Natural ways to clean and freshen your teeth and gums 11



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Living in 2015, you’d think we’d be happy with modern dentistry, however more people are getting cavities than ever, and are finding it harder to keep their teeth clean.

And it’s not that the message isn’t getting across – it’s just that the expensive methods to prevent and treat tooth decay aren’t always effective.

That’s why it can be beneficial to get back to basics and ditch the fluoride-filled chemical concoctions and use good old fashion home remedies to improve your oral health.

Here’s some tips to doing just that!

Reduce cavities

Oil pulling

You may have heard of oil pulling – it’s been used for centuries by Ayurvedic medicine, and is an oral detoxification procedure that has gained some popularity in the last several years.

All you need to do is swish a tablespoon of olive or coconut oil around your mouth and ‘pull’ it through your teeth, for around 20 minutes.

Immediately after spitting out, rinse your mouth out with warm water. Use salt water for added antimicrobial properties.


Clove is one of the most important ingredients for treating any kind of dental issue, including cavities. Due to its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antibacterial properties, clove is great for fighting oral issues.

Simply dab clove oil on your affected tooth every night before bed, or gently chew on a clove.


Salt can also be used to treat cavities due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It can reduce inflammation, ease pain, draw out any infection and prevent growth of bacteria in the mouth.

All you need to do is dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Swish around your mouth for 1 minute, concentrating on the affected tooth.


Garlic is rich in antibacterial properties as well as antibiotic and is a great painkiller.

Apply a past of garlic cloves to your infected tooth twice daily until swelling/infection goes down.

Teeth whitening


There is evidence that strawberries can help whiten teeth thanks to their malic acid and vitamin C. The astringent found in strawberries helps to remove surface stains, while vitamin C washes away plaque. Simply eat the beautiful berries and chew well.

Bicarb soda and lemon

This is one of the most popular of the natural teeth whitening home remedies – because it works! Both ingredients are natural lightenings and brighten teeth. However be sure to only brush with this solution up to once per week as it can wear away the tooth enamel if used too frequently.

In a small bowl, mix a little bit of bicarb soda with the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon. The mixture should bubble slightly. Using a cotton swab, wipe saliva and excess plaque from your teeth before brushing on the mixture.

Gum disease

Mustard oil

This method has been used for hundreds of years to combat gum disease as it destroys bacteria in the mouth and heals the gums quickly. It also has pain-reducing qualities as well as being anti-microbial and anti-bacterial.

Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera is a great anti-inflammatory that is especially helpful if your gums are red and inflamed. Apply the gel to the gums line and leave overnight.

DIY oral health products

DIY mineralising tooth paste

Don’t spend $5-10 on special tooth pastes that claim to improve your oral health. Here’s one you can make at home.

  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp bicarb soda (aluminium free)
  • 1 tbsp xylitol
  • 20 drops peppermint or clove essential oil
  • 1 tbsp calcium/magnesium powder

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and apply the same amount you would to your toothbrush. Brush as normal and rinse.

Natural mouthwash

This mouthwash has antibacterial and antifungal properties to help keep bad breath at bay, and costs a fraction of the store bought products.

What you need:

  • A small jar
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • 2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 2 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 2 drops peppermint essential oil

Mix together and pour into jar. The bicarb soda will settle to the bottom of the jar when not in use, so be sure to shake mouthwash before each use. Swish about 2-3 teaspoons of this homemade formula in your mouth for a minute or two, then spit out.

Share your thoughts and other tips below.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. How can possibly print such crap.
    Figures on dental decay have show a rapid drop in tooth decay in areas with fluoridated water and modern dentistry. As we age we can lose a cusp with long time wear, our bodies are living longer than ever and we do wear out. Cavities can not be cured by cloves, garlic etc., these may reduce pain but they still leave the tooth decaying. The longer you let the decay work the more likely you are to need root canal treatment. When infection sets in, don’t ignore it the pain will get worse and the infection will get worse. Untreated infections can kill you.
    Gum disease (periodontal disease) has to be treated swishing oil around your mouth will do nothing except leave you with an oily mouth. The best prevention of gum disease is to floss your teeth every day. Flossing keeps the gums healthy and removes debris that collects in the gum pocket. Flossing also prevents bad breath (halitosis). If you do not floss and keep your gums healthy you can lose your teeth.
    Never use an abrasive material (steel wool, sodi bicarb, salt)on your teeth, it damages the enamel and you will need small fillings. Scrubbing too hard or with a hard tooth will result in the need for small fillings where the enamel has been worn away.
    For healthy teeth and gums, use a small soft tooth brush (I use a child size toothbrush), floss daily, use a toothpaste with fluoride, Colgate Total is recommended for older people (colgate products are tested in Australia).
    Starts At Sixty, you should be very ashamed at peddling such nonsense, and natural methods are not cheaper than modern preventative methods. Natural is not always better nor cheaper.

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  3. When we were kids we used to clean our teeth with salt mixed in water if we ran out of toothpaste before payday. Dad said he and his brothers used soot from the fireplace when toothpaste was scarce.

  4. I’ll go for the strawberries thanks ☺️

  5. Good day! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to
    him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

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