Every Indonesian must save sodium chloride, aka salt in the kitchen of his house. The role of these white grains for flavoring dishes cannot be doubted. However, salt has many benefits apart from being a "weapon" in the kitchen. Dissolved with warm water, these salty granules can also be a weapon for you to keep your teeth and mouth clean.
Gargling with salt water has become an old tradition
The era of civilization was not familiar with toothbrushes and toothpaste. However, it means that ancient people were not indifferent to the cleanliness of their teeth and mouth.
A saltwater solution has been used for gargling since 5,000 years BC by the Romans and Ancient Greeks.
Fast forward several centuries later, documentation from books The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs noted that salt water solutions were also used by the Chinese and Ancient Indians to clean the mouth. Some record records even report adding a few drops of vinegar to salt water for gargling.
Benefits of gargling with salt water
Sodium chloride is naturally osmotic which works to absorb fluid in tissues or cells. The inside of the human mouth is composed of moist tissue (mucosal lining). This moisture makes the mouth an ideal environment for bacterial growth.
Now when we gargle with salt water, sodium chloride will absorb excess fluid in the mouth, making it dry. The environment in the mouth is dry so it is no longer ideal for bacteria to survive. The bacteria will then stop multiplying, and eventually die.
Here are some of the potential benefits of gargling with salt water for oral health:
1. Relieves toothache
If you have a toothache, you cannot immediately go to a dentist. Doctors can only treat it when the teeth are no longer painful. So you can make a quick rinse with salt water to treat a toothache.
2. Overcoming sore throat
Gargling with warm salt water can relieve pain and itching caused by strep throat (pharyngitis). The way it works is the same as when treating a toothache.
As explained above, salt absorbs water contained in the mucous membrane. Our throats are also covered with this membrane. Well, the membrane that dries up is no longer ideal for bacteria to survive and eventually die. This absorption of water can also help reduce the effects of inflammation so that the throat feels more relieved.
Problem laryngitis, tonsillitis, and other throat problems can also be overcome by gargling salt water.
3. Relieves nasal congestion
Gargling with salt water can also relieve nasal congestion due to colds. Apart from killing the bacteria that cause infection, this saltwater solution also liquefies the mucus that has accumulated in the nose.
Nasal congestion problems due to symptoms bronchitissinus infections, and allergic reactions will also be reduced this way.
3. Get rid of bad breath
Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath. This can be caused by a variety of things, such as food or certain health problems.
Gargling with salt water can neutralize the bacteria that cause bad breath due to food. Salt can change the pH of the mouth, thereby inhibiting the production of microorganisms for bacteria that make breath smell bad.
However, if your problem is caused by a more serious illness or condition, this method may only be effective temporarily. Bad breath, which is a complication of the disease, does not disappear instantly with just gargling. The underlying disease must first be handled by a doctor until it is finished.
4. Relieve gum pain
Apart from treating toothaches, gargling with a salt water solution can also relieve gum pain due to gingivitis.
Gingivitis is a condition characterized by swollen, inflamed, and bleeding gums due to a bacterial infection. It's good to gargle every day to treat inflamed gums.
5. Overcoming tongue problems
Sometimes, the tongue can be coated with white plaque if we are not diligent in cleaning it. Don't worry just yet! The white coating that is on the surface of the tongue can be removed by gargling with salt water.
Gargling with salt water can even heal burns on the tongue. This is because sodium chloride compounds can help reduce pain and inflammation.
However, the dose of salt to treat the problem of tongue burns should be less than normal so that it doesn't worsen the condition.
How to use salt water to rinse your mouth
There are several ways to make or mix salt water to rinse your mouth. However, you can use one of the easiest recipes, namely:
- Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water (250 ml). Reduce it to 3/4 tsp if to treat burns on the tongue. Use pure salt without MSG mixture or other seasonings.
- Gargle all over the mouth and hold it around the sore area for 20-30 seconds.
- Melt the mouth water when finished, don't swallow it. If to treat a sore throat, swallow just a little.
- Repeat gargling one more time, and hold for 30 seconds. This will remove bits of food stuck in the crevices of the teeth and kill the bacteria that cause plaque.
- Melt the rinse water and finish by brushing your teeth, and using dental floss (flossing).
Some people add a pinch of baking soda to half a teaspoon of warm salt water. This can help whiten teeth.
Other ingredients that can be combined with salt are hydrogen peroxide, coconut oil, aloe vera juice, sesame, or sunflower oil. However, it is not recommended to mix these ingredients without consulting a dentist first.
