Take care of your teeth, and they'll take care of you! As your dentist will remind you, that means flossing every day, brushing twice daily and rinsing with a minty mouthwash. But take a look at the ingredients in the most popular oral health products, and you'll see the super-fluoride, mega-blast whitening solutions are riddled with added chemicals. Can you really smile about putting triclosan and blue dye in your mouth?
You have options, including herbal-based toothpastes, mouth rinse and more. Made up of baking soda, xylitol, organic herbal extracts, vitamins and minerals, an effective herbal toothpaste cleans, polishes and whitens your teeth just as well as any big-name brand. With regular use, a natural-based formula also helps maintain healthy gums and fresh breath -- all without harsh additives or unpronounceable ingredients.
Still not convinced? The American Dental Association (ADA) has given its stamp of approval to several natural oral care essentials. The ADA's Seal of Acceptance signifies a dental product's safety and effectiveness. To qualify, a product’s claims must be supported by clinical and laboratory tests. It must also undergo a critical review by members of the ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs, made up of experts in fields of dental materials, microbiology, pharmacology, toxicology and chemistry.
When choosing a natural alternative, look for safe and effective herbal extracts. It's also important that your oral hygiene essentials are free of animal ingredients, artificial preservatives and any ingredients that may harm tooth enamel or irritate gums. Concerned parents will be happy to know there are plenty of fluoride-free herbal toothpastes, as well.
In addition to choosing safe, chemical-free formulas, be sure you (and your loved ones):
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles, and be sure to get a new one every three months.
- Take your time while brushing -- at least three minutes, or long enough to sing the "Happy Birthday" song.
- Brush away from your gums for optimal cleansing.
- Floss at least once a day to help remove all plaque and debris.
- Visit your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning and checkup.
- Eat a well-balanced diet that includes fibrous foods, including fruits and vegetables that help clean and nourish teeth and their surrounding tissues.
- Drink plenty of water and skip the sugary sodas.
Making the switch to natural oral health care is easier than you think, plus you'll have plenty to smile about!