How I quit sugar without effort, withdrawals or cravings

How I quit sugar without effort, withdrawals or cravings

I stopped eating sugar (fructose) 3.5 years ago, without effort, withdrawals or regret.

Before that I was a famous baker of delicious cakes and cookies because I practiced often (and ate my own baking). I was greedy with chocolate. I snacked on dried fruit and guzzled fruit juices. I ate candy, even when it hurt.

My diet was otherwise reasonably healthy. I rarely ate processed foods or takeaway meals. After a few years of strict vegetarianism in my 30s had sapped my will to live, I regularly ate a little high quality meat. I cooked nutritious meals from fresh vegetables every day.

But even with my decades of dental problems I couldn’t stop myself from eating sugar. I attempted a few programs for giving up sugar but nothing stuck through the misery of feeling deprived.

My sugar addiction was long and deep. Sweets could soothe everything from a broken heart to a stomachache (or so it seemed) so I rationalized that I needed sugar to feel healthy and well. I certainly seemed to need it to get through my afternoon slump.

How did I quit sugar? Hint: First I healed my teeth

Six years ago, when on the verge of another root canal I discovered Cure Tooth Decay, I cherry-picked the easiest elements from Nagel’s protocol and continued to eat sweets.

I was able to dramatically turn around my dental health within days just by adding in some missing nutrients to my diet. I started eating more meat, including liver, and taking cod liver oil supplements. I started the habit of breakfasting on a raw milk, raw egg smoothie every day.  I loved eating more butter, cheese and cream.I was still eating sugar but my teeth stopped hurting, my stomachaches disappeared, my hair grew glossy and my nails strong. I felt happier, more confident and more energetic. Sure, I gained a few kilos, but life was good.
Then after a couple of years I just woke up one day and decided I didn’t want to eat sugar any more. So I didn’t.

Quitting sugar this time didn’t feel like a big deal. I didn’t do any research. I didn’t join a program, clear my cupboards, or make a big announcement.  I just stopped eating sugar, without self-discipline or drama.  It was weeks before I cleared out the sugary foods gathering dust in my kitchen.

The culmination of a long game

My success at quitting sugar and staying sugar-free for the last few years* was the culmination of a long game. My primary health goal for the past six years has been to heal my teeth. I stopped trying to lose weight or comply with other health dictates.

In healing my teeth I had nourished myself so thoroughly for so long with high quality protein and fats that, when I was ready to let go of my emotional and social attachment to sweets, I didn’t have to contend with chemical cravings.

My teeth were already strong and resilient by then but when I ditched sugar they became even less sensitive and started to look whiter too. Over the following year, gradually, without me making any effort or really even noticing, I lost all the weight I had gained.

Not everyone can heal their teeth while still eating sugar. Everybody’s body is different, but my experience suggests that it is possible for some of us to succeed just by adding better nutrients without subtracting anything. I have summarized the essential foods I eat, and my cherry-picking approach to the teeth healing diet in a short e-book called Feed Your Teeth. You can download it for free.

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

The culmination of a long game

My success at quitting sugar and staying sugar-free for the last few years* was the culmination of a long game. My primary health goal for the past six years has been to heal my teeth. I stopped trying to lose weight or comply with other health dictates.

In healing my teeth I had nourished myself so thoroughly for so long with high quality protein and fats that, when I was ready to let go of my emotional and social attachment to sweets, I didn’t have to contend with chemical cravings.

My teeth were already strong and resilient by then but when I ditched sugar they became even less sensitive and started to look whiter too. Over the following year, gradually, without me making any effort or really even noticing, I lost all the weight I had gained.

Not everyone can heal their teeth while still eating sugar. Everybody’s body is different, but my experience suggests that it is possible for some of us to succeed just by adding better nutrients without subtracting anything. I have summarized the essential foods I eat, and my cherry-picking approach to the teeth healing diet in a short e-book called Feed Your Teeth. You can download it for free.

I quit sugar easily but will it work for you?

However, if your teeth need you to give up sugar right now, there are several good programs you can follow. Whether you need rigid meal plans or a supportive community, there’s something for everyone who wants to quit sugar.  Look around and see what appeals to you.

A healthy diet is a life long project. Very few of us can sustain ongoing commitment to a quick-fix solution requiring deprivation and self-discipline. Sometimes you have to play the long game, as I did, and allow change to establish itself gradually.