How many times a day can you use salt water as a mouthwash?
You can rinse your mouth with salt water up to four times a day to clean your mouth and teeth. This kitchen spice has antibacterial properties that can effectively kill germs that cause various problems in the mouth, gums and teeth.
Salt too isotonic in nature and does not cause irritation to mucous membranes. That is why dentists generally also use a saltwater solution to rinse their patients' mouths after a tooth extraction procedure.
Before using this salt water to clean your mouth, there are a few things you should know. First, you shouldn't add too much salt to the water, because if you use it in excess, it can endanger the body.
Don't swallow large amounts of salt water
According to the Medical Biochemistry Human Metabolism in Health and Disease, gargling with salt water and then vomiting will not cause any harm. However, ingesting large amounts of salt often can be harmful to health.
Ingesting salt water mostly can cause the body to become dehydrated, even vomiting. Most salt intake in the long term can also increase the risk of hypertension or high blood pressure.
According to a media release from Indonesian Health Ministry, limit your salt intake to just 1 teaspoon a day. This limit includes the portion of salt for gargling, cooking, and what is found in your daily meals / snacks.
Is it better to gargle with mouthwash or salt water?
Dr. Daniel L. Orr II, head of the department of oral surgery at Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine, United States, says that a warm salt solution is better for cleaning the mouth than mouhtwash.
However, people are still allowed to use mouthwash. Provided that the mouthwash does not contain alcohol. Mouthwash with high alcohol content can irritate the gums and mouth. Alcohol in mouthwash can also increase the risk of poisoning for children who accidentally drink it. In contrast to salt water which is safe if slightly swallowed.
The way to tell if your mouthwash product contains alcohol is by gargling. Try gargling with the mouthwash as usual and holding it in your mouth for more than 1 minute. Do you experience a burning sensation in your mouth while gargling and after throwing it away? If so, it means that your mouthwash has a high alcohol content.
But the fact is, even though it's better to rinse with commercial mouthwash or salt water, you still need to brush your teeth regularly to maintain oral hygiene. Don't forget to be diligent too flossing, yes!
The benefits of salt in addition to gargling
Apart from cooking, maintaining and maintaining oral hygiene, salt actually has another important role for the body. What are they?
1. Scrub skin scrub
Salt is an exfoliating agent that can remove dead skin cells. To make a natural scrub, you can mix 1 teaspoon of salt with 1/2 cup of aloe vera gel, which moisturizes the skin. You can also add 1-2 drops lavender essential oil.
Stir together, then rub it all over the body with a gentle massage. After that, just rinse thoroughly with water.
2. Caring for nails
Who would have thought that this kitchen spice could treat nails? In nail beauty salons, salt is often mixed with warm water and your hands and feet as a soaking water to soften cuticles before doing a pedicure or manicure.
You can make this potion yourself to treat nails. To do this, mix one teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of baking soda, one teaspoon of lemon juice, and half a cup of warm water in a small bowl. Stir well.
Soak nails in the solution for 10 minutes, then scrub with a soft brush. Rinse hands, and dry with a towel.
3. For face masks
The combination of salt and honey has anti-inflammatory properties that can moisturize dry skin. Both work to balance oil production and maintain water reserves in the deepest layers of the skin.
You can use a mixture of two teaspoons of finely ground sea salt with four teaspoons of raw honey to make a mask mixture. After finished, apply the mixture evenly on the skin that has been cleaned and dried. HIndari the eye. Let stand for 10-15 minutes.
To rinse it off, soak a washcloth in warm water and wring it out. Place the washcloth on your face and hold it for 30 seconds before gently rubbing it.
Use your fingers to peel the dry mask off. You can also massage your face in a circular motion.
4. Wash the nose
If you don't have saline at home to wash your nose, you can make an alternative yourself saline solution. The tools you need are salt without iodine, baking soda, and a neti pot. If you don't have a neti pot, swap it out for a dropper and a plastic bottle or container.
- Combine 3 teaspoons of non-iodine herbs and one teaspoon of baking soda in a small, clean container or jar.
- Pour one teaspoon of the salt and baking soda mixture into a cup of clean, boiled and cooled water.
- Afterward, put the saline solution in the neti pot and wash your nose.
The way to wash your nose is to slightly lower your head and then tilt it to the right. After that, insert the tip of the neti pot into your right nose. Squeeze out the spray and let the water drain into the left nose. Do this up to once a day before going to bed so that the nose is clean.
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