How To Naturally FRESHEN YOUR BREATH + OIL PULLING Tips
Updated: Mar 11
Almost all chewing gums are made with artificial colors, artificial flavors, GMO sugars, carcinogenic artificial sweeteners and toxic preservatives. Besides that, the actual act of chewing gum messes with your body's ability to produce digestive enzymes (a critical substance that helps you get all the nutrition from the food you eat.)
Everytime you chew a piece of gum, you send signals to your brain that you are chewing actual food. Your digestive organs get ready to digest food by creating the digestive enzymes your brain thinks you need. Now imagine doing this everyday for hours. You're tricking your pancreas and stomach to produce digestive enzymes when they don't really need to use them. Over time, the digestive organs become overtaxed and stop producing the amount of enzymes they once did. (Source: The Food Babe)
Below are some other ways to freshen your breath that have worked great for my family and I without any packaged mints or gums.
How To Naturally Freshen Your Breath
Organic Fennel Seeds - I chew about a 1/2 teaspoons and it's just enough to get my mouth instantly fresh and clean.
Mint Tea - Not only will drinking mint tea curb those sugar cravings, it will also freshen your breath naturally.
Fresh Parsley - By adding fresh parsley to your meals, the chlorophyll in it helps to kill bacteria in the mouth, which will lead to fresher breath.
Fermented Foods + Probiotics - By eating these types of foods, you will improve your digestion which in turn protects you from bad breath.
Ayurveda (the traditional Hindu system of medicine, which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing) hypotheses that the tongue is connected to various organs such as the kidneys, heart, lungs, small intestine, spine etc.
Oil pulling is believed to help in the excretion of toxic heavy metals by saliva. Traditionally, sesame oil is documented to be the preferred oil for practicing oil pulling. Oil pulling generates antioxidants which damage the cell wall and kills microorganisms. These oils will attract the lipid layer of bacterial membranes, and cause it to stick or get attached and pulled to the oil. During oil pulling, the oil gets emulsified and the surface area of the oil increases. This begins after 5 minutes of oil pulling. This oil will coat the teeth and gingiva and inhibits bacterial aggregation and plaque formation. In this way, plaque building bacteria responsible for dental caries, gingivitis, periodontitis and bad breath are removed from the oral cavity. (Source: Bekeleski, G.M., McCombs G., Melvin W.L. Oil pulling: an ancient practice for a modern time. J. Int. Oral Health, 2012, 4:1-10)
If you don't have sesame oil, I also use Dr. Bronner's unrefined coconut oil. Any brand is good as long as it's unrefined and organic. *Just like whole herbal extracts, coconut oil is a selective oral antimicrobial. It also contains lauric acid, a medium chain triglyceride (MCT) that is incredibly effective at killing the bad bacteria that can lead to tooth decay. These same compounds may also decrease the amount of plaque that builds up on your teeth, in turn reducing your chance of gum disease. ( *Source: @askthedentist )
A very important thing to remember is to spit the oil out in the trash afterwards ( not a toilet or sink ) so you don't clog up any pipes in your house!
Here are also a few tips if putting solid coconut oil directly in your mouth makes you want to gag, because that's what happened to me when I first tried oil pulling.
Melt the coconut oil - Make sure the coconut oil is fully melted. I heat a tiny bit up until it's liquid. This is a game changer.
Add xylitol - This one is optional, but if you really want to give it some kind of flavor, add xylitol. Xylitol is a natural sweetener, that looks like sugar, but it is highly anti-fungal and fights cavity causing bacteria. It's derived from birch trees and prevents bacteria and biofilms (like plaque) from sticking to the teeth. It also adds a gritty texture that's fun to dissolve and makes you feel like you're not just throwing a hunk of oil around in your mouth, plus it sweetens the flavor of the coconut oil which has always been off-putting to me. *Note: Xylitol is toxic to dogs so keep it far away in the cupboard.
Add Digestive Juice - Add 2 sprays of Digestive Juice (from Organic Olivia) since the whole plant extracts selectively fight pathogenic overgrowths in the mouth and gut.
How exactly do you oil pull once you have this mixture? I just swish the same way you'd swish with mouthwash. I sort of try to "pull" it through my teeth and swish it to different sides of my mouth.
How long should one oil pull? I go for 5-10 minutes, and i make sure to get other tasks done in the meantime (like tidying up the kitchen or making tea) so that the time isn't wasted. If you can't do 5-10 minutes, you can also do it for 1-3 minutes as well.
How often should one oil pull? If you suffer from gingivitis or gum disease, oil pull once a day to improve gum health. If you have good oral health, oil pull 1-2 times each week. I do it daily or every other day because it really helps to keep my teeth looking white.
Does oil pulling loosen crowns or fillings? No. Oil pulling does not loosen crowns or fillings. If this occurs in the practice of oil pulling, it means there was already a decayed foundation beneath the devices.
Should you brush your teeth before or after oil pulling? You should brush your teeth first then oil pulling. I was doing it in reverse, but I'm currently experimenting with both ways to see what feels best for me.
Buy A Copper Tongue Scraper
Every tongue needs to be scrapped first thing in the morning, before even drinking water. You will see a white film coming off, keep going. Over time, that film decreases. Tongue scraping benefits include a healthier mouth and fresher breath.
Non-Toxic Way To Clean Dentures
When combined, baking soda and peroxide make the perfect soak for cleaning dentures. Put 2 teaspoons of baking soda into a glass, and stir in a few drops of water (just enough to dissolve the baking soda). Place dentures into the glass, then add enough hydrogen peroxide to cover them completely. (Source: Livestrong.com)
Great Podcast Episode About Oral Hygiene
I love the podcast called, Dr. Lo Radio Show. Dr. Lauren Lo is a naturopathic doctor and expert in natural medicine. Dr. Lo Radio Show is super informative and each week she hosts a variety of guests in the realm of natural medicine.
Here is the podcast episode that Dr. Lo discusses dental health. The episode is called: "Brush Up on Great Dental Health with Trina Felber" and Dr. Lo explains why she is never using toothpaste or mouthwash again, her new dental care routine, how to heal a cavity naturally, what really makes a health mouth and how to cure bad breath.
I will be doing more follow up posts in regards to oral health, so be sure to sign up to my mailing list so you know when a new blog post drops!
Please also let me know in the comments if this post was helpful to you or you have any comments. I love hearing from you!