It seems like more and more people are struggling with tooth decay these days, especially young children. You would think that, with all of the advances in health care and dentistry, people would have amazing oral health by now. But, sadly, that is just not the case. There are many things you can do to help make sure that your pearly whites stay healthy and beautiful well into old age! Keep reading for some simple tips for amazing oral health.
Minerals are needed in the body to form bones and teeth. When most people think about bone and tooth health they think only calcium matters, but this is not the case. There are many minerals that work synergistically to form healthy teeth. It’s important to make sure that you are getting adequate amounts of magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. Unfortunately a lot of people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables to adequately restore their body’s reserves of these important minerals, Our soil is incredibly depleted of these nutrients and farmers only fertilize their crops with a select few minerals, which only makes matter worse. Another reason we might become deficient in minerals is that the types of pesticides conventional farmers use on their crops actually act as mineral chelators. A chelator grabs a hold of a mineral and won’t let it go, so it cannot be utilized by the plant, making the plant, and us, deficient.
There a few vitamins which are just essential for oral health as the minerals listed above. Vitamin K is essential for the proper formation of bones and teeth. There are two types of vitamin K, K1 and K2, and it is K2 which is the most valuable for strong teeth. Vitamin C is important for excellent gum health; it helps to prevent bleeding gums and other gum diseases. Vitamin A acts as a helper to lubricate your mouth which helps to prevent dry mouth. A dry mouth breeds bacteria very quickly. Lastly, vitamin D works synergistically with magnesium, calcium and Vitamin K2 to properly form healthy and strong teeth. So as you can see, it’s very important to make sure you are getting all of these vitamins to help maintain a healthy mouth.
3. Ditch the Sugar
Sugar is terrible for our oral health. Bad bacteria feed off of sugar. So if any sugar is left over in your mouth after eating or drinking something that contains it, those bad bacteria will sit on your teeth and cause decay. Sugar also robs our bodies of the essential vitamins and minerals listed previously, causing further decay from the inside out.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a powerhouse in the oral health department. It is naturally antibacterial and can kill the bad bacteria in your mouth. You can try making a natural version of the conventional toothpaste you use from coconut oil, baking soda, Celtic salt and activated charcoal. The activated charcoal will act as a natural way to whiten your teeth as well. Or you can try a practise called oil pulling. First thing in the morning, before you have eaten or drank any liquids, put 2 tablespoons of unrefined coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around like you would mouthwash for 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes is up you can spit the oil out into the sink. It might be a hazy whitish colour when you are finished; this is because the bacteria have been collected by the oil. It’s nice to know all of those bad bacteria are out of your mouth and going down the sink!
5. Drink Water
Drinking lots of water will help to keep food particles off of your teeth in between brushings, and will help to keep bacteria at bay. A well hydrated body will also flush bad bacteria faster. After each meal try to remember to swish a little water in your mouth to wash away any food particles while you wait for your next brushing.
6. Floss Regularly
This is old advice, but still good advice: floss! And floss regularly! Flossing removes the built up plaque from between your teeth. Excess plaque buildup causes decay. So floss away!
7. Stay Away From Fluoride
This might sound counterintuitive to the advice your conventional dentist may have given you. But, there is new information coming out now to contradict the previous advice to use fluoridated toothpaste and mouth wash to prevent decay. This new information states that fluoride can actually mimic many of the essential minerals and vitamins in our body, which confuses our bodies. If our bodies do not absorb the essential minerals and vitamins we need, and instead absorbs fluoride, then our bodies will become deficient in the very nutrients we need for excellent oral health. Better to be safe than sorry and avoid fluoride. Fluoride can also be found in your drinking water so make sure you have a good whole home filter on your water system.
8. Watch the Phytic Acid
Phytic Acid is a chemical that can be found in foods like grains, legumes (beans), nuts and seeds. Some professionals consider it an anti-nutrient that blocks your body’s ability to absorb the vitamins and minerals needed for excellent oral health. But this does not mean that you need to totally avoid these foods. If you do not currently have any signs of decay, you can include these foods on occasion. If you do have signs of decay that you are trying to heal, omitting these foods would be beneficial for a period of time. A way to mitigate the negative effects of the phytic acid found in these foods is to first soak them before eating them. The process of soaking and sprouting them breaks down the phytic acid, and lessens its harmful effects.
9. Try Making Natural Toothpaste
As mentioned before, there are natural ways to make toothpaste that do not contain the harmful ingredients found in conventional toothpastes. Natural toothpaste works just as well as conventional toothpaste, and is safe for children to use as well.
10. Quit Smoking
This is a no brainer! But it is a very difficult change to make – QUIT SMOKING! Smoking is very damaging for the teeth, bad for your gum health, can cause dry mouth and will breed bad bacteria. Smoking also forces your body to use up the minerals and vitamins needed by your body form strong teeth in the process of detoxifying your body of the chemicals from smoking. Ditch the cigarettes and you’ll notice a huge difference in your oral health!
As we can see there are many factors involved in keeping your smile the best it can be. Don’t be afraid to incorporate some of these natural solutions for your oral health. They are simple, quick and do not cost a lot of money. All of the ingredients to make your own natural toothpaste can be found at your local grocery store or health food store. Give it a try!
Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel and Timothy Gallagher DDS
Toxic Overload by Paula Baillie-Hamilton MD PhD