*I say I’m sugar-free but I still have sweetness in my diet today. Most days I eat fresh fruit and carbs. Now and then I use a little honey or maple syrup as sweetener or eat a piece of 92% dark chocolate. I’ve recently started imbibing a tiny drink of alcohol every week or so. Once or twice a year I choose to join in a significant celebration by sharing a piece of wedding or birthday cake. But my baseline diet is easily refined-sugar-free with no sense of deprivation.

 

Please note that I am an affiliate partner with the Book Depository, my favourite online bookstore because they have great books and free postage! If you choose to buy through a link on this page I may receive a small commission. Win win!

 

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

Has a dentist told you that your cavities or receding gums are your fault because you are drinking too much Coke, you don’t floss enough or you need to stop breastfeeding your baby? And you know that isn’t true!

I’m not going to blame you or shame you.
The underlying causes of your oral health issues are not your fault!

Nature or nurture, ancestry or environment, free will or systemic oppression, unconscious emotions or the degraded food system

These are the factors that make your teeth and gums vulnerable to disease.

Even though your tooth decay and gum disease is not your fault, it is within your power to change.

You can turn your oral health around with natural strategies and healthy habits.

How to heal decaying baby teeth

As a parent you want to do whatever is right to keep your baby healthy. You can feel so guilty to see brown spots or cavities developing on your baby's teeth. Yet, discoloration and dental decay can start very young, sometimes within hours of a new tooth erupting!...

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Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

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Natural solutions for gingivitis or gum disease

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How to get rid of cavities naturally, for FREE

I believe in empowering you to be your own teeth healer, no matter how much cash you've got left after visiting the dentist. I'm not holding back some powerful secret behind the paywall of my coaching services. It is completely feasible that you can learn how to heal...

Metaphysical teeth: Self-help strategies for oral health

Metaphysics is the study of abstract ideas, concepts and systems.  There is more to teeth and gums than their existence as physical objects within our bodies. Economics, aesthetics, psychology, spirituality, meridians, family stories and cultural myths are just a few...

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If you had to stop to evaluate whether or not it was clenched, noticed that it was, and then had to manually un-clench it – this article is for you!We are in an unprecedented moment.  Not only are we adapting to a complete change in daily life, but we are in a time...

Are nuts driving your tooth decay?

Are nuts driving your tooth decay?

Phytic acid and tooth decay

Nuts, tofu, brown rice and oats are just some of the ‘health’ foods that can cause tooth decay or gum disease. Cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds all contain phytic acid which is implicated in both toothaches and gum recession.

People who are genetically or otherwise vulnerable to dental caries and gingivitis should avoid or only consume limited amounts of these foods with careful preparation and accompanied by other nutrients that will aid digestion.

What’s wrong with grains, beans, nuts and seeds?

Human bodies are not designed to digest grains, beans, nuts and seeds raw. These kinds of food contain plant toxins (e.g. tannins and saponins)  and anti-nutrients including phytic acid. Phytic acid contains enzyme inhibitors which limit our ability to digest food, particularly breaking down proteins and turning starch into sugar in our stomachs.

Phytic acid contains the mineral phosphorus in a form that we cannot digest (phytate). Phosphorus is a crucial mineral for tooth remineralisation and gum health. However, phytic acid is not just holding back on the phosphorus we need. The phytic acid molecule also binds with other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc and makes them unavailable.  All these minerals are essential for teeth and gum health.

When we consume phytic acid it blocks our uptake of these vital minerals from the rest of our diet causing tooth decay and gum disease. Even just a little phytic acid in your diet can actually cause your body to lose calcium and not absorb phosphorus. Without phytic acid ‘we will absorb approximately 20 percent more zinc and 60 percent magnesium from our food’ (Nagel).

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

Minimise the effects of phytic acid on tooth decay

Avoid

If you are suffering from active tooth decay, cavities or gum disease then it’s generally advisable to avoid eating phytic acid foods as much as possible until you have at least stabilised your dental health.

Sometimes just removing most phytic acid foods from your diet can reduce the pain of a nagging toothache within days.

In particular avoid tofu and soy milk, raw nuts, nut butters, nut milks and nut flours, whole grain cereals, muesli, granola, snack bars and baking, rice cakes and rice milk.

If you are not in a dental emergency, or unable to get protein except from legumes and nuts, then there are a number of ways to minimise the potential harm of phytic acid in the diet.

Eat with vitamins A, C and D

Eating with whole foods with vitamin C, Activator X and fat-soluble vitamins A and D  has been show to reduce the severity of phytic acid’s impact.  Vitamin C can be had from fresh vegetables and fruits and raw milk. Fat soluble vitamins A and D and Activator X are most concentrated in cod liver oil, liver, grass fed butter and raw dairy.  (See my earlier blog post for more information about liver and fat soluble vitamins). Fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut can also help the gut to digest phytic-foods more efficiently.

