The teeth are an important part of our bodies. Proper chewing of food is very important for digestion. In Ayurveda chewing is considered very important. There is a very famous health tip, which says, "Eat your liquids and drink your solids". This will not be possible without healthy and strong teeth. It is also true that if the teeth work properly, the function of intestines in digesting the food becomes easier. The teeth are also necessary for enjoying the real taste of different delicious foods. In addition, teeth are also necessary for facial beauty.
Despite taking the utmost care of our teeth, we are unable to avoid common teeth problems. Most people develop one teeth-related problem or the other at an early age. One of the very prominent reasons for this is our improper dietary habits. Excessive use of sugars and carbohydrates; eating very hot or very cold (chilled) food items; eating frozen, fried, and spicy foods are a cause for teeth-related problems. So, avoiding too much of these types of food and maintaining proper cleansing and hygiene of the teeth is necessary to avoid various diseases related to the teeth. Ayurveda explains some simple and wonderful practices and remedies, which help to maintain strong and healthy teeth.
- Brushing the teeth twice a day is most necessary to maintain proper hygiene. Ayurveda advises use of various herbs to clean the teeth. Special formulas of tooth powders are prescribed for general use. Although you might feel a bit uncomfortable to rub those herbal tooth powders on your teeth, you will see remarkable results within a few weeks. And if you really live in natural surroundings and love to live naturally, fresh small stick-like branches of trees like the neem or local trees (bitter taste is good) can be used for brushing or cleansing the teeth. Chew the stick at one end to make it brush-like. Rub your teeth with the brush.
- Many people are in the habit of drinking tea or coffee early in the morning. Some people even drink tea without properly brushing and cleaning their teeth. This is a very prominent cause of dental problems, as this not only increases pitta dosha, it also causes acidity and constipation. So never drink your early morning tea or coffee without properly brushing and cleaning your teeth. It would be best to eat some solid food before drinking tea or coffee.
- Drinking a glass of water (250ml.) mixed with a tablespoon of honey is very beneficial for the teeth. You can even replace your morning tea with this drink. It acts both in prevention of and in curing dental problems.
- After each meal fresh water gargles must be done at least 4-5 times. It is very important to clean the teeth each time after eating something. It may not be practical to brush your teeth each time, but just cleaning with fresh water or warm water is sufficient. Fill the mouth with water, circulate this water 2-3 times around the teeth, and then spit it out. In case some food particles are sticking to the teeth, use the index finger of your right hand to clean them.
- Take a cup of water (warm water in winter) and mix a pinch of common salt in it. Gargle with water 3-4 times. Also fill your mouth with this water and circulate it around the teeth. This is good for the teeth, gums, and throat. It should be done everyday before going to bed.
- Take one gram of finely powdered rock salt (common salt if rock salt is not available) and mix half to one teaspoonful of mustard oil in it to make a paste. Apply this paste on the gums and massage gently. Do not rub very hard and if there is a little bleeding from the gums while massaging, do not worry. Rinse the mouth with warm water. This is a very good treatment for pyorrhea, swollen gums, toothache, and bleeding gums. It strengthens the gums and kills the germs. This massage can be done at any time of the day.
- Fine turmeric powder can be used in place of salt (same quantity) in the above recipe. This should be used before going to bed. It is very beneficial for toothache, dental caries, and pain in teeth while eating chilled or hot food items, and also for bleeding gums.
- Drinking half a glass of water mixed with two teaspoonsful of fresh lemon juice may be taken twice a day. It is good for strengthening both gums and teeth.
- Chewing a clove after meals acts as a mouth freshener and also maintains strong teeth and gums. Keep the clove in the mouth and chew slowly.
- Do not mix very hot and chilled items together, like eating an ice cream immediately after a cup of hot coffee or vice-versa.
- Avoid excessive sweets and foods containing sugar and rinse the mouth immediately after eating such items.
- In case of pain in the gums avoid hot, spicy, sour and fried foods.
So just try to follow these simple practices and remedies, and continue enjoying delicious food.