“Ouch! Mummy, my tooth hurts!” As mothers, we have all faced situations where our kids are troubled by tooth decay. The easy availability of junk food adds to this problem. Tooth decay means tiny holes on the surface of the teeth. These are caused by bacteria that create acid from sugar. These bacteria form a sticky film called plaque which de-mineralises the enamel and causes cavities.
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Neem: Traditionally, neem has been the tooth cleanser in India, much before the advent of toothpaste/powders and toothbrushes. Chewing on neem twigs makes the teeth and gums strong. The plant compounds released while chewing protects teeth against bacteria. Neem keeps plaque away due to its high fiber content. Apart from chewing the twig, you can also massage your teeth and gums with neem oil daily to keep it clean.
Clove: Clove has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It has eugenol which alleviates toothache. Its antimicrobial constituents inhibit the growth of any bacteria, fungi, or virus. Place a clove between your teeth and let the juices flow in gradually. Or take a small amount of clove oil on your finger and lightly massage the affected area which is the cavity.
Turmeric: In Ayurveda, turmeric is used to provide relief from cavities. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that keep the gums healthy and prevent tooth decay. You can either apply turmeric on the affected teeth for a few minutes and then rinse your mouth. Or, mix turmeric with mustard oil and massage with the mixture on the teeth and gums for 10 minutes.
Saltwater: Gargling with salt water is the most common home remedy for any oral health problem. It keeps the mouth bacteria-free and removes the stickiness from the cavities. The salt in water neutralizes the pH level in our mouth by removing acids.
Fluoride Mouthwash: Fluoride is good for teeth and it helps restore the minerals in the teeth. Since demineralizing or lack of minerals is a cause of tooth decay, using fluoride mouthwash can be a great home remedy to get rid of cavities as well as tooth decay.
Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe vera contains anthraquinones that inhibit the growth of bacteria. It has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces pain and swelling. It promotes faster recovery because of its wound healing components. Swish and gargle the aloe vera juice inside your mouth for a few minutes after you are done the brushing. Or use aloe vera gel as toothpaste too.
Garlic: Eating raw garlic is very beneficial for oral health. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties in it which work as a painkiller.
Oil Pulling: Rinsing your mouth with coconut oil called oil pulling. The process pulls the bacteria out of your mouth. It is very effective for cavities and tooth decay, and it also decreases swelling present in the gum.
Lemon: Lemons are rich in vitamin C; the acids present in lemon juice kill the germs and help in easing pain caused by the cavities. You need to keep a lemon in your mouth, chew it and then rinse your mouth with clean water.
Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties in it, which helps in fighting the cavities. Massage your teeth and gums with tea tree oil and rinse with warm water.
Eucalyptus Oil: Adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your toothpaste inhibits the growth of bacteria and heals cavities.
Wheatgrass: Wheatgrass is a good source of vitamin A and E along with iron, calcium, and magnesium. It has antibacterial properties that prevent cavities and tooth decay. Drink a glass of wheatgrass juice or mix 1 part of wheatgrass juice with 6 parts of water and rinse the mouth with it or directly chew wheatgrass if infected.
Green Tea: Drinking green tea is useful in killing germs inside the mouth. It is also good for maintaining the health of the teeth, and it reduces the production of plaque. Bacterial growth is also kept in check.
Baking Soda: Baking soda is an antimicrobial agent. It's alkali properties neutralizes the acids present in the mouth. Dip a wet brush in baking soda and brush your teeth with it for a few days. Be careful as it can damage the enamel.
Eggshell: Eggshells have calcium carbonate in it which removes the decay and refills the mineral back in the enamel. Clean the eggshell, boil it, dry it, and grind it into a powder. Add baking soda and coconut oil to the powder and use it as toothpaste.
Butter Oil and Cod Liver Oil: They are rich in vitamin A, K, and D and protect teeth. You can take a capsule that contains both or take each of them separately.
A Mixture of Calcium and Magnesium Powders: This remedy will mineralise your teeth. Take an equal number of magnesium and calcium tablets and grind them to make a fine powder. You can use this powder to brush your teeth every day.
While the above remedies are good for giving relief, it is also important to have your teeth analysed by a dentist to ensure no further damage takes place.
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