Ayurvedic Oral Care Guide
By Dominique Del Col
Holistic Wellness Educator and the Founder, Herbalist, and Formulator behind Tidelands House Stillroom and Wildwood
The tradition of 'dinacharya', the concept of a daily routine, is one of the most powerful pillars of Ayurvedic medicine for improving overall health and well-being. It contends that routines help establish balance and that understanding daily cycles is useful for promoting health. Dinacharya includes simple, consistent acts of self-care that work harmoniously to benefit the physical and spiritual body.
The hygiene of our mouth can have a tremendous impact on our overall wellness. Our mouths harbour billions of microorganisms, some of which can contribute to the development of systemic disease. Partaking in a holistic oral protocol is simple, gentle and inexpensive. A nourishing way to start every day - like a small meditation that reminds you to care for yourself from sunrise to sundown.
Our Daily Oral Care Ritual:
Pull with Oil
Oil Pulling is the Ayurvedic practice of swishing oil in the mouth, typically raw coconut oil or sesame oil, for 5-20 minutes each morning on an empty stomach. It also removes 'Ama' from your physiology, which is considered an accumulation of toxic residue of the mind and body. We like to do this upon rising in the morning while making the bed and getting ready to start the day. As the oil swirls inside the mouth, toxins and bacteria are extracted. This improves the health of the entire mouth, reduces inflammation, strengthens jaw and tongue muscles, and can also remove staining of the teeth.
Tip: Oil doesn't like going down the drain! Dispose of your swished oil in a hand-rolled cone of toilet tissue, and place it in your waste receptacle or compost.
Scrape the Tongue
Tongue Scraping is the ancient Ayurvedic practice of cleansing the mouth by gently removing accumulation on the tongue. This ritual, typically done with a copper tool, is proven to decrease oral microbial count, strengthen the mouth's muscles, freshen breath, and assist the body in drawing out impurities and toxins. In addition, this ancient practice helps to stimulate the internal organs through energetic connections with the rest of the body. Here is our beloved Solid Copper Tongue Scraper.
Brush the Teeth
Floss the Teeth
A wise person once said, 'only floss the teeth that you wish to keep'. Flossing is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your teeth stay healthy and free of cavities. Here is one of our favourite natural floss!
Use an Oral Rinse
This does not need to be done daily but is a highly beneficial practice to incorporate into your oral care routine a few times per week. Known as 'gandusha' or mouth gargling, swishing with a homemade rinse is an excellent way to soothe sore throats, clear away toxins, heal irritation, and support healthy gums and oral microbiomes. This is one of our favourite recipes!
1 cup distilled water
2 whole cloves
1 tsp turmeric root powder
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt, Celtic salt or sea salt
1 tsp dried peppermint leaves
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp dried sage leaves
bonus: 1 tsp of bee propolis
Put ingredients into a pot and boil on low for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture and bottle in an airtight glass container. Enjoy as an oral mouthwash daily, gargling for 1 minute. The mixture will last for up to 3 days.
Dominique Del Col is a Holistic Wellness Educator and the Founder, Herbalist, and Formulator behind Tidelands House Stillroom and Wildwood. She has spent nearly two decades immersed in the ancient medicinal practices of traditional herb craft and natural wellness. You can find Dominique in the peaceful stillroom of her stone cottage studio in the heart of Wellington County, Ontario. A precious space where tenderly dried tea rose petals and wild marshmallow roots are slowly infused in oils warmed by the sunlight streaming through whitewashed windows encased in ancient stone. When she is not in her studio, Dominique enjoys reading tattered old books by candlelight, visiting the local farmers market in search of the perfect jar of raw honey, tending to her small flock of heritage hens, and foraging in the forest with her young daughters, husband and two dogs.