natural dental health
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Natural Dental Health

I just finished getting my teeth cleaned by my father’s superb dental staff and it got me thinking about how important yet overlooked dental health is. Yes we all think about brushing our teeth twice a day and flossing occasionally, but have you ever really thought about the health of your gums or what makes your teeth strong, white and plaque-free? Let’s delve into the world of natural dental health, and how it could be the one thing you are missing from your dental routine.

The truth is your health is as only as good as the health of your teeth, mouth and gums because an infection in the mouth is the one infection your body cannot overcome on its own. And unfortunately for us, we have come a long way from maintaining a diet that keeps our mouth healthy. Every tooth lies on a organ/gland meridian and therefore directly effects every aspect of the body and vice versa. Therefore, we must not only consider dental health for the teeth and gums sake, but also for the health of our organ/glands, blood and lymph.

 

So how did we go wrong?

 

The intricate structure of our mouth, teeth and gums was originally designed for a species that ate solely raw, uncooked, fibrous foods. This is important because it was these very types of foods that kept our mouth healthy. Fibrous foods are not only enzyme-rich, helping to stimulate digestion, but they also act as a mechanical brush on our teeth and gums. How brilliant is that? And here we thought we were so genius coming up with the tooth brush and we were just really mimicking the natural process of eating raw foods. Therefore, the trouble comes with the fact that the majority of us tend to eat small amounts, if any, of raw foods (vegetables and fruits) and have replaced those items with soft, processed foods. 

Soft, processed foods actually cause great harm to our dental health, and can even cause periodontal disease and other gum related problems. This is because when you eat these foods, they get lodged up into our gums, become sticky and then calcified. These calcifications begin to act as splinters in our gums leading to damage overtime and predisposing us to infection. While brushing can help, most people do not brush in the right way to dislodge the food and most of the calcifications need to be treated with deeper cleaning like that done at a dental office.

 

Indigenous Food

 

So what are we to do?

By implementing a natural dental health routine, we can help restore the strength natural to our teeth and gums. It is very similar to what you are already doing, but is free of harmful chemicals and additives, and implements ancient and effective tools for keeping your mouth healthy and happy. So let’s see what it involves!

 

1. Brushing & Flossing

 

It is important to brush with a soft toothbrush after every meal. The idea is to get any residual food particles out of the gum as soon as possible so that they do not begin to calcify. The second thing is that we must brush correctly. This means SWEEPING the teeth along the natural direction of the gums. Simply place the toothbrush to the top of the gums with the bristles facing up. Then rotate and sweep the bristles down the gum, toward the bottom of the tooth’s edge. This way your are gently pushing any junk out of the gum and into the mouth to be eliminated.

 

Tea Tree by MargaretsFamily

 

Flossing- you must floss every day, but be gentle. Do not stick or rub the floss too harshly against the gums because this can actually be damaging. Treat them with care if you want them to stick around 🙂 I like to use floss that is made with the natural anti-infective tea tree oil, like Dessert Essence.

 

2. Plaque

 

Plaque is a biofilm that is formed by colonizing bacteria trying to attach themselves to the smooth surface of a tooth. It has been also speculated that plaque forms as part of the defense systems of the body by helping to prevent colonization by microorganisms which may be pathogenic, i.e. bacteria, virus, fungus. And why might you ask that your body has pathogens in the mouth? Well, other than the fact that the very food we eat can carry pathogenic material in it, there is also the factor of digestion, or lack there of.

When you are not properly digesting your food, the food beings to rot and becomes a feeding pool for pathogenic organisms. And yes, they can travel right back into your mouth leading to an overgrowth of plaque. Typically the body has a defense mechanism against this, hydrochloric acid (HCL), but unfortunately due to our chosen Standard American Diet (SAD) and the natural process of aging, our body does not supply adequate HCL to do the job right.

 

So how can we increase HCL to reduce plaque?

 

Hydrochloric acid is a digestive acid formed in the stomach to digest food (especially proteins) and eliminate pathogens. In order to be made by the body we need adequate REAL unheated sea salt, to supply the chloride fraction in hydrochloric acid, and we need to change our diet to reduce the burden on HCL production. What this means is that we need to use about 1 tsp of unheated sea salt daily (contains all of the needed minerals by the body) and we need to switch to a plant-based diet, free of unprocessed foods. In addition, it is very important to significantly reduce, if not eliminate animal proteins because those are the most taxing on the body’s HCL production.

 

Pink Sea Salt

 

Finally, there is the fact of age. Once your past your mid-twenties, natural HCL production begins to decline. Therefore, by the time you reach your later years you have half if not a fourth of the HCL production you had in your teens. In these cases, it is best to look to supplementation with a natural beet-derived HCL. HCL supplementation is almost always advised in the elderly.

*Note: If you suffer from ulcers or acid reflux, it is best to begin with a supplement to improve stomach integrity. I recommend a product such as gastroven. This will strengthen the stomach and prepare for HCL supplementation.

 

3. Tongue Scraping and Oil Pulling

 

Did you know that the color of your tongue can tell a lot about your health? The coating of the tongue is actually also the buildup of toxic material similar to plaque. Therefore we will want to follow the steps for reducing plaque in the mouth but we also will want to implement tongue scraping and oil pulling. These two methods are based in ancient Ayurvedic healing philosophy of India and are used to reduce bacteria and toxins in the mouth while preventing their reabsorption into the body. These two techniques are very easy to introduce into your daily routine and have shown to have benefits ranging from improvement in the sinuses, throat infection, chronic bad breath, and digestion. Adding tongue scraping and oil pulling into the routine are two of the best natural dental health techniques.

