Flossing and brushing regularly are the first steps to keeping your teeth healthy. There is no subtsitute for that basic regimen, but there are things you can do to augment it. Here are some tips on keeping your teeth healthy and white using natural materials and methods.
1. Use commercial, natural toothpastes. If you are concerned about the chemicals in conventional toothpa ste, there are a lot of natural alternatives on the market. Look for toothpastes free from sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate. There are also natural whitening toothpastes.
2. Neem oil is a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal that promotes healthy gums and teeth. You can mix a drop or two of neem oil with a tablespoon of baking soda to make your own toothpaste. (You can add a drop of peppermint or cinnamon essential oil to improve the taste.) Shake well to combine. Or, you can buy a commercial toothpaste containing neem. Still another choice is to add neem oil to your commercial toothpaste.
3. Tea tree oil is also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, making it good for your teeth. Use it as you would neem oil.
4. Dip your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide and brush your teeth with it. Do this right after you brush your teeth. Hydrogen peroxide helps whiten teeth with the toothpaste of your choice.
5. To a tablespoon of baking soda, add 1/4 teaspoon or less of xylitol. Add neem or tea tree oil if you like. You can also add some peppermint or cinnamon essential oil. Dip your toothbrush into this mixture and brush. This sweetener is derived from birch trees and is very healthful for teeth. It is often used in commercial toothpastes and in sugar-free chewing gum.
6. Cardamom is an herb that contains cineole, an effective antiseptic substance. Make a healthful mouthwash by steeping two ounces or so of crushed cardamom pods in 2 cups of vodka. Add a handful of spearmint leaves to improve the taste and add even more cineole. Just leave the herbs in the vodka and use as needed.
You can also chew the cardamom pods, then spit out when finished. If you don't want to use the vodka, make a strong tea from 1 cup boiling water poured over 1 tablespoon each of crushed cardamom pods and chopped spearmint leaves. Use as a mouthwash and store in the refrigerator.