Shut Your Mouth! Gum & Teeth Health

My best friend has an extra layer of enamel on her teeth. Yes, I hate her.  Seriously, I am envious, but we all have our kryptonite.  It only means that for my oral health, I need to work harder at it.  Keeping the mouth alkalized is important, as well as clean and steering clear of sugars and acids that erode enamel.

Things that alkalize your body don’t always alkalize your mouth, for example lemons.  Adding lime or lemon to water creates a refreshing alkalizing water, great for your body, but not great for protecting the teeth.  The healthy mouth is continuously producing saliva to help break down foods, clean the teeth from deposits and remineralize and protect your teeth.  Think of your teeth like gears in an engine, you need lubrication to keep them from breaking down.  I read that night time is the hardest time for the teeth and was curious why.  Well, for one, saliva production is reduced.  And if you sleep with your mouth open, you are in trouble right there, not to even touch on grinding.  In a dry mouth, teeth can become severely worn and without a help out from saliva, there is no natural repair.  I read the book Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye, author Ellie Phillips, which had a lot of great information.  I even tried her recommended program for daily oral care. Not all her advise on oral care worked for me.  Firstly, her recommendations include products with questionable ingredients from my place of organic living, reduction of chemicals etc.  Next, they flat out stained my teeth and I believe mostly due to the fluoride.  I say this because I used to use a prescription fluoride on my teeth and for years experienced ‘heavy coffee drinker’ staining.  Even though I didn’t drink coffee, had perhaps a daily cup of tea, coffee perhaps once or twice a month.  Additionally, Fluoride is a carcinogen in the body, derived as a byproduct of making aluminium.

Once I kicked the fluoride curbside, my hygienist suddenly stopped complaining about ‘heavy stain’ and instead complimented me on how clean and free of stain my mouth was.  Now suddenly I was back to complaints about heavy stain.  So here are my tips on taking care of your mouth.  Oil pulling takes time but works great.  If you floss, be thorough, but very gentle around and in between your gums.  Before you brush your teeth, rinse with water to alkalize your mouth first.  Even better oil pull with organic coconut oil for 20 minutes prior to brushing.  Zellies mints are not bad tasting and contain Xylitol, which is a natural sugar substitute from the birch tree.  You can also buy a bag of it and I did both via Amazon.  Pop the Zellies between meals, after meals to alkalize your mouth and protect your enamel.  You want to shoot for about 6.5 to 10 grams a day of Xylitol for oral benefit.  What I like to do is take a teaspoon in my morning tea and then pop the mints throughout the day till I have hit close to the above number.

Sticky spots and stains –  Over the years, I have had areas of heavy stain, such as behind my front teeth (thanks, fluoride) and a couple of areas with deep crevices where my dentist has spotted sticky spots which are would be cavities in the making.  Each time I ask, I am told the stain is too ingrained or the sticky spot will be a cavity, not much I can do because the crevice is so deep etc.  By applying the methods here and spending the next 6 months adding extra and gentle diligence to those concern areas, I have always found my very next bi-annual visit to be completely free of those troubles.  The dentist doesn’t even bring them up!

Root canal warning – Root canals aren’t ‘Big Fillings’ but are very serious and affect the entire root system of the tooth the root supports.  This can lead to root reabsorption as the body no longer recognizes a tooth there.  Per my beautiful hygenist, Gabriella,  while the plan is to keep the root intact to save the teeth and keep them still functional, the nerve, also called pulp, dies.   While the nerve is killed off,  there may still infection or decay.  This is why they typically prescribe antibiotics.  And it can be very challenging to remove all of this infection.  Root canals are typically done on molars because they are harder to reach back there and do a lot of heavy lifting where food particles and sugars can rest and hide.   Don’t forget to brush and floss all around the back teeth.  You want to avoid a root canal like the plague (or plaque) that it is.   Once the pulp is killed, a rare condition called root reabsorbption can take place, which is what happened to me.  The body does’t ‘see’ a tooth and re-absorbs the roots holding it in place.  Also, you can still get rot and decay under the gumline affecting the root as well.

Now, at night, for whatever reason, I began sleeping with my mouth open and ended up with dry mouth.  This is bad because you can wear your teeth and erode your gums this way!  Freaked out, I researched a solution to this and it’s medical tape. You can cut a piece of medical tape about a 1/4 inch in length or so and place it just above your upper lip onto the philtrum, over the mouth and secure the tape just below your lower lip. This will help you keep your mouth shut at night but you will still be able to breathe or speak if necessary.  With the AC on and the nights my mouth flew open and dried right out (so attractively) where my tongue felt like a freaking caterpillar, this simple thing, taping my mouth, has helped greatly!  I apply lip balm ahead of adhering the tape.

Remineralize  – I use Hailicare Mineral Sticks.  I add them to a vat of drinking water in a lovely glass vessel for home and for office, I put one in my canteen.  Your body needs minerals and our soil levels are depleted of them and so, therefore, our food is too.  The reason is primarily factory farming and all the soil erosion this has caused.  Crops used to be rotated with supplements added, soil allowed to ‘rest’ etc.  For the most part, all this is gone to greed.  Nobody cares about your body, well, I do.  Honestly, it began selfishly worrying about my own teeth and bones but now has become a thing I need to share out and help others with.

Non-Fluoride & Natural Toothpastes that help!
Apagard Premio Toothpaste –   It comes in a 2 pack for savings, and as well as an extra strength.  The nanohydroxyapatite helps remineralize your enamel, thus making it much stronger, as well as filling in those sensitive exposed dentin areas. I used this product most evenings.  Once a week I use Magic Mud which has purifying charcoal which helps to minimize staining as it polishes and detoxes too.  Every morning, I use Himalaya Neem and Pomegranate, which is tasty and fluoride free with all natural agents that go to work in your mouth.

Other Helpful Tools
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What you don’t see, you won’t work as hard at.  Get a Gum Dental Mirror with Light, the light is super bright making it very easy to see stained areas that you may be missing in your daily brushing routine. Just by using this tool, I have significantly reduced stains on the inside of my teeth which you may think is no big deal but clean teeth are healthier teeth and I want to minimize my time in the chair!
You cannot go wrong with a portable Waterpic Cordless water flosser!  I use mine twice a day, prior to brushing and after I floss with typical floss. It is amazing what you get out even when you think everything is clean.  I love all the options as well, the in between teeth flosser with a brush and being able to control the jet stream.

Gum Stimulator/Massager The one I actually use is pointy at the tip.  This one is round with little nubbies for massage.  Either way or both (they’re cheap) the object is to gently go around the gum surface, around the teeth to help stimulate blood flow to the gums and this helps prevent gum erosion.

Your Toothbrush – Check out this Oral B Genius.  I’ll admit I own 3 electric toothbrushes and they are all a bit different and have different brush heads.  I alternate them as they each clean a tad differently.  Now, I use a soft bristle regular toothbrush that you get for free at the dentist office, for using such things as the Magic Mud noted above.  It’s a polishing agent and I want to be super delicate when I use that.  I want to gently work that in and around all my teeth and I want total hand control there.
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Click here for RINSES – I personally rarely use one, but I like Toms as it has a fresh taste and isn’t full of potentially carcinogenic chemicals.

Never think just because everybody in your family has cavities or lost their teeth or kept them, that your story will be likewise.  It is all up to you, your diet, your health and your gentle diligence in grooming the mouth.  Isn’t this so much better this, and so many other things in life, are really completely or mostly up to you?  🙂