Think brushing your teeth is good for your oral health?
Depends what you are brushing with!
If you are like me, you have brushed your teeth at least once a day for as far back as you can possibly remember. Just before bed or first thing waking up? Perhaps even straight after every meal as well? We spend a huge portion of our lives looking in the mirror at our teeth, brushing, flossing, checking how white they are and observing our smile. I’m sure that the names of at least 2 ‘trusted’ toothpaste brands would roll off your tongue if asked. Could you also name some of the ingredients? And can you tell me the warning on the label? Does DO NOT SWALLOW ring a bell? With all those toxic ingredients like fluoride, sulphates and other chemicals, of course you shouldn’t swallow… but why would you even want to put them in your mouth?
Teeth are essentially made of both calcium and phosphate. Throughout each day and night, there is a constant movement of calcium and phosphate into and out of our teeth in response to things like chewing and eating, the acidity of foods and the quality of our saliva. Saliva (and blood) composition are a result of the foods we eat, our emotional state, any medications being taken and the bacteria population of our mouth. Eating alkaline foods supports healthy saliva as does staying well hydrated. It is also speculated that a major cause of tooth decay and jaw problems lies in the lack of use of both teeth and jaw muscles by overconsuming soft processed foods.
So your oral health comes way more from inside out than outside in, as you can see. Prominent dental health researcher and dentist Dr Weston A Price travelled the world to carefully study the diets of over a dozen primitive cultures, that is, those that had no access to Western civilisation that still lived according to their traditions. Dr Price found that these cultures consumed foods in their natural state, unrefined and unadulterated. He also found that a large proportion of the diets relied heavily on coconuts, both the flesh and oil. What was astounding was that although the people studied had no access to tooth brushes, tooth paste, mouth wash or floss, or fluoridated water, they were virtually unaffected by tooth decay!!! Sadly, as is frequently seen when primitive cultures are ‘Westernised’ and processed foods like sugar and white flour are introduced into diets, the oral and overall health rapidly decline.
So as well as ensuring your diet is as nutrient rich and pure as possible, should you brush your teeth? The answer is yes, but definitely with something that would be safe to swallow! But what is a safe, natural, non-toxic and healthy way toothpaste to use?
If you want to whiten teeth, improve oral health, and try an alternative to the commercial toothpastes that can contain harmful ingredients poisonous to swallow, what are your options? We must clean our teeth in a way that will gently remove the build up of plaque, and other bacteria harbouring substances, while naturally supporting a healthy mouth. We need to provide a natural, organic, antibacterial compound to combat bad breath and any harmful bacteria. It is important to balance pH and provide minerals to remineralise and strengthen teeth, promote healthy gums and strong enamel.
Here is my solution:
Home-Made Healthy Tooth Paste
• 4 Tablespoons Coconut oil
• 2 Tablespoons Bentonite Clay
• 2 Tablespoons Baking Soda
• 10-15 Drops of Peppermint Essential Oil (lemon, or your own personal choice)
• 1 Tsp Cinnamon (optional)
Using a glass bowl and wooden spoon, combine all ingredients and mix well (a hand blender works well if you cant get the right consistency). You may like to add more coconut oil depending on your texture preference, and more or less essential oils as well.
Store in a glass jar and avoid any contact with absorbable metals as the bentonite clay will absorb particles from a metal bowl/container or toxins from a plastic one.
Enjoy your clean, fresh mouth! Bentonite clay is naturally cleansing and reminerlizing, and will bind to toxins and acidic materials in the mouth (your local health food shop should stock it, otherwise buy online.) Baking soda aids in cleaning and whitening. Coconut oil adds antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties to this tooth scrub as well as imparting the mild yummy coconut flavor that we all love. Add a few drops of naturally antimicrobial peppermint oil and you have a supercharged toothpaste that will keep your mouth fresher and healthier than ever! Your kids may even like it if you let them help make it!
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From the desk of…
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2. Nagel, N. ‘Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition, Golden Child Publishing USA 2009
3. Fife, Bruce The Coconut Oil Miracle, Picadilly Books Colorado Springs 2008