I recently went to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned for the first time in 8 years. EIGHT.
Like clockwork, I bring the kids for their dental appointments every 6 months. When I brought them last time, I said to the receptionist, “I need to make an appointment for myself – I can’t even remember the last time I was here”. She said, “The last time you were here was 2008”, with a chuckle.
You know how it is when you’re a mom – you tend to put yourself last on the list of things to do. Appointments get cancelled or never made. Coffee gets cold while you find the lost book that has to be returned to the library at school. Baths are forgotten because someone’s sick and needs tending.
But back to my dentist appointment. I was a bit nervous because… eight years.
I sat in the hygienist’s chair and she began examining my teeth very quietly. I thought, “Uh-oh, she must’ve found something bad”. And then she said, “I am shocked! You have NO tartar build up at all!”. “Really?”, I said. “Really – NONE”, she replied.
Then she said that the dentist gives her all of the “tough” patients and that when she saw my name on her list, she figured it was because I hadn’t been there in so long. “Did you think you’d be scraping for days?”, I said kiddingly. She said, “Well, I thought I’d have SOME scraping to do”.
She asked me what I do to my teeth to have them look so good after so long away from the dentist. I told her that I have four oral hygiene habits that might seem pretty weird but really work for making your mouth a healthier place.
4 Weird Ways to Make Your Mouth a Healthier Place
1. Use essential floss
I floss at least once daily, sometimes twice. I like Oral B Glide Pro Health Deep Clean Floss because it’s wide and doesn’t get stuck or break in between teeth where I have ancient amalgam fillings.
Now, flossing isn’t considered weird unless you do what I do : add one drop of essential oil to your strand of dental floss. I use either lavender or melaleuca essential oil. Lavender is very soothing and melaleuca is cleansing. Just place a drop on the end of your floss, and then slide your thumb and index finger down the length of it to coat it. (Note: I only use dōTERRA essential oils because their oils are put through rigorous in-house and third-party testing, and I know they’re safe.)
2. Brush with natural paste
I brush three times a day, sometimes four, with dōTERRA On Guard® Natural Whitening Toothpaste.
It has a blend of essential oils (wild orange, clove, cinnamon, peppermint, and more) and other natural ingredients that are known to clean teeth and reduce plaque, and it keeps your breath so clean! I swear, even after sleeping all night, I wake up without “morning breath”.
My oldest daughter and I love the On Guard toothpaste, especially how it makes your toothbrush squeak when you use it. LOL.
3. Swish with oil
Swish with oil ? Say what?
I’m talking about oil pulling and in case you’ve never heard of it, it’s an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth. It’s thought to draw out toxins in your body, and improve oral health and overall health. Honestly, I don’t know if it really works, but I feel like it helps clean my mouth and open up my sinuses when I wake up puffy and stuffy in the morning.
So, a few times a week, I oil pull for 10 minutes with a tablespoon or so of regular old coconut oil. I buy the gigantic 54-ounce jar of Nutiva organic virgin coconut oil because I use a ton of it for baking. Vitacost has the best price on it, and if you’ve never shopped there, you can use my link to get a $10 credit towards whatever you purchase. (Note: if you try oil pulling, be sure to spit out the oil in the trash so you don’t clog your drain. ;)
4. Deep clean with charcoal
Once a week or so, I give my teeth a deep cleaning with activated charcoal.
Seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Cleaning with charcoal? But charcoal has actually been used for years for its cleansing and detoxification benefits.
I use Bulletproof Coconut Charcoal. It comes in capsule form, so I just break one open in a little glass bowl and dip my dampened toothbrush in it. Activated charcoal is super absorbent and can capture, bind and remove up to 100 times its weight in toxins. When used for teeth brushing, it deep cleans your teeth and mouth, and despite its black color, whitens teeth by removing stains. Plus, you can really freak people out when you’re brushing with it and smile at them. LOL.
So there you have it. That’s my weird and wonderful oral hygiene routine. :)
p.s. When I left the dentist, the hygienist said, “Keep doing what you’re doing…but don’t wait another 8 years to come back!”. LOL.