeds. I found a toothbrush that is made with silver, gold and bamboo charcoal. Which sounds good because silver and gold are antibacterial. And bamboo charcoal contains astringent and antibacterial properties. The toothbrush looked sleek and nice…but then I found out the bristles are also made with a man-manipulated material called PET (a form of polyester, usually molded into plastic bottles and such).
And then there are wooden toothbrushes (made from recycled wood) with charcoal-infused bristles, which is also helpful–but not that natural, as the bristles are nylon.
I have also realized that cleaning your teeth with a toothbrush everyday is just a tradition more or less; it is something that we have been conditioned to do. Consider my husband’s grandparents (from a small village in So Mexico); they clean their teeth everyday, but it is integrated into their everyday life. They chew on sticks throughout the day from various trees on their land, and they also chew on certain herbs from their garden, which effectively cleans their teeth.
Look to the Fruit
There are fruits you can eat that will clean your teeth. Apples can do this job. They are slightly abrasive, and they also contain malic acid. Malic acid helps dissolve the biofilm that bacteria create to stick to your teeth. This biofilm will become plaque if not stopped. You should also know that malic acid stimulates your salivary glands. Saliva helps remineralize your teeth, and it also contains some bacteria-killing enzymes. You can find malic acid in strawberries as well, so snack on those sometimes.
And consider the following, too:
Fruits with citric acid like oranges or lemons also dissolve bacterial biofilm
Polyphenols prevent this biofilm from even forming, and you can find this in fruits like berries or blood oranges
Fruits with tartaric acid like grapes or cranberries help decrease dental caries
Fruits with glycolic acid like pineapples, cantaloupe or unripe grapes offer similar benefits
I don’t suggest these fruits to completely replace your cleaning utensil, but they will assist in cleaning your teeth. I just wanted to show you how natural cleaning your teeth can be. Some of the above can also harm your enamel if eaten in excess, so it is also about balance.
You can also find tooth-friendly ingredients in the twigs of the fruit trees above.
Some of the following fruit twigs can be used for brushing when fresh, though you may have to do a little processing. Cut the twig, remove the bark, and you could soak it in a solution a bit or pound with a stone. You could do this with other twigs, such as those from birch trees or hazelnut trees. Many twigs work best as chew sticks, and your saliva will wash away harmful bacteria.
And a Few More Chewing Sticks …
The following will help your oral health because they have similar benefits to the twigs above. They contain natural flouride, antibacterial enzymes and are naturally astringent.
- Twigs from the Margosa tree
- Twigs from Arjuna tree
- Black Catechu twig
- Twigs from the Arak tree
- Twigs from nut trees
- Twigs from coconut trees
- Liquorice sticks (come from the root of a legume plant and is not a twig–but you can chew on it like the others)
Mango leaves are also antibacterial. This is due to the mangiferin they contain. Mangiferin has been shown to effectively kill several strands of bacteria responsible for dental erosion, bad breath, cavities, plaque and gum disease.
You should find some at your local health food store, or you can even find some on Amazon. To use, just follow the steps below:
Wash the fresh mango leaf.
Remove the midrib from the leaf, but keep it to use as a tongue cleaner.
Fold the mango leaf in half with the glossy side facing inward.
Roll the leaf into a cylinder.
Bite one of the ends off, and brush with that end.
Brush your tongue afterwards, and you are done.
Mango twigs will help clean your teeth as well if you were wondering. Just chew on them.
You Can Also Use Herbs & Spices
As you can see, food heals your teeth and can clean your teeth. So, of course, you can simply chew on herbs and spices as mentioned earlier.
Check out the following:
Yerba buena (or mint) is popular in southern American countries and is simply chewed. This is antibacterial due to the menthol content.
Neem, which is quite popular nowadays, is an effective oral health enhancer due to its nimbin content. Nimbin helps destroy cavity-causing bacteria.
Cinnamon sticks contain cinnamaldehyde, which gives cinnamon a wide bacteria-killing radius. This will help reduce the amount of oral pathogens making a home in your mouth. I use Ceylon sticks.
Cloves stimulate blood flow to the gums & freshens your breath.
Tooth-Friendly Powders & Cleaning With Your Finger?
You can also consider the powders that some indigenous people have used by simply putting some on their finger and rubbing it on their teeth. This can be too abrasive if done everyday. But I have noticed that with natural options, this type of cleaning is not needed everyday if you eat correctly or chew on sticks throughout the day.
Consider the options below:
Activated charcoal, antibacterial, sucks up positively charged particles, which are harmful bacteria
Prickly ash bark powder, contains alkaloids that help diminish harmful bacteria
Red clay, similar to charcoal
Bentonite clay, similar to red clay
Diatomaceous earth, similar to bentonite clay
Sea salt, abrasive and balances the pH level in your mouth
Wood ash, similar to the clays mentioned above
Or… Try a Wooden & Boar Toothbrush
If you’re not ready to use a twig or clean with your fingers, there is another popular option: a wooden & boar toothbrush. Boar bristles were used before nylon toothbrushes were created in 1938. Many people did not like boar bristles because the bristles were too hard and fell off easily. So nylon brushes were introduced and became the norm. Some of the boar toothbrushes made these days are softer. And when you wet them, the bristles soften up a bit. You may also find some bristles made with horse hair, which is softer, but harder to find.
But since it’s not toothpaste and a toothbrush in one, like some of the other alternatives, I would suggest combining this brush with the powders above (or your own creative concoction).
These are only a few more ways to take care of your dental health. Remember that your oral health extends to your overall health. So be sure that what you use is pure–not contaminated, and try to get it the freshest that you can. If you haven’t done so, replace your old toothbrush and upgrade; your teeth and health deserve it.