Healthy alternatives to toothpaste

Toothpaste is usually the go-to for maintaining healthy teeth and a delicious, minty fresh breath. But, many people have opted for more natural, fluoride-free alternatives.  Alternatives can come from the pantry cupboard or new emerging brands that have broken into the oral health market with more natural, plant-based products. Either way, the market is expanding, giving consumers more options to clean their teeth and mouths. 

Within the larger global movement to a more spiritual, clean lifestyle, toothpaste has been a topic of huge debate. Health fanatics, who are looking for more holistic living, argue that its main ingredient  – fluoride – could be potentially harmful to one’s health. Many have resorted to finding either fluoride-free versions or completely out-of-the-box alternatives like baking soda and essential oils. 

Sea Salt

Apparently, good old sea salt is fast becoming a popular alternative. Once you can get used to the taste of putting course, undiluted slate straight into your mouth, you will reap the benefits of nature’s own teeth cleaner. 

Sea salt is one of the most natural toothpaste alternatives that you will find, says Standard Media. Dab your toothbrush in some sea salt and proceed to brush your teeth. You can also mix the sea salt in water before brushing if you are concerned about it being too abrasive, but many have found luck with putting it straight onto their teeth and then brushing as usual.  When you are done, you simply rinse with water. It not only removes plaque but disinfects the mouth. 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has many uses – from being a great source of Vitamin E and smoothing out wrinkles and stretch marks to being a substitute in just about every dish. Now, it can clean your mouth too.

Its antibacterial and antifungal properties make it the perfect alternative to regular toothpaste – and it ensures the user’s mouth is clean and healthy. Some people mix it with baking soda to really penetrate the plaque. Other essential oils can be added, like peppermint oil to give it that minty, toothpaste kick. 

Just put the oil on the bristles of your toothbrush and brush it onto your teeth, making sure to cover all the grooves, nooks and crannies. No need to rinse with water when done, just spit out the excess oil and saliva when you’re done. It is also found in many tooth soaps.

Tooth Soap

Yes, tooth soap is a real thing. 

Tooth soap contains no glycerine, silica (sand), sodium laurel sulphate, food dyes, fluoride, sweeteners, alcohol or additives. It is a 100% all natural product and is made with 70% organic ingredients.

Tooth soap deep cleans fissures and pits in the mouth.

According to Himalayan Crystal Salt, the coconut oil in tooth soap is as effective in fighting tooth decay and cavities as popular toothpaste that contain harsh chemicals. A random, controlled study published in 2016 found that coconut oil was as effective in reducing harmful bacteria (Streptococcus mutans) as chlorhexidine.

Apples 

Yes, you read that correctly. Chewing an apple is like using nature’s toothbrush.

The fruit’s fibrous texture can stimulate your gums, reduce cavity-causing bacteria and increase saliva flow. Like other crisp, raw vegetables and fruits, apples can also gently remove plaque trapped between teeth.

It seems that an apple a day will keep the dentist away too. 

According to a study published in the Journal of Dentistry, apples may, however, be even more acidic than soda. So be sure to rinse your mouth with water after eating. 

Also, apples make your gums healthier, explains Summit Dental. The fruit contains a whopping 15% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C. Vitamin C keeps you safe from colds and flu, and also keeps your gums healthy. Without vitamin C, your gums are vulnerable to infection, bleeding and gum disease. If you have periodontal disease, a lack of vitamin C increases bleeding and swelling.

Tea

Yes, there are certain teas that can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. 

A 2016 study showed that drinking green tea on a regular basis can protect against cavities, gum disease and bad breath.

Green tea reduces the number of bacteria that destroy teeth and causes gum disease. Drinking a cup of green tea each day (unsweetened, of course!) will neutralise the acids in your mouth, protecting you from tooth decay! This is thanks to molecules called catechins.

It in fact lowers your chances of losing your teeth.

Affinity Dental gives you the option of three tiers of dental insurance available at different price points. Each of these options covers certain specialist work to various degrees. 

The Silver Plan 

This plan starts from as little as R189 a month and is the plan to cover basic dentistry needs. 

It includes Full Mouth Examination or Scale and Polish, Intraoral Radiographs, Emergency Examinations, Infection Control, Extractions, Fillings and Specialist Dentistry.

The Gold Plan

The Gold Plan offers the same as the silver plan, with a few extras.

Full Mouth Examination or Scale and Polish, Intraoral Radiographs, Emergency Examinations, Infection Control, Extractions, Fillings, Root Canal, Impactions and Crowns, and again Specialist Dentistry.

The Platinum Plan

Most extensive cover can be expected from the Platinum plan that costs members around R389 a month. 

Members can expect everything that the Gold Plan offers, with an added budget for a fuller cover. 

Also, Platinum Plus

The Platinum Plus package is only available on the Platinum Plan and has a waiting period of 12 months. It offers members an increased Specialist Dentistry benefit; increased cover for Crowns, and a set of Partial Plastic Dentures every 48 months for each member.

Contact Affinity Dental today and choose the plan that fits your oral care needs. 

Adults and children need to visit the dentist at least twice a year, and these dental maintenance appointments can really start adding up. Dental insurance will cover you for any additional treatments such as crowns, root canals or fillings, whether they are done at the dentist, or at a specialist practice.  

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