I’ve started on a program to improve my dental health this year. My dental hygienist recommends using toothpicks to clean and strengthen the gums, which I’ve been doing. However, my teeth are very close together and regular toothpicks are often hard to use properly. Enter “Perio Sticks” made by Dr.Tung’s. These are very cool flat slightly triangularly shaped birch sticks that come in thin and very thin sizes. I was amazed at how easily the very thin style worked on my teeth – no more struggle and broken toothpicks! They are comfortable and work very effectively. It’s also nice that they come in a little metal tin (no plastic!) that can be reused or recycled. Now I’m keeping some at work, in my purse and in my car.
The second thing that I’m doing is called “Oil Pulling”. This is a traditional Ayurvedic practice of using an oil (usually sesame, sunflower or coconut) to pull bacteria out of the mouth. You take one tablespoon of oil in the mouth, swishing and “pulling” the oil through the teeth for 15-20 minutes (yes, minutes). I add a drop of peppermint oil to give it a better taste. When you are done, spit it out in the trash (do not swallow). It’s recommended to do this on an empty stomach. The first couple of times I found it difficult (afraid of swallowing and a little gagging), but I’ve become accustomed to it. What is exciting is that my teeth are getting whiter with each day! There are many stories of how this improves gums and reduces plaque, so I’ll be checking in with my hygienist to see how I’m doing.
We all know how important dental health is for the rest of our health, so these two suggestions may be helpful for you as well.
Susan Dunlap, CHC
Nutrition Information Specialist