- The surprising food that kills bad breath
- A natural mouthwash that really works
- How to protect yourself during a dental drought
My dog loves to eat.
By ‘love’ I mean…
If you were to leave a gigantic bag of food unattended, he would continue to eat that food until he exploded.
A bit like me in my mid-20s!
Until about 5 years ago, I used to fork out for dog chews that were designed to clean his teeth.
The idea was that by gnawing on them, he’d get rid of food and plaque.
But then I realised it was a waste of money.
Because my dog loves ALL food, he was just as happy chomping on a massive carrot – and that cheap, natural ingredient worked just as well as whatever it was in those chews.
And here’s the thing…
This can work for humans too.
How to eat your teeth cleaner
A raw carrot cleans your teeth by scrubbing away plaque as you bite into it, thanks to its tough fibres.
It can also stimulate the production of saliva in your mouth, which gets rid of offending bacteria and other nasties naturally.
Carrots are also packed with B vitamins, which help fight gingivitis.
You can also do a similar thing with an apple – they are also highly fibrous, with acids that can kill bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
Just make sure to keep the skin on for the best effect.
Now of course, as a smart and informed reader, you might be well aware of the dental benefits of apples and carrots.
So here’s a curveball for you…
The surprising food that kills bad breath
If we were on a romantic date, most of us would probably avoid eating a dish with raw onions in it.
“Ugh, onion breath!” we think, in horror.
Which is why it might shock you to know that the smelly sulphuric compounds in onions are actually good for your mouth – if eaten in moderation!
In an issue of the Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research from 2010, an article talks about a Russian doctor who claims that chewing raw onions for 2-3 minutes can kill bacteria in the mouth.
In a separate study, Korean researchers have claimed that raw onion killed four different strains of bacteria linked to tooth decay and gum disease.
So consider adding a few raw onion rings to your salad if you want to control long-term bad breath problems.
If you do get some short-term ‘onion breath’ immediately after, then eat some parsley, mint or a spoonful of diluted apple cider vinegar.
Even better, eat an apple, which reduces the onion breath instantly and gives you a double whammy of natural tooth and gum cleansing.
Oh, and here’s another surprising one…
A natural mouthwash that really works
Fresh basil contains essential oils that are also natural antibiotics, so add some to salads, stews and soups to help reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Or you could turn it into a homemade mouthwash.
Simply boil some water, then dump in a big load of basil and let it steep for an hour. Then strain and pour into a sealable bottle.
As well as using basil, you could add one or more of these ingredients:
- Aloe Vera
According to a 2014 study in The Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry, “basil mouthwash has an antiplaque effect and… may have potential as an antiplaque mouthwash with prophylactic benefits.”
This is far better than buying a synthetic mouthwash – most dentists don’t recommend these, and neither do I.
They can make dry mouth conditions worse because of the alcohol. What’s more, they often contain artificial sweeteners, colourings and preservatives, like benzoic acid and sodium benzoate.
Worse still, these mouthwashes don’t distinguish between harmful bacteria and the good stuff in your mouth. So by wiping out good bacteria, the bad bacteria gets to come back with a vengeance!
Try these natural tips during a dental drought
It’s worth bearing today’s advice in mind, especially at the moment, as huge swathes of people across the country struggle to get NHS dental appointments thanks to pandemic backlogs.
According to Healthwatch England, calls and complaints rose by a fifth at the start of 2021.
Some people are being told they need to wait up to three years for appointments!
Imelda Redmond from Healthwatch England said the system needed reforming.
“New arrangements should include making access to NHS dental services equal and affordable for everyone, regardless of where people live, their income and ethnicity.”
She added: “Failing to act now will result in long-term harm for thousands of people, putting even greater pressure on the largely overstretched healthcare system.”
As I’ve said before, it’s really important to look after your oral health, as it has knock on effects for other parts of your body too, and has been linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
If you’re worried about the health of your mouth and you’re on a long waiting list for a dentist, I have one final bit of advice for you.
As you know from these newsletters, there’s an amazing kind of natural, sugar-free (no sweetener) mint that can clean your teeth as you suck it too.
Take a look at this: Dr Heff’s Remarkable Mints
That’s it from me today – have a lovely weekend and I’ll write again soon.