by Maureen Henry

PeppermintThe mouth with its gums, teeth and tongue is a very important place. If cared for properly our teeth will be healthy and will last a lifetime. If neglected they can cause a great deal of misery.

Natural dental care begins with brushing and flossing regularly after each meal thus preventing plaque build-up and the creation of tartar. Brushing is best accompanied with a herbal toothpaste or toothpowder made with natural ingredients.

Herbs and spices have been a part of dental care for centuries. Many cultures used twigs cut from healing herbs as their toothbrushes. These twigs rich with volatile oils tightened and cleansed gums, and stimulated blood circulation.

Herbs such as turmeric with its ability to fight bacteria, viruses and inflammation can be used to maintain dental health. Tea tree oil stimulates circulation and kills germs. Myrrh gum fights germs and gotu kola heals wounds that may appear in the mouth. Applying herbs to the gums in the form of packs or teas is a good way to promote healing.

The following are some recipes for natural toothpowders and mouthwash that you can try.

Echinacea Prickly Ash Toothpowder
1 tsp echinacea root, cut and sifted
1 tsp prickly ash bark, cut and sifted
1 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp myrrh gum powder
2 tsp baking soda
9 drops tea tree essential oil
15 drops mint essential oil

Grind first three ingredients in a coffee or herb grinder. Sift into bowl and add Myrrh, soda and salt. Mix well. Add essential oils. Stir and store in a glass bottle with a tight fitting lid. To use: sprinkle powder on a dry toothbrush and brush thoroughly. Rinse and then follow with wet toothpaste if you like.

Salt and Soda Toothpowder
1 oz sea salt
1 oz baking soda
10 drops tea tree essential oil
15 drops sage essential oil
10 drops peppermint essential oil

Mix the salt and soda together well and add the essential oils. Stir and store in a glass bottle with a tight fitting lid. To use: sprinkle powder on a dry toothbrush and brush thoroughly. Rinse and then follow with wet toothpaste if you like.

Essential Oil Mouthwash
2 oz water
1 drop peppermint essential oil
1 drop tea tree essential oil
1/4 tsp baking soda or sea salt

Blend all ingredients. Gargle for at least two minutes. Do not swallow.


Sources:

Falconi, Deanna. Earthly Bodies & Heavenly Hair, Woodstock N.Y.: Saras Press, 1998Khalsa K. “Something To Smile About” Herbs for Health, Vol.6, No.3 Jul./Aug., 2001, p.48Khalsa, K. “Herbs For A Healthy Mouth” Herbs for Health, Vol. 2 No. 4 Sept./Oct., 2001, p.49.

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