Last week I explained in detail how using commercial oral care products may be doing more harm than good to your teeth, gums and brain! In this post I outline simple DIY strategies to optimize oral health and therefore brain health (and all other body systems as well):
Stop consuming industrially processed foods full of chemicals and sugar. We all know sugar is bad for our teeth (it causes an acidic environment in the mouth that allows damaging bacteria to flourish). But sugar causes a host of other problems for the mouth as well. One way sugar damages the health of the mouth is by inhibiting the flow of dentinal fluid, or dental lymph. Teeth are living tissue and need nutrition just like every other living cell of the body. Many cells in our body are supplied with the nutrients they need to thrive by blood. In teeth this nutrition is provided by the dentinal fluid (DFT). The flow of DFT is controlled by parotid hormone, which in turn is inhibited by sugar and refined carbohydrate consumption. While sugar may indeed be present in cavities, the formation of cavities is a systemic problem indicating malnutrition and other imbalances. Sugar is not the underlying cause of the cavities. (Check out this post to learn more about the many dangers of consuming too much sugar).
Stop mouth breathing. Mouth breathing can be caused by sinus issues, certain medications, or cranial and sinus imbalances from head injuries or previous dental work. Mouth breathing in children changes the shape of their jaw and mouth development, leading to a wide array of dental problems and increasing the potential need for braces. In adults mouth breathing can lead to sleep apnea and the need for CPAP machines to sleep. Mouth breathing in people of all ages dries up the saliva in the mouth and leads to dry mouth, creating an environment for cavities and disrupted mouth microbiome to flourish.
Stop phytic acid consumption. Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that leaches phosphorous from the body. Phosphorous is a critical nutrient for strong bones and teeth. Proper preparation by soaking of grains and nuts reduces the phytic acid content of those foods. Soak nuts overnight in a salt water solution and drain. They can be used raw once they have been soaked in smoothies or dehydrated for a super-nutritious and delicious crunchy snack.
Remove mercury fillings. To get mercury out of your mouth, it’s important to go to a holistic or biological dentist with experience in removing mercury fillings. On a side note, the Journal of Dental research notes that chewing gum can increase mercury vapor release by 1500%! Chewing gum is problematic for a number of reasons and now you can add mercury release to the list if you have silver fillings.
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Stop using commercial oral care products with ingredients listed in this article. Instead, make a simple toothpowder with equal amounts of non-iodized salt, baking soda and xylitol. simply sprinkle a bit of the mixture on your toothbrush, add a drop of peppermint essential oil for extra zing, and brush as usual. Both baking soda and salt (be sure your salt is not iodized as the iodine is antibacterial and will disrupt the health of your oral microbiome) are alkalizing and will create an environment that is inhospitable to pathogenic bacteria. PRO TIP: Swish a bit of water and a pinch of baking soda in your mouth after eating to create the healthy alkaline environment for your mouth.
Seal and heal the gums using herbs and essential oils. Download this guide to effective herbal treatments for healthy gums and teeth.
Try Oil Pulling. This should be done first thing in the morning, before brushing your teeth or eating/drinking anything. Start by putting about 2 teaspoons of coconut oil in your mouth. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but it will melt after a few seconds. Swish the oil around in your mouth, sucking and pulling it through your teeth. After 2 - 20 minutes (longer is better, but start with the shorter time to get used to the technique) spit the oil in the garbage, not the sink or toilet. It could re-solidify and plug up your plumbing. Rinse your mouth with plain, warm water.
Tongue Scraping. A tongue scraper can be bought at most pharmacies and health-food stores, or online, for about $5 or under. Use it after brushing to remove residue and other “gunk” from your tongue.