5 Tricks That Make Your Dentist Happy
Ever wonder why there’s a bowl of fennel seeds instead of mints at the door of your favorite Indian restaurant?
Fennel is a breath sweetener, say Dr. Linda B. White and Steven Foster, authors of The Herbal Drugstore. Chewing the seeds can therefore help you mask the effects of those onions that were in your lunch.
But fennel is not the only natural way to keep your breath fresh and your mouth clean.
Add these tricks to your daily routine too, and you’ll leave your dentist speechless at your next visit:
Studies show that anise -- which tastes like licorice -- kills bacteria, fungus and yeast. This makes anise the perfect candidate for improving your breath and preventing cavities and gum disease.
Add parsley to your salads
Experts think it’s the chlorophyll in this plate garnish that temporarily removes bad breath odor.
Gargle with sage and calendula.
This simple recipe calls for 1 to 2 teaspoons of sage and calendula powder (it’s also called a pot marigold and is available at health food stores) in 8 ounces of boiling water. Allow it to steep and cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then use as a gargle or mouth rinse. Both herbs have antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
Spruce up your oral care routine
You already know you should be flossing daily and brushing well -- for at least two minutes -- twice a day. But Brazilian researchers say that using a tongue scraper boosts the effectiveness of your routine, removing 75 percent more of the stinky bacteria from your tongue than brushing does.
At your next visit, ask your dentist if using a daily rinse could help fight cavities and gum disease too. (He’ll be twice surprised at your initiative toward your oral health.)
Denise Foley is the former deputy editor and editor at large of Prevention. She is also the co-author of five books on health and parenting
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