Authors: Dr Pooja ( Dentist), Dr Ranjeet Singh ( Ayurvedacharya)
The teeth are not of mere cosmetic importance but help phonation and are mirror of general health as well. Their pathologies may not be life threatening but can be extremely troubling. Therefore, it is essential to maintain dental health and hygiene. Here are some methods or techniques through which one should can maintain teeth health through Ayurveda.
Ayurveda can play a great role to keep your teeth healthy and strong, if you follow these simple methods as mentioned below:
- Massage your gums daily with seasame oil. Take a mouthful of warm seasame oil and swish it from side to side for 2- 3 minutes. Do not swallow it, spit out the oil then gently massage your gums with your index finger.
- Use toothpaste made above bitter and astringent herbs for cleaning the teeth. These herbs are Neem, lobhra and vilva.
- You may also be able to find powders for the teeth made up of finely grounded, roasted, almond shell. These are very effective to maintain good health of teeth.
- Don’t just settle for getting rid of the pain, however if you have a cavity or an infection be sure to get it taken care of.
Method of cleaning the tooth?
Each tooth should be brushed by a soft brush. The toothbrush should be rotated over the gums and the teeth in a vertical manner i.e. from below upward in the lower jaw and from above downwards in the upper jaw. Side brushing should be avoided as it may damage the neck of the teeth and the gums. Move the brush in small circular motions across the surface of teeth. Don’t press too hard on the teeth. Brush teeth twice daily and rinse the tooth brush thoroughly with water.
A soft brush can be made by biting and chewing the tips of fresh twigs of Banyan, khadira (Catechu), Arjuna, Karanja, katunimba, Arka etc. Mastication of twigs act as a good exercise for muscles, teeth and gums. The twgss should be healthy, soft straight and without any leaves and nodes and picked from tree growing in a clean place. The twigs should not be dry, sticky or foul smiling. The twig should be 10 to 12 fingers in length and one finger in breath. A person with pitta constitution should use a bitter twig such as katunimba, Arjuna etc. A person with vata constitution should use twig of banyan which is astringent. A person with kapha constitution should use pungent twig such as Karanja or Arka. The twig of Arishtha, kareera, bael, bibhitaka, shleshmataka should not be used for brushing teeth. One can use powder of triphala, trikatu with honey and saindhav salt.
Gargling of mouth?
Gargling of mouth after eating anything is important. One can use cold milk or or seasame oil or hot water for the same. Gargling with oil exerts strengthening action on the gums. It also helps in curing hypersensitivity of teeth. The types of gargling are kavala and gandusha in Ayurveda. In gandusha one takes such a quantity that one is unable to move it inside the mouth. One should hold the fluid in the mouth until eyes and nose start watering. Here the fluids penetrated the oral mucosa and gums by pressure and exert specific action. In kavala, one holds and the moves the semi solid material.
Cleaning the tongue
One should use a thin plate of gold, silver or copper for cleaning the tongue. One may alternatively use a leaf or a thin wooden plate. The tongue cleaner should be soft and smooth with round edges. Its length should be 10 angulas. It helps to scrap waste products, bad odoor of the mouth is checked, improves taste sensation and exerts tonic effect on tongue.
Diet useful for teeth?
Cereals: Wheat, barley
Pulses: Grams, seasame, Moong, Urad
Sugar: Jaggery, honey, sugarcane
Meat: Meat of Jangala animals
Vegetables: kushmanda, Onion and Brinjal
Fruits: Amalaka, dates, Riped manago, Pomegranate
Drugs: Arjuna, Shankha bhasma, Bhallataka
Milk, butter and ghee also should be added