Remove the bran

Phytic acid concentrates in the bran- along with many of the nutrients in grains such as wheat and rice. Removing the bran, to make brown rice into white rice for example, removes most of the phytic acid, but also most of the other minerals. However those other minerals are not available for us to digest because of the presence of the phytic acid.  It is possible to process whole grains to neutralise the phytic acid so that the nutrients in the bran are available.

Soak, sprout, sour

Soaking, sprouting, souring, and then cooking  will reduce the phytic acid in most grains, nuts, beans and seeds. However, because there are such different levels of phytic acid in different types they require a variety of methods, all are time consuming and some are very complex.

Stone ground, sifted wheat or rye flour made into slow fermented sourdough bread is low in phytic acid.

To remove most of the phytic acid from brown rice soak for 24 hours at room temperature, drain and reserve 10% of the liquid for next time. Cooking rice after this first soaking will reduce the phytic acid by about 50%. Next time, add the reserved liquid to the soaking water and soak 24 hours before cooking. By the 4th cycle of soaking/reserving liquid the phytic acid in cooked rice will be reduced by about 96%.

To remove most of the phytic acid form oats sprout oats for five days at 52 degrees F and then soak for 17 hours at 120 degrees F.

To remove most of the phytic acid from quinoa soak for 12-14 hours, germinate for 30 hours, lacto-ferment for 16-18 hours, and then finally cook at 212 degrees F for 25 minutes.

Not exactly fast food! (link)

No simple solution

Levels of phytic acid not only vary greatly between different types of food, but also can be influenced by the growing conditions, harvesting methods, how long it has been stored and how it is processed.

Organic food may be lower in phytic acid than food grown with high-phosphate fertilizers- another vote in favor of eating organic! .

If you want to learn more about how to process phytic acid foods to minimise their teeth and gum harming effects I recommend Cure Tooth Decay and Cure Gum Disease Naturally, both by Ramiel Nagel, and Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

NB I have partnered with my favorite bookstore, Book Depository, so if you choose to purchase through one of the links here, I may receive a small commission. Win win!

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

Has a dentist told you that your cavities or receding gums are your fault because you are drinking too much Coke, you don’t floss enough or you need to stop breastfeeding your baby? And you know that isn’t true!

I’m not going to blame you or shame you.
The underlying causes of your oral health issues are not your fault!

Nature or nurture, ancestry or environment, free will or systemic oppression, unconscious emotions or the degraded food system

These are the factors that make your teeth and gums vulnerable to disease.

Even though your tooth decay and gum disease is not your fault, it is within your power to change.

You can turn your oral health around with natural strategies and healthy habits.

Is your jaw clenched right now?

If you had to stop to evaluate whether or not it was clenched, noticed that it was, and then had to manually un-clench it – this article is for you!We are in an unprecedented moment.  Not only are we adapting to a complete change in daily life, but we are in a time...

A simple guide to online coaching

Any timezone, any place A consultation with the Holistic Tooth Fairy is nothing like going to the dentist! It's easy, empowering and even fun! All my consultations are done in online video calls which means that you can work with me no matter what country or what time...

Horse teeth vs human teeth

This is a guest post written by my good friend Trisha Wren from Equine Energetics. If you don’t have a horse, or haven’t spent much time around them, you may not have given much thought to their teeth and how they differ from human teeth. There’s the obvious of course...

How to heal decaying baby teeth

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Natural solutions for gingivitis or gum disease

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Metaphysics is the study of abstract ideas, concepts and systems.  There is more to teeth and gums than their existence as physical objects within our bodies. Economics, aesthetics, psychology, spirituality, meridians, family stories and cultural myths are just a few...

How to get rid of cavities naturally, for FREE

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Learning to love liver to prevent a root canal

Learning to love liver to prevent a root canal

How far would you go to prevent a root canal?

For a genuine super-food, liver gets a very bad rap but eating it helped me to prevent a root canal five years ago, and any significant cavities since then. I hated liver, and shuddered at the thought of eating it, but I hated the idea of another rooth canal (it would have been my seventh!) even worse.

Most people, when I recommend liver as a essential teeth and gum healing food, grimace and shudder at thought of eating this most accessible of offal.

However, when I ask if they think they could bear to eat pâté, they will often relax. Even if the thought of liver makes you gag, there’s usually at least one liver delicacy that you can tolerate (if you eat meat at all).

