With all of the negativity surrounding fluoride, finding an alternative oral health care remedy can be tough to do. Fortunately, there are several ways to take care of your teeth without having to put fluoride into your body. 

According to several medical journals, including The Scientific World Journal, fluoride can cause serious physical and psychological health problems, including:

  • Fluoride-induced brittle teeth
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Lower IQ scores
  • Dental fluorosis
  • Skeletal fluorosis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cancer

Fluoride occurs naturally in the world, but governments have been adding it to water supplies, and it has been added to toothpaste. While it is difficult to completely avoid fluoride, as it occurs naturally and is in nearly all waterways, it is possible to buy healthy fluoride-free products for your oral health and your family’s oral health.

Instead of buying a mass-market toothpaste, there are alternative products that have been proven effective and safe for cleaning teeth and gums. Products like natural toothpowder, fluoride-free bottled water, and fluoride-free dental tape will get the job done without adverse side effects. There are also plenty of other healthy steps you can take to keep your mouth healthy.

  1. Use natural toothpowder

Since brushing your teeth is a sure-fire way to keep your teeth clean, toothpowder is a safe option to use as an alternative to fluoride toothpaste. Natural toothpowder is made of safe, gentle ingredients like bentonite clay, white kaolin clay, French green clay, and baking soda. The synergistic combination of these 3 ingredients scrub away grime while polishing the teeth. These clays remove tartar and include vitamins and minerals that actually benefit the body and mind.

Some toothpowders have activated charcoal to help with scrubbing and polishing. Many include essential oils for fresh breath and monk fruit for a subtle sweetness.

  1. Use a tongue scraper

While many natural remedies are frowned upon by medical doctors, tongue scraping isn’t one of them. This healthy practice is recommended by not only Ayurvedic practitioners but medical doctors and dentists, too. At a minimum, your oral health will benefit from one tongue scraping session in the morning. By scraping your tongue each day, you remove bacteria and other toxins, which can help improve the health of your entire body, not just your mouth.

Tongue scrapers can help prevent bad breath. Researchers have found that the causes of bad breath are reduced up to 90% by regular tongue scraping. Most of the bacteria that causes bad breath rests on the tongue and scraping removes it.

Tongue scraping stimulates the tastes buds and betters digestive health because it removes toxins from the tongue. By removing the slimy coating that builds upon the tongue, tooth decay slows with regular tongue scraping. Scrapers can be purchased at most stores that sell oral health products.

  1. Gargling

Gargling with salt water is good for your mouth for resetting the alkalinity and for preventing and reducing inflammation of the gums. But, salt water isn’t the only option for gargling. Some people like to use warm sesame oil. Whatever liquid you use, gargle for about a minute, then expel. If you use sesame oil, take a few moments to massage the gums after you have spit out the oil.

  1. Natural pain relief

Edible camphor can help reduce pain in the mouth. Be sure you do buy the safe, natural kind and put it by the spot that is experiencing pain. Saliva will activate the camphor, which has antibacterial properties. Some people will mix camphor powder with mustard oil, too.

Cloves also provide pain relief. Ground clove mixed with olive or vegetable oil will provide relief. You can also put clove essential oil into water, and rinse with it. Cloves are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and they also sooth pain with their anesthetic properties. Natural pain relievers are good for the body, but if you have a major issue with a tooth, you should see a dentist.

  1. Oil pulling

This is different from gargling. It is an ancient Ayurvedic practice and according to the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, it is one of the best methods for maintaining oral health and preventing tooth decay. It detoxifies the mouth and offers health benefits for the entire body, including major organs and the nervous system.

Most people pull with coconut oil. You simply put a tablespoon of oil (coconut, olive, or sesame) in your mouth and swish it around for at least 10 minutes and up to 20 minutes. It is usually done in the morning. This practice has been studied extensively and has been found to reduce bad breath, gingivitis, and plaque, too.

  1. Use Licorice root

Painful canker sores can be effectively treated with licorice root extract. In a study that compared treating canker sores with an over-the-counter patch that used licorice root extract versus doing nothing at all, the patch provided relief within a week.

Licorice root patches are the healthy and safe alternative to antimicrobial washes and OTC pain relievers.

Relieving canker sores isn’t the only use for licorice root. Researchers have investigated the properties of the Chinese version and found that it inhibits bacteria that can cause cavities. Studies have also found that it prevents inflammation of the gums and other tissues in the mouth.

  1. Drink Fluoride-free water

Since the majority of public water systems are fluoridated artificially, you have to take charge of the water you drink. There are not many home filters that remove enough fluoride to make a difference, so for many people, bottled water is their only fluoride-free choice.

Several studies, including some conducted by researchers at Harvard, found that fluoride can negatively affect cognitive abilities in children. Overexposure to fluoride can actually discolor tooth enamel, so drinking fluoride-free water can be better for your teeth than the heavily fluoridated options that approximately 70% of communities in the United States have.

Many of the most commercially popular brands of bottled water have fluoride. Local health food stores are good spots for finding fluoride-free bottled water.

If you do buy bottled water, buy it in the biggest containers possible as plastic has also been proven to be unhealthy. If you buy it in large water-cooler size containers, you can put the water into safe, reusable bottles that are free of BPA.

  1. Take oral probiotics

We take probiotics for our gut health, but the mouth is also an important part of the digestive system that can benefit from healthy substances, too. Several studies have been conducted and oral probiotics have been found to reduce the development of plaque. Using an antimicrobial, probiotic mouthwash also helps reduce bad breath after only three days of use.

Even more impressively, oral probiotics can reduce more serious oral health problems like gingivitis and inflammation. Most symptoms improve after only two weeks of taking high doses of probiotics.

The best reason to take probiotics is cancer prevention. In studies conducted on rats, probiotics were found to reduce oral cancer. Even though more studies are needed to replicate the results, this is positive news.

  1. Use tea-tree oil floss

Flossing has proven to be an effective step in maintaining oral health. But, fluoridated dental floss is just one more way that you can put this substance into your body. Fortunately, there are fluoride-free options and one of those is dental floss infused with tea-tree oil – which is also known as Melaleuca oil.

Early dental floss was made of silk, so it was incredibly expensive. When nylon floss became available, more people had access to it. Eventually, manufacturers were able to add flavors and medicated properties to it.

Tea-tree oil comes from the Australian Melaleuca tree. The leaves were originally used to make tea and the leaves were also used to treat minor wounds. Researchers found that the oil also has antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. So, using it in dental floss gets the beneficial oil into the spaces between your teeth and into the gum line.

You can also find other oral health products that have tea tree oil in them, like toothpaste and mouthwash.

  1. Use a reusable straw

Straws have become a controversial product because of the sheer number of them placed in landfills and polluting waterways. If you drink sodas, coffee, or teas, you might risk staining your teeth if you drink directly from the cup. Fortunately, there are reusable straws that you can use instead so you can avoid the possibility of darker beverages staining your teeth.

How you use a reusable straw is also important for the health of your teeth. If you place the straw on your front teeth, the beverages can still discolor your teeth. The best way to drink through a straw is to place it as far back into the mouth as possible. Be sure to clean the straw regularly, too, so you aren’t drinking bacteria and mold that can build up in the small space. And, don’t forget to clean the brush you use to clean the straw.

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