In Odisha/India, people use various methods of cleaning and brushing their teeth. The most popular methods are
- Using the nature’s gift ( locally known as danta-kathi, dantoon etc.)
- Using dant-manjan or powder using fingers ( no-brush)
- Using tooth-brush and tooth paste
I will now cover each of the methods briefly with some tips, which might help you with some valuable information.
1. Using the nature’s gift “danta-kathi”
Locally known as danta-kathi or dantoon is the most economical and most hygenic way of cleaning your teeth and massaging the gums. The best danta-kathi are of Neem, Karanj and Babool etc. There are about 12 types of danta-kathi available.
- Available free from the nature.
- Unlike brushes you don’t have to reuse a stick every morning. Hence more hygenic than using brush.
- Babool, Karanj, Neem etc has medicinal properties which takes cares of germs and bacterias that is hidden between your teeth and gums, provided you brush well.
- If the demand of danta-kathi and dantoon grows, then there will be a demand for more Neem or Babool trees. This way you are helping in making the earth green by indirectly planting a tree. And this helps creating means of living for few in rural areas.
2. Using dant-manjan or powder
This is the second best choice if you don’t find a danta-kathi or dantoon handy. Take litlte turmeric poweder, add some mustard oil and add little salt to it and then mix it together. Massage your gums and teeth for about 3-4 min. You can even do this after your dantoon.
There are quite few commercially available dant-manjan or powder ( if you are buying or using the powder version of commercial tooth pastes, see the following section for details. ) such as Lal dant-manjan, Kala dant-manjan, Vicco bajradanti, Divya danta-manjan etc. If your teeth has become yellow, there is another effective method of making it white. Take few Mango leaves and chew it properly until it becomes milder paste. Now massage it with that paste on your teeth. You will find how good your teeth will shine. Do it for 10-15 days, and see the result.
- Unlike brushes you don’t have to reuse anything here
- According to acupressure, nothing is better than massaging your gums using your fingers.
- Most of the dant-manjan has medicinal properties without any chemicals in it and hence safe.
3. Thooth pastes and tooth brush
With fast pace modern lifestyle and advance of technology, everybody needs quick solution to almost everything in life. But quick fix which is not natural, has it’s own price and overlooked disadvantages. Majorities of people in urban areas are now a days using Tooth pastes. However, one needs to be aware and educated well about various health related products they use on a daily basis, than just follwing what their friends or neighbours are using.
Using tooth paste should be your last choice if you don’t find a danta-kathi or dantoon handy or dant-manjan.
There are lots of commercially available tooth pastes and tooth brushes in the market. One has to be very careful in choosing a tooth-paste which is far more safe than other colourful chemicals. It is interesting to note that lots of Tooth paste companies paint their chemicals as inactive agent in their tooth paste. If it is inactive why to include it ?
My personal recommendations while buying a tooth paste:
- Look for a tooth paste which doesn’t contain a chemical called SODIUM LAURYL SULPHATE. This is the chemical which forms extra foams when we brush and this is the same chemical that found in washing powders , shaving cream ( I have verified this with Colgate tooth paste and Gillette shaving cream I am using. You may do so with other brands. ) etc. This chemical is also poisionous for kids below 6 years and cancerous in nature. Please make a google search about this chemical for more infomration if you’re interested. Unfortunately majorities of tooth paste do contain this chemical. So you have to be careful for it’s oral use.
- Look for a tooth paste which doesn’t have more than 1000ppm Floride content such as NaF.
- Look for a tooth paste which mentions about “Not prepared from Animal by-products or Animal ingredients”. It is bit surprising but true, most of the commercially available tooth pastes are prepared from Animal by-products such as animal bone powder ( Yes India has lots of cow slaugther houses).
Few brands which meet the above points and aviailable in India are Vicco Bajradanti, Patanjali’s Divya Dant Kanti, Dabur, Baidyanath etc. But whatever you purchase please do check the important points.
- Costly. A 100gm colourful chemical tooth paste costs roughly about Rs.35 and a litre of milk costs about Rs. 25.
- Could be harmful to teeth and gums in the long run , if not evaluated properly before buying
- The brushes which has primarily plastic brussels, can cause harder friction to your gums and hence in fact damage your gums. I have myself sometimes experienced bleeding from my gums while brushing. The bleeding is more frequent if you already have weaker gums. To avoid this, you need to learn how to brush properly.
- Since we reuse the brush everyday, living baterias and germs accumulates inside the brusells after every use since we keep it open. So please keep changing your brush in every 1-2 months. But then this may not be costeffective.