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Cupboard Staples That Can Improve Dental Health

Dental care is a necessity for well being. Unfortunately too many individuals skip the process. The reasons are varied and range from being short on time, to dental anxiety to a lack of money. Regardless of what the excuses are, lackluster oral hygiene can contribute to dental problems. For those who are cash-strapped, the kitchen cupboard may prove to be an excellent resource for cleaning teeth and reducing the odds of developing tooth decay and gum disease.

Prior to the advent of such dental care essentials such as toothpaste, toothbrushes and dental floss humans relied on a number of devices to reduce levels of dental plaque and remove stray food particles after eating. Primitive man relied on tools like twigs, animal quills, buffer cloths and ashes to conduct the task and while those methods maybe antiquated, there are still plenty of natural options that are still of use today. The majority of products are inexpensive and may already be kitchen cabinets across the nation.


Sipping a cup of Joe is a favorite American pastime. The beverage is a daily must have for 50 percent of Americans and the levels of caffeine, a legal stimulant integral to the product is the reason why. Americans consume 45 million pounds of caffeine annually and 71 percent of those levels are attributed to coffee. Those who opt to drink it black (sans sweeteners or dairy) can help lower levels of dental plaque and neutralize harmful acids that cause dental cavities.

The findings, published by Wired Magazine, suggest those benefits as coming from trigonelline, coffee’s main ingredient and the compound that gives the beverage its distinct flavor. Trigonelline is an alkaloid that can combat the tooth-eroding effects of acid by preventing the bacterium Streptococcus mutans from attaching to the teeth.

In addition to that perk, coffee is also rich in antioxidants. Coffee contains 1,299 milligrams of the good stuff which has been clinically proven to reduce levels of a myriad of conditions including Alzheimer disease, oral cancer, reduce levels of diabetes, Parkinson disease, lowers the odds of patients dying from heart disease, liver problems and more (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_of_coffee).

In order to get the dental care benefits of coffee, individuals need to drink the elixir black and to make sure not to consume to much, as an excess amount of caffeine can raise cholesterol levels as well as make individuals feel jumpy. Plus, consuming too much of the drink can cause tooth staining, so moderation is key.


Coffee is not the only caffeinated beverage to boost dental health as green tea also deserves accolades for its contributions to general well being. The average cup of green tea contains between 50 and 150 milligrams of antioxidants and a Japanese study (Journal of Periodontology) has shown the benefits for consuming unsweetened green tea.

The study analyzed an oral health analysis of 940 men and focused on the three main conditions associated with periodontal disease including the loss of gum tissue, dental abscesses and gum bleeding after probing. The study showed that for every one cup of green tea consumed, those three symptoms (the best indicators of gum disease) are significantly lowered.

Plus, individuals experiencing bleeding gums in between dental visits can grab a teabag to temporarily relieve those symptoms. Placing a teabag directly on the affected area can temporarily halt blood flow until a professional dentist can conduct an exam and implement the right dental treatments.


Salt is a staple in most kitchen cupboards as it is versatile, readily available and costs a fraction of a penny per serving. Aside from making french-fries taste as intended, salt can provide solutions for a myriad of dental problems. Individuals who run out of toothpaste can use salt as a brushing substitute in a pinch. The process is a simple as combining one part fine salt to two parts baking soda, mixing in water and dipping a toothbrush into that solution and brushing for a full two minutes. The mix is also gentle enough to cleanse dental appliances such as mouthguards and dentures.

Combining equal parts salt and baking soda mixed in fresh water will also make a decent mouthwash and medicinal rinse. When mixed properly, saltwater can be used to treat mouth infections, minor injuries and help the wounds from a tooth extraction heal more quickly. The liquid can be used to treat halitosis, minimize pain and discomfort associated with oral conditions such as canker sores, abscesses and other mouth ailments.

Finally, salt can also be used to extend the life of a toothbrush. Experts advise replacing the devices every three to four months and soaking a brand new toothbrushes in salt water mix prior to the first use help ensure that a toothbrush lasts every one of those moments.

Although these kitchen cupboard staples can be used to improve dental health, the biggest oral health benefits will come from a daily routine of brushing and flossing, eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, drinking fresh water and partaking in regular dental visits.

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