Hey there SmileTimers! In celebration of Global Diversity Awareness Month in October, we are going to be putting a spotlight on traditional and cultural oral healthcare practices from across the globe! For a large majority of us using a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash is the norm for us.
Although it is important we look and appreciate how these practices, shaped oral healthcare as we know it today. (Some of these practices are still used up until now- which is amazing).
T U R M E R I C
With its origins rooted in South Asia, is Turmeric.
For those who don't know what Turmeric is - a flowering plant, Curcuma Longa, belonging to the ginger family - generally it used as a cooking spice.
Turmeric has been said to have benefits such as anti-inflammatory effects and help with plaque control.
C H A R C O A L
Natural activated charcoal has also been proven to whiten teeth.
Recent medical studies and doctors confirm that Activated Charcoal has an enormous surface area that is dotted with the numerous nooks and crannies that draw in and trap toxic substances including stains on teeth. The charcoal works to whiten teeth by removing surface stains when brushed on.
(Why not try our SmileTime Charcoal Teeth Whitening Kit).
C O C O N U T P U L L I N G
Staying within the continent of Asia, oil pulling is a common method used to clean the mouth and teeth and is still used now. It has been proven to have benefits such as killing bacteria found in the mouth, removing plaque and bad breath.
Oil pulling is simply rinsing your mouth with an organic edible oil. FUN FACT! It began as an ancient Ayurveda (a natural system of medicine) gargling treatment more than 3,000 years ago.
In a study with 60 adults, it proved that pulling with coconut oil for 10 minutes every day reduced the number of S. mutans in saliva (2Trusted Source).
Guess what! Another study with children concluded that coconut oil was as effective as a standard chlorhexidine mouthwash at reducing S. mutans (3Trusted Source).
Today using coconut oil is becoming increasingly popular!
A M L A J U I C E
Similar to Coconut pulling is another natural mouthwash. Amla Juice (aka Indian gooseberry), this also another form of Ayurveda and has been used for a number of years!
Studies have show that the use of Amla juice along with Triphala and other natural ingredients could help cure mild gum disease.
B A R K
In some parts of Africa chewing bark and wood is a common oral healthcare practice. This method has been useful in removing plaque and generally cleaning the teeth.
Chewing on a piece of wood causes the end to become frayed, which can then be used as a natural brush to brush teeth with medicinal minerals and compounds found in the wood fibre.
This is what is what is known as Mizwak in some African cultures. In Arab tribes, some use twigs gathered from the arak tree. These properties are said to be beneficial in cavity fighting.
This is the great great grandfather of the now toothbrush and toothpicks!
T H E N O W
We can see how these practices have shaped mainstream dental care. Today, forms of peroxide continue to be the main component used in whitening formulas. They work by penetrating the tooth and breaking up stains, bleaching the tooth - this can potentially lead to tooth sensitivity.
Here at SmileTime we are peroxide free! Shop our products.
And to learn more about teeth whitening check out this post.