The concentration of fat soluble vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B12 and folic acid, iron, copper protein, anti-oxidents (and sometimes Activator X) means that liver has been recognized in every traditional food cultures as special nourishment for strength and vitality.  If you have tooth decay or gum disease liver is an important element in your holistic healing.

When vitamins A and D are consumed together as whole foods rather than supplements they are not toxic. Thus when you eat liver you should also eat foods with vitamin D (or getting a LOT of sunlight). Vitamin D rich foods include butter, milk, animal fat, seafood and eggs.

The easiest way to make sure your body can process the intense goodness in liver without overdosing on vitamin A is to eat butter or lard- if not at the same meal then at least the same day. And, no surprise, some of the most delicious liver recipes from different culinary traditions around the world include butter or lard.

Lets take a tour around some of the yummiest liver recipes in the world.

Japanese Sweet and Spicy Chicken Liver

French Chicken Liver Pâté

German Liverwurst

Swedish Liver Potato Patties

Ashkenaki Jewish Chopped Liver

Danish Leverpostej

Hyderbadi Keema Kaleji

Turkish Spicy Liver in the Albanian Style

Venetian Liver and Onion

Indian LIver Marsala

Chinese Claypot Liver with Ginger

Disclaimer: I have not tried all these recipes myself yet but I have included them here because they all look so good!

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

Has a dentist told you that your cavities or receding gums are your fault because you are drinking too much Coke, you don’t floss enough or you need to stop breastfeeding your baby? And you know that isn’t true!

I’m not going to blame you or shame you.
The underlying causes of your oral health issues are not your fault!

Nature or nurture, ancestry or environment, free will or systemic oppression, unconscious emotions or the degraded food system

These are the factors that make your teeth and gums vulnerable to disease.

Even though your tooth decay and gum disease is not your fault, it is within your power to change.

You can turn your oral health around with natural strategies and healthy habits.

Metaphysical teeth: Self-help strategies for oral health

Metaphysics is the study of abstract ideas, concepts and systems.  There is more to teeth and gums than their existence as physical objects within our bodies. Economics, aesthetics, psychology, spirituality, meridians, family stories and cultural myths are just a few...

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Root Cause is the Netflix documentary stirring up root canal concerns I had to write this Root Cause review because root canals loom big in my life. I’ve had six root canals in five teeth, I still have three in situ. Their origins are, without exception, memorably...

How to heal decaying baby teeth

As a parent you want to do whatever is right to keep your baby healthy. You can feel so guilty to see brown spots or cavities developing on your baby's teeth. Yet, discoloration and dental decay can start very young, sometimes within hours of a new tooth erupting!...

Horse teeth vs human teeth

This is a guest post written by my good friend Trisha Wren from Equine Energetics. If you don’t have a horse, or haven’t spent much time around them, you may not have given much thought to their teeth and how they differ from human teeth. There’s the obvious of course...

Natural solutions for gingivitis or gum disease

What is gingivitis or gum disease? Gum disease or gingivitis covers a continuum of symptoms such as bleeding gums, gum recession and gum pockets which may or may not proceed to ginigivitis and eventually periodontis.  Left untreated the consequences can range from...

Spiritual Reasons for Gum Disease

Understanding the spiritual meaning of gum disease The spiritual meanings of gum disease symptoms are often overlooked, yet working with these messages often holds the key to effective healing.  Gingivitis, periodontal or gum disease often begins with gum recession or...

A simple guide to online coaching

Any timezone, any place A consultation with the Holistic Tooth Fairy is nothing like going to the dentist! It's easy, empowering and even fun! All my consultations are done in online video calls which means that you can work with me no matter what country or what time...

Is your jaw clenched right now?

If you had to stop to evaluate whether or not it was clenched, noticed that it was, and then had to manually un-clench it – this article is for you!We are in an unprecedented moment.  Not only are we adapting to a complete change in daily life, but we are in a time...

How to get rid of cavities naturally, for FREE

I believe in empowering you to be your own teeth healer, no matter how much cash you've got left after visiting the dentist. I'm not holding back some powerful secret behind the paywall of my coaching services. It is completely feasible that you can learn how to heal...

Political Teeth

What do Nazis have to do with your teeth? A holistic approach to oral health doesn't stop at the boundaries of our bodies (or even at the edge of our aura).  We exist in communities that are connected globally in real time and our mouths are not separate from what is...

10 common oral hygiene mistakes

10 common oral hygiene mistakes

Are you making any of these ten common mistakes with your daily oral hygiene routine?

