Most people follow the dental hygiene rules of brushing twice a day and flossing at least one. But, did you know your routine needs more than that to maintain those pearly whites? 
 
When was the last time you bought a new toothbrush? Do you know what ingredients are in your toothpaste? What's in your mouthwash?  
 
Yes, brushing and flossing are crucial for good dental health. Here are some more steps you should follow to up the ante.
 

Change your toothpaste 

Most people stick to their favorite toothpaste for decades. They're only concerned with its benefits and the flavor. And they ignore the most important part: the ingredients.  
 
Take a closer look at the list of chemicals on the tube. It's long and hard to read. Sure, store-bought toothpastes use natural ingredients like baking soda. But, many of the hard-to-pronounce ingredients have proven to be harmful.  
 
One ingredient to look for is triclosan. Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical that fights plaque and gingivitis. Yet the chemical has been linked to endocrine disruption and antibiotic resistance. This can increase the risk of ovarian, prostate, and testicular cancers.   
 
Fluoride -- yes, fluoride -- is the second ingredient you should look out for. This ingredient can slow down the process of tooth decay. However, its effectiveness is questionable. Ingesting fluoride can be dangerous, especially for children. 
Other harmful ingredients include artificial sweeteners, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), and diethanolamine.  
 
You can enjoy clean teeth without the dangers of these harmful ingredients. How? Brush with tooth powder. The best tooth powders are made with natural and safe ingredients.
 
The best tooth powder helps protect and remineralize your teeth. The clays it's made with add important minerals back into your mouth. This helps strengthen your pearly whites so you can prevent cavities and tooth decay.
 

Upgrade Your Toothbrush 

Did you know it’s recommended that you replace your toothbrush every three months? Your toothbrush is home to more than 10 million bacteria and germs. 
 
When it’s time to change your toothbrush, don’t grab the same old thing. Traditional plastic bristles can irritate gums and teeth. Some are even made with plastic that contains BPA, which is harmful when ingested. 
 
Look for natural toothbrushes such as:  
  • A toothbrush with charcoal-infused bristles 
  • Castor bean oil bristles 
  • Bamboo toothbrush  
Getting an all-natural toothbrush is a fast and easy way to upgrade your dental care routine. Brush with the peace of mind that you’re not putting harmful plastic and other chemicals into your mouth!
 

Oil Pulling 

Oil pulling was all the hype not too long ago. Other trends have pushed it out of the spotlight, yet it is still an effective dental care method.  
 
This technique removes toxins and plaque from your teeth and gums. It also helps strengthen the teeth. 
 
Removing plaque from your teeth can lower your risk of diseases. Some claim oil pulling has the ability to cure cavities and cancer -- although this hasn't been proven.  
 
Some of the most popular oils to use for oil pulling include olive, coconut, sesame, palm, and sunflower. Swish 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil for 10 minutes a day. You'll experience the benefits immediately.
 

Skip Alcohol-Based Mouthwash 

Store-bought mouthwash leaves your mouth feeling clean and minty fresh. But the alcohol found in them dehydrates cells in the mouth. Over time, this leaves the mouth more vulnerable to carcinogens. Scientists believe that commercial mouthwashes are  responsible for oral cancer around the world.  
 
A safer, healthier option is to create a mouthwash at home. With a few simple ingredients, you can have fresh breath all day long. 
 
To make all natural mouthwash, mix the following together:  
  • 1/2 cup of water  
  • 2 drops of peppermint essential oil  
  • 2 drops of tea tree essential oil  
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda  
  • Add a drop or two of mineral drops to remineralize your teeth while you swish
 

Regularly Floss 

No matter how often you brush your teeth, flossing is the more critical step in taking care of your teeth and gums. 
 
Brushing gets rid of plaque, tartar and other bacteria that build up on the outside of your teeth. Yet it doesn’t get rid of the pesky bacteria that hide between the teeth. This is where flossing comes into play. 
 
Daily flossing removes plaque, food and other buildup. Not flossing will increase your risk of gum disease, bad breath and other oral hygiene issues.  
 
What’s your dental care routine like? Have you tried natural dental care products? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

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