In Ayurveda, one’s daily health and hygiene regimen is referred to as dinacaryā (दिनचर्या), or ‘daily practice’ in Sanskrit. This is a regular daily discipline to keep your mind and body in optimum health and wellness. Each one’s daily health and hygiene regimen will be different depending one one’s age, gender, state of health, body type and seasonal or climatic factors. It will also have many different components like showering / bathing, exercising, meditation and pranayama, etc., and very important among these components is one’s daily oral hygiene practice, which includes caring for your teeth, gums and tongue. Below we outline a typical Ayurvedic dental care regimen which can be adapted depending on one’s individual need and circumstances.
Early morning before the day begins is considered the most important time to care for your mouth, teeth and gums. As plaque & bacteria tend to accumulate in your mouth overnight and cause malodorous “morning breath”, it is important to address this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Thus the mouth will be clean, the breath fresh, and the sense of taste alive for the day.
Oil pulling (kavalagraha)
The first part of the morning regimen is oil pulling, an ancient Ayurvedic practice in which a spoonful of oil (Sesame oil is commonly preferred) is used to “pull out” bacteria and toxins – known as ama in Ayurveda – from the mouth. The oil is to be swished around the mouth and between the teeth (without swallowing) for 5-20 minutes and then spit out. Afterwards the mouth can be rinsed gently with hot water, and then one can proceed to brush the teeth. To save time, swishing with the oil can be done at the same time as taking your shower.
Brushing your teeth
Whereas in ancient times, Ayurvedic physicians recommended brushing one’s teeth with twigs made from herbal trees like Neem or Peelu, in the present day it is best to brush one’s teeth with an appropriate toothbrush (like Auromere’s eco-friendly Bamboo Toothbrush) and a specially formulated Ayurvedic toothpaste. This will do the heavy lifting of removing accumulated bacteria and plaque from the teeth and the herbal ingredients of the toothpaste will help to keep the gums healthy and to freshen the breath.
Scraping your tongue (jihvasodhana)
After brushing your teeth, the next step in your morning routine should be to scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper. Tongue scraping is an ancient Ayurvedic practice which cleanses the tongue of bacteria and other malodorous compounds, further freshening the breath and stimulating the taste buds before breakfast.
Swishing with mouthwash
The final step in your morning oral hygiene routine should be to swish your mouth with an Ayurvedic mouthwash, which will be sure to reach any leftover germs on all the places not reached by brushing and scraping, like under the tongue or on the roof of the mouth.
During the day it can be useful to spend a few minutes caring for your teeth and gums after meals. Use of a toothpick (like Auromere’s Neem-infused toothpicks) can help to cleanse the teeth of any large food particles and if chewed, stimulate saliva production and digestion after meals. Followed by a quick swish of mouthwash, this can be all that’s needed to keep the mouth clean and the breath fresh throughout the day.
After your last meal and before preparing for bed is the final important moment of the day for caring for your teeth and gums. This will ensure that any accumulated food particles are removed from the teeth and dental plaque and bacteria do not form or accumulate overnight while sleeping.
Brushing your teeth
According to modern and ancient experts, it is recommended to brush the teeth twice a day, both morning and night. Twice daily brushing of the teeth has been the recommended practice for ages, and is even mentioned in the ancient Ayurvedic text caraka samhita.
Flossing between your teeth
Flossing between the teeth is very effective at removing stuck food particles and reducing the formation of plaque. It should be done once daily and it is often recommended to floss before bed rather than in the morning, as this ensures that food particles do not remain in the teeth overnight.
Swishing with mouthwash
Lastly, another swish with mouthwash will give the final cleanse to your mouth before bed and keep your breath fresh throughout the night.
Following this daily Ayurvedic regimen in caring for your teeth, tongue and gums will surely lead to optimal oral hygiene and contribute much to your overall health and wellness!
Please see here a full list of Auromere’s Ayurvedic Dental Care products.
***With all best wishes for your health and wellness from Auromere***