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Oral health is often considered as a separate category of health, however research has shown that health problems in the mouth are often connected with chronic conditions in the rest of the body.
Interestingly, the ancient Chinese knew all about this. In Chinese medicine each tooth is associated with a particular meridian, and dentists familiar with this are able to assess a patient’s state of health simply by looking at their teeth.
On this page we’ll look at steps you can take to improve your oral health and thus hopefully, your overall health. We will cover brushing, the gums, tooth whitening, flossing, tongue scraping, mouthwashes, oil pulling, and supplements.
one ~ brushing
Toothpaste comes in an assortment of tastes and flavors but if you swallow too much it could poison you. This is because commercial toothpastes are filled with toxic chemicals. The most harmful ingredient is probably fluoride. It has been ingrained in our minds that fluoride prevents cavities but this is not entirely true. The type of fluoride in toothpaste is a toxic by-product of the fertilizer industry and is not the same as that which is found in nature.
Fluoride is a neurotoxin that was once used as rat poison. Researchers have found that it can lower IQ in children. It can also cause brain damage, tumors, cancer, dementia, infertility, Alzheimer’s, lower sex drive, dementia, depression, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, accelerate the aging process, and a whole lot more.
The amount of fluoride in toothpaste is pretty small but if we’re putting into our mouths twice a day, 365 days a year the toxic effects add up.
brush with soap
Soap is the single best alternative to toothpaste. In Good Teeth, Birth to Death Dr. Gerald Judd, PhD explains that most toothpastes contain glycerine, which according to his research is so sticky that it forms a coating on the teeth that requires up to 27 rinses to remove. Judd recommends “brushing with any bar soap” because soap washes off in just 2 rinses.
Judd explains that teeth need to be clean in order to absorb minerals from food - teeth coated in glycerine cannot absorb minerals from food and thus can’t remineralize.
Simply apply a tiny amount of soap to your toothbrush and start brushing. You don’t need much as it lathers really well. Don’t use liquid soaps because they tend to have chemicals. It does not taste bad when used in a small amount to brush the teeth.
If you don’t like the idea of putting a little soap in your mouth you could try a homemade toothpaste instead. I usually make a batch once a month and alternate it with soap.
1 teaspoon baking soda - neutralizes acids in the mouth
½ teaspoon salt - removes plaque, destroys bacteria, remineralizes.
½ teaspoon turmeric - curbs plaque and prevents gum inflammation
½ teaspoon activated charcoal - reduces plaque and stains
½ teaspoon bentonite clay - detoxifies and mineralizes
2 drops hydrogen peroxide - whitens teeth, antibacterial
Other than the baking soda all the ingredients are optional. You are free to experiment and play around. Simple mix all the ingredients together and store in a watertight container. If you’d prefer to make a paste add some water or oil (coconut, olive, macadamia). To use scoop a small amount onto a toothbrush and brush away.
two ~ gum health
The health of your gums is directly related to the health of your teeth so it’s important to take good care of them.
Use a dry, soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your gums. Always brush your gums toward the teeth using an extra light touch over the gum line. Brush as gently as you can.
If you check the inner and outer gum lines with your tongue you will often find that most of the plaque buildup is at the gum line, or sulcus.
There are rubber-tipped gum tools and sulcus brushes designed specifically for this area. Gently go over the gum line on both the inside and the outside of each tooth.
three ~ tooth whitening
Polishing the teeth removes staining and also gives your teeth a smooth, slippery feel that you will enjoy gliding your tongue over.
You will need to use an electric brush. Luckily, it has been shown that budget-friendly electric and ultrasonic toothbrushes are just as effective at stain removal as more expensive products. Toothbrushes with oscillating heads that clean by rotating in a circular motion are better for whitening than those that simply vibrate.
Try a homemade tooth polish combining equal amounts of salt and baking soda. Any sticky plaque or biofilm will be removed in a minute.
four ~ flossing
Flossing once a day decreases the likelihood of cavities and gum disease. Floss before brushing in order to ensure the loosened particles are cleaned away from the mouth.
The most common way to floss is with waxed or un-waxed thread. Super floss is most beneficial to those with orthodontic braces, bridges, and wide gaps between teeth.
The most effective way to floss is with a water flosser (also called an oral irrigator. This is an electronic device which uses water pressure to flush out debris between the teeth.
five ~ tongue scraping
Tongue scraping is a practice that is becoming more and more popular. Removing the coating that builds up on the tongue on a daily basis can improve digestion and reduce bad breath. It also enhances your ability to taste your food, which making eating more satisfying.
how to scrape
Stick your tongue our as far out as it will comfortably go.
Press the scraper down lightly as far back on your tongue as you can without gagging.
Slowly pull it forward to the tip of your tongue about 8 to 12 times until the whole tongue is clean.
Spit out any saliva and debris that has accumulated on your tongue.
Rinse the mouth with warm or room temperature water.
Make sure to clean the scraper thoroughly with warm water.
the tongue scraper
Tongue scrapers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Copper is the preferred material due to its antimicrobial properties - it kills bacteria, yeasts, and viruses rapidly that come into contact with it.
If you prefer not to buy a scraper you could use a teaspoon or ice cream stick instead. However, a good quality scraper does the job so much more effectively. Keep the scraper cleaned and sterilized and never share it with anyone - treat it like your toothbrush. Don’t scrape your tongue if you have a mouth sore or wound.
six ~ mouthwashes
A mouthwash offers the ability to reach areas of your mouth that brushing and flossing may miss.
Over-the-counter mouthwashes tend to contain ingredients with hard to pronounce that could be harmful to your health. Making your own mouthwash at home is easier than you think, and you may already have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen cupboard.
A simple search on Google for homemade mouthwashes will give you a variety of results, but not all mouthwash recipes are a good idea. For example, you may find recipes that include apple cider, which is very acidic and could damage the enamel of your teeth.
You’ll need a mason jar with a tightly fitting lid and a shot glass. Add one part salt to sixteen parts water and let it sit until the salt dissolves into brine. Before you brush pour yourself a shot glass of the mixture and swish it around your mouth, then spit it out.
baking soda rinse
This recipe works well for bad breath. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a cup of water. Put in in a mason jar. Close the lid tightly and give it a good shake. Take a mouthful and get swishing. Swish your freshly minted for a minute before spitting. Repeat once daily. Keep in mind this mouthwash is best to use within a day or two.
Essential oil mouthwashes are becoming incredibly popular but ingesting them can cause reactions in some people. Fortunately there is a safe to make fragrant mouthwashes and that’s with hydrosols.
When making essential oils the oil goes through one tube and the water goes through another tube. Hydrosols are basically water based essential oils, so they have all the properties of essential oils but are much milder and gentler.
Combine one part hydrosol with four parts water for a general-purpose mouthwash that will help maintain oral hygiene and sweet breath.
Peppermint hydrosol has a refreshing minty scent and freshens breath. It also fights bacteria and strengthens the gums.
Tea tree hydrosol kills mouth bacteria and other oral pathogens. Purifies the mouth and gives it a neutral pH that is hard for bacteria to thrive in.
Laurel hydrosol makes a delicious mouthwash and gargle for infections and general dental hygiene or bad breath and can be combined with immortelle for more serious gum problems.
Immortelle hydrosol is great for gingivitis or receding gums, use one tablespoon two times daily every day for six months and watch your dentist be amazed.
lemon verbena helps heal the gums after dental surgery. It can be used as a daily mouthwash for good oral hygiene.
sage makes a good mouthwash for people prone to cavities.
seven ~ oil pulling
Oil pulling is an age-old Ayurvedic practice that has gained recent popularity because of its various useful benefits.
Your mouth is filled with bacteria, most of which are single cells covered with a lipid (fatty) membrane. These fatty membranes naturally adhere to any type of oil or fat.
So, when you swish oil around in your mouth bacteria are pulled from your teeth and gums as though they are being drawn to a magnet.
Put about a tablespoon of oil in your mouth. The most popular oils are coconut and sesame but any good quality oil will do the job.
Swish the oil around very gently and slowly. There is no need to do it forcefully.
Swish for 5 to 20 minutes. The longer you swish the more microbes will be pulled free. The oil will eventually turn a milky white, which indicates that the bacteria has been "pulled" off.
When you are done spit out the oil. It is very important that you don’t swallow the solution because you don’t want the microbes entering your digestive track.
After that rinse your mouth with water.
Oil pulling doesn’t have any side effects. However, if you swallow the oil, it can cause stomach discomfort or diarrhea. Initially, you may experience sore jaw and headache due to swishing and even tooth sensitivity.
eight ~ supplements
The composition of eggshells resembles our teeth.Eggshells contain the perfect amount of the ideal substances for healing cavities: massive amounts of calcium and 27 other mineral Eggshells provide the necessary amount of calcium to remineralize teeth.
It’s preferable to use organic free range eggs but if you don’t have them other eggs are fine. Put them in boiling water for about 5 minutes. The boiling will kill any pathogens. Then, air dry the shells and once they are bone dry, grind them in a blender or coffee grinder. Most people add a teaspoon of the powder to a smoothie or to their food. For me the easiest method is to add the powder to gelatin capsules and then take two capsules a day.
Tissue salts are homeopathically prepared mineral combinations. These mineral compounds are part of the make up of our tissues and cells and sometimes referred to as building blocks for our bodies. As such, they can be hugely supportive in the care and maintenance of the structural components of our bodies, including, you guessed it – our teeth.
Calc Phos helps build strong teeth and bones, especially during the developmental years. It can help in the repair of fractured and cracked teeth, and can help to fortify teeth that are prone to cavities or have weak enamel.
Calc Fluor has a particular affinity for strengthening tooth enamel. Strong tooth enamel means less places for sugar to get in and start cavities. It is also a great connective tissue remedy, which means any unnatural looseness of the teeth in their sockets can be aided with this cell salt.
Silicea addresses general weakness in the teeth, especially at the level of the inner structures – the dentine and the root. So if a cavity has already taken hold, this cell salt can be of use. Also think of this tissue salt if the teeth are slow to develop or slow to heal.
Mag Phos is the first choice tissue salt to try if toothache hits. Sometimes referred to as ‘homeopathic aspirin’, this is a great gentle pain reliever to turn to in the case of a toothache. It can also be considered for the pains of teething, or for teeth that are particularly sensitive to cold. It is often suggested to take this tissue salt dissolved in a little warm water.
nine ~ nutrition
In the late 1920s a Cleveland dentist named Weston A. Price was troubled by the amount of tooth decay he observed in his patients. He noticed that poor dental health was invariably accompanied by poor physical health as well as poor mental health.
He heard that there were a few communities around the world that were renowned for having healthy teeth so he spent 10 years traveling the world studying the diets and health of communities with exceptionally healthy teeth.
Wherever Dr. Price came across communities that followed a traditional way of life and ate a traditional diet he found that the members were not only exceptionally healthy but also very happy and content. Read more here.