1. Brushing too vigorously

Brushing your teeth too hard can wear away at the enamel, especially if you have weak teeth. Hard brushing can also contribute to gum recession and gum disease.

Instead of scrubbing your teeth like you are cleaning a kitchen floor, imagine you are gently polishing antique silver plate. 

Try to hold your toothbrush with the tips of your fingers very close to the toothbrush head (like a fancy lady sipping from her bone china teacup). With your fine-motor skills in play it is much easier to brush gently than if you are gripping the end of the brush in your fist.

Ideally, you can brush so lightly that even after 6 months your toothbrush bristles still look brand new!

Check out this post for better brushing techniques.

 

2. Using fluoride toothpaste

Contrary to what lobbyists and marketers would have us believe, fluoride does not prevent tooth decay and may damage gums. The (limited and outdated) research used to support their claims was done using naturally occurring fluoride rather than the toxic byproduct of aluminium manufacturing which is in our water and toothpaste. There is substantial evidence that fluoride is a neurotoxin which accumulates in the body disrupting collagen production and reducing enzyme activity.

Other ingredients to avoid in toothpaste include proplylen glycol, triclosan, FD&C colour pigments, trisodium phosphate, glycerin, carbomer and carragen. Artificial sweetners such as saccharin, sorbitol and xylitol may be harmful if swallowed. Detergents and surfactants (which create foam) including socium laureth sulfate (SLES), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS, ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS)  and ammonium laureth sulfate (ALES) are known hormone and endocrine disruptors and may also be carciogenic and gene mutagens. SLS in particular is known to cause bleeding gums.

Check out my YouTube series of short videos about toothpaste ingredients. 

Read the ingredients before you buy a toothpaste, or make your own.

One of my favorite homemade toothpastes is coconut oil and baking soda, sometimes with a drop of essential oil.

It doesn’t foam, and it tastes quite salty making me produce lots of saliva, so brushing is a messy job. But it leaves my mouth feeling very clean. Because baking soda can be abrasive I don’t recommend using it every single time you brush (see #5).

3. Scraping only the front of your tongue

Tongue scraping is a great way to keep your breath smelling sweet. You can buy a special tongue scraper at a health shop or just use the edge of a spoon.

Scrape your tongue from back to front to remove the coating of microbes and mucus that migrate up the alimentary canal, especially at night (causing morning breath). Most of the coating is at the back of the tongue so reach as far back as you can.

Rinse the coating off the scraper or spoon with hot water and repeat until your tongue is clean (i.e. nothing is coming off on the scraper). Usually two or three scrapes is enough.

4. Bleaching your teeth

Bleaching teeth at the dentist or with a kit will gradually eat away at your enamel, making your teeth ultimately more vulnerable to staining, as well as cavities. Bleaching really shouldn’t be used if you have amalgam fillings because the chemicals interact with the metal fillings and may release mercury into your system.

The blinding white smiles you see on magazine models and movie stars are from veneers (or Photoshop), not from bleaching. The safest and most sustainable way to the whitest teeth is by eating a teeth healing diet with plenty of the right minerals and fat-soluble vitamins. 

That’s because the whiteness of your teeth comes from dentin which is the layer of underneath your enamel. Strong, hard, healthy enamel is naturally translucent and reveals the healthy white dentin below.

‘Natural’ whitening methods like activated charcoal, baking soda or turmeric all work more gently but are still slightly abrasive and are shouldn’t be used every day (see #4). Oil pulling can help whiten teeth too (but could be risky if you have amalgam fillings, see #6).

5. Using an abrasive toothpaste every day

Many toothpastes, both big brands and health store alternatives, contain abrasive ingredients such as calcium carbonate, hydrated silica, benonite clay, salt, baking soda or activated charcoal. Unless you have very sensitive teeth or soft enamel it’s ok to use these ingredients, but probably not every day. Give your teeth a break and brush without abrasion more often.

You can buy an abrasive-free toothpaste or you can make your own. You can even brush with just coconut oil or water or even a dry brush with a drop of essential oil. Your brushing technique is really more important that what you put on your brush (see #1 and #10).

6. Oil pulling with amalgams

Oil pulling can be a wonderful way to deep clean your teeth and gums. You simply put a tablespoon of cold-pressed oil such as coconut (best for teeth) or sesame (best for gums) in your mouth and swish it around for 5-20 minutes before spitting it out. Don’t spit down a drain though- it will clog. And definitely don’t swallow!

However, there is a unknown risk that oil pulling may release mercury from amalgam (metal or black) fillings into your system. There is no research to confirm whether this an actual risk or not, but given