Tongue Scraping with Oprah

How to use a tongue scraper

Purchase a metal U Shape scraper and follow the directions:

  • Hold each end with your hands and reach the arch to the back of your tongue as far as possible.
  • Scrape forward several times, rinsing the white film off of the scraper between each scraping. It’s important to get the back of the tongue which may create a gag reflex, but this will lessen with practice. Be gentle but firm as you scrape.
  • Rinse your mouth with water.
  • Clean and dry your scraper with water – you may want to occasionally use toothpaste or baking soda to disinfect.

To learn how to do Oil Pulling go here.

4. Non-Toxic Toothpaste

I support using non-toxic toothpaste that are free of chemicals, colors or fluoride. Surprisingly, most toothpaste companies are still putting in harmful colors, dyes and chemicals. These additives are harmful to the body and have shown to contribute to ADD, ADHD and other complications related to toxicity. As for fluoride, while the Dental Association still supports its use, there are many studies out there that indicate that it may cause thyroid suppression. For those reasons, I choose not to use toothpaste with fluoride.

So what do I use? I use natural toothpaste. There are many brands out there, but I personally love Auromere. It is a blend of powerful herbs that have natural anti-infective, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It also still contains the ingredients needed to reduce plaque, prevent dental diseases and it keeps your teeth white and breath fresh. It is always best to go back to nature since it provides us with everything we need to maintain outrageous health. Besides, who said Barbie was the expert on toothpaste? I think our kids could live without the bubblegum artificial flavoring.

best natural toothpaste
 
* If you are worried about maintaining the strength of your teeth without fluoride, just increase your mineral supplementation and include plant-based calcium food options.
 
Alright everyone, that was quite the mouth full so I will leave you with that. I will be following up in the future about alternative gum treatment options such as neem oil and neem bark as well as the importance of getting rid of mercury fillings, but I am ready to get sized for a night guard so I must go!

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11 Comments

  • Reply Matthew Jacobs December 21, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Great post Lauren!

    Dental work and care is widely underestimated in a person overall health status. After getting into clinical nutrition, I realized that so many people have issues that are related to their teeth.

    Healthy gums and teeth are a benchmark for good health. This article is a great overview of how to take care of this very important part of our body

    Thanks for the great post!

  • Reply Pre Dent December 22, 2011 at 3:46 am

    Great post for someone who is heading on to dental school! Keep up the good work.

  • Reply The Ultimate Detoxification Guide | One Green Planet March 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    […] reduce your overall level of toxicity while maintaining a healthy immune system. To learn more go here.8. Ear Candling: An ancient healing practice used in Chinese Traditional Medicine, Native American […]

  • Reply Nicole August 29, 2012 at 2:35 am

    I noticed there is glycerin under the ingredients in the Auromere toothpaste. I’ve read that glycerin is bad for teeth and coats the teeth. It’s said to be a huge problem and prevents calcium and other essential minerals from getting to your teeth. I use the Coral White brand which does not contain glycerin. It’s a natural toothpaste. I’d love to know what you think about glycerin in toothpaste, whether it is vegetable-based or not.
    Love your site! 🙂

    • lauren
      Reply lauren August 31, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Hi Nicole, I had never heard that before so I started researching it and talked to my father about it (he happens to be a dentist – comes in handy sometimes!) and we couldn’t determine where that information had come from. Would you mind sharing the link or source? From my knowledge it is simply a carbohydrate derived from plant oils, so I do not see the correlation between that and mineral absorption, but always here to learn more!

      • Reply Nicole September 5, 2012 at 8:23 pm

        I wasn’t aware of this glycerin concern until my friend told me about it. But I’m still not sure exactly what the big deal is. That is awesome and very convenient that your dad is a dentist!! I found different blog posts about the glycerin ingredient by searching “glycerin in toothpaste” on google. Here is one post I read about it. http://artistta.blogspot.com/2011/04/closer-look-at-glyerin-and-whether-its.html
        I would love to know what you and your dad think about these concerns! And also, check out Coral White toothpaste and let me know what you think about the ingredients.
        I also have a question about my teeth, maybe you or your dad could help. I’m a vegan and recently I’ve been feeling sensitivity. It’s uncomfortable and I’m not sure why I would have this problem and it’s concerning me. I brush my teeth twice a day and I floss at night. I’m wondering if I should start looking for a natural mouth wash. Also, if there is no problem with glycerin, then I’m going to start buying the Auromere brand.
        Thank you so much!!! 🙂

        • lauren
          Reply lauren September 8, 2012 at 2:26 am

          Hey Nicole, the coral white toothpaste looks like it has all non-toxic ingredients, although not all coral minerals are absorbed by the body – they must be ionized typically to be absorbed through the gut. But other than that, looks good! As for the sensitivity this can be caused from a range of factors including using teeth whitening kits, drinking acidic or cold beverages, including lemon, grinding your teeth at night, and even poor hcl production in the gut. You will have to hone in more on the cause. Good luck!

          • Nicole September 8, 2012 at 2:44 am

            Thank you for responding! I’m going to stick with the coral white toothpaste. I recently bought Desert Essence Tea Tree & Neem toothpaste. It has vegetable glycerin in it but I’m not going to worry about it since you said it’s just a carbohydrate from plant oils. I’m excited to try it.

  • Reply sweet-gale.com July 30, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Hello! That is my 1st comment here therefore i just wanted to give a quick shout out loud
    and tell you I truly enjoy reading your website posts. Is it
    possible to recommend any blogs/websites/forums that cope with exactly the same topics?
    Many thanks!

    • lauren
      Reply lauren August 4, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      Thank you Gale! If you want more research based information you can go to mercola.com or naturalnews.com

  • Reply Kidega veritas April 27, 2015 at 7:58 am

    I like neem trees, i was given the research about neem and that i when i came to know that there are some trees which are very very vital and neem become the best. i want to be a neem producer in my life. am doing agricultural science.

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