One of those important things that parents teach their kids when they are growing up is brushing their teeth. Because let's be honest, teeth matter. One survey found that 47% of respondents chose a great smile as the feature that most attracted them. Eyes came only second, with 31%. Another study confirmed that people with beautiful smiles have more dates and that online singles are 57% more likely to contact someone whose photo shows off a pretty smile. But healthy teeth are not just a tool to attract someone, healthy teeth mean healthy body. Tooth decay is not only unsightly and painful but it can be a sign of unbalance in your diet or a lack of nutrients. According to the insights of Dr. Edward Mellanby, Dr. Weston Price and Ramiel Nagel (holistic oral health practitioner), there are four main things that contribute to tooth decay:
1. Lack of minerals in the diet (calcium deficiency, magnesium deficiency and phosphorus deficiency)
2. Lack of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K, especially vitamin D deficiency)
3. Too much consumption of phytic acid-rich foods
4. Too much consumption of processed sugar
Diet, Brushing, Flossing
Now, I am not here to tell you how to properly brush and floss your teeth. I imagine that as an adult, you've learned it a while ago. If not, ask your dentist. However, what your dentist might not have told you is that your diet has an immense impact on the health of your teeth. And that there are certain foods which especially promote not only wellness but the health of your teeth as well. Foods that can help keep your gums and teeth strong, plus free from diseases or signs of aging, include teeth-strengthening foods like:
- sources of calcium like yogurt or raw milk
- foods high in magnesium and potassium like leafy green veggies, apples or pears
- organic eggs
- sweet potatoes, carrots or squash
- nuts like walnuts or almonds
One more reason to listen to your grandma when she said 'eat your veggies!'
Supplements and techniques for healthy teeth
Activated charcoal is an absorbing product used to trap toxins inside the body. It is very handy when you have kids and they accidentally swallow some unknown berry in the woods. But activated charcoal may also help whiten your teeth by absorbing plaque and microscopic compounds that cause staining. To whiten your teeth naturally with charcoal, wet a toothbrush and dip into powdered activated charcoal. Brush teeth as normal, paying special attention to areas showing the most staining. Sip a bit of water, swish through mouth thoroughly and spit. Rinse well, until spit is clear. For best results, brush your teeth with activated charcoal two to three times per week.
Aloe vera can be very effective when dealing with gum inflammation. Simply apply aloe vera gel in small quantities on your gums.
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique to keep your mouth healthy. Both sesame and coconut oil have antibacterial properties that keep your teeth and gums in good shape. And you’ll also notice that oil pulling naturally whitens your teeth. Simply take a spoonful of coconut or sesame oil and swish it in your mouth for 20 minutes (ok, ok, it can be less, I hardly get to 5 minutes in the morning when having 4 kids around). Do this first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything.
Chew xylitol gum: My kids often ask for a chewing gum and after doing my research I finally found an aspartame free chewing gum with xylitol that helps keep the teeth healthy. How come? Let me explain - bacteria love the sugar alcohol in xylitol, but they can’t break it down and they literally starve to death. Also, chewing xylitol gum reduces gum disease and tooth decay successfully. It promotes saliva production, which increases the antibacterial forces in the mouth.
Scientists recently discovered that two important compounds in licorice helped kill the major bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease. Try this healing licorice tea, it's sweet even without adding sugar.