Both Ayurveda and dental practitioners emphasize the importance of oral hygiene, as our mouths serve as windows into the underlying conditions of our bodies. There are a large number of reasons as to why it’s so important to brush and floss our teeth, maintain oral care routine and to visit the dentist regularly: not only does a strong oral hygiene routine strengthen our teeth and gums—it also helps to boost immunity, improve digestion and prevent the development of more serious diseases, from cardiovascular issues to diabetes. As an added bonus, your teeth are also sure to look white, bright, radiant and Healthy.
In Ayurveda, there are a number of small, simple practices you can incorporate into your daily routine for major oral health benefits. Here are 3 of those practices that will inspire you to revamp your approach to oral care—and thus your overall health.
Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic practice that involves swishing oil in the mouth as an act of detoxification. Research demonstrates that the act of oil pulling can extract ama, or toxins (including chemical, bacterial and environmental toxins), from the mouth that come from the blood. Thus, oil pulling becomes a detoxifying practice not only for the Gum care, but also for the entire body.
The benefits of oil pulling are numerous and impressive. As the practice extracts viruses, bacteria and other toxins from the mouth, it can in turn combat the development of diseases and ailments that develop from the accumulation of bacteria, like gut issues and autoimmune disorders. It can also increase metabolism and improve longevity. In addition, it is believed to naturally whiten the teeth and freshen the breath, contributing to a radiant, healthy smile
To oil pull, simply swish one tablespoon of oil (coconut and sesame oils are good options) in your mouth for 15-20 minutes, making sure to cover all areas of the gums and teeth. While you do this, you can go about the rest of your morning routine, whether that be by taking a shower or preparing your morning coffee. Then spit out the oil and rinse your mouth with water.
If you’re looking for a blend of oils that is targeted specifically for oil pulling and oral hygiene, we have our own UMA Pure Detox Oil Pulling Treatment, which combines detoxifying and revitalizing coconut, sesame and peppermint oils for maximal effectiveness and freshness.
The Ayurvedic practice of tongue scraping is one you’ll want to incorporate into your routine right away, as it only takes a minute and provides immense health and wellness benefits. Tongue scraping, which involves gently running a scraper across the tongue, removes toxins and impurities from the mouth that might otherwise lead to the development of problems like digestive issues, acne or bad breath. Like oil pulling, it is a detoxifying practice that rids the body of ama. As one study shows, tongue scraping can also improve bad breath as it removes harmful coatings from the tongue.
Ayurvedic tradition typically recommends the use of a copper tongue scraper, as copper is revered for its antimicrobial and detoxifying qualities. Our UMA Pure Palate Tongue Scraper harnesses the potent cleansing properties of copper to freshen breath, combat imbalances and eliminate impurities.
To incorporate this simple practice into your dental routine, simply run a tongue scraper from the back of the tongue to the front, rinsing off and repeating several times until you’ve covered the entire surface of the tongue. Rinse with warm water and wash with soap before storing in a dry place
AYURVEDIC HERBS & SUPPLEMENTS
As research demonstrates, the Ayurvedic herb amla (or Indian gooseberry) is especially effective in building and strengthening oral health. It also supports the healing and development of connective tissue. You can incorporate this herb into your routine by taking one to two grams a day in the form of capsules. While our UMA Love-Thy-Liver Herbal Supplement is designed to strengthen liver health, it also harnesses the strengthening powers of amla as a key ingredient.
Research also shows that liquorice root reduces plaque and combats cavities, and that herbs like alfalfa leaf, cinnamon bark and turmeric root strengthen the bones and joints, which in turn improves and strengthens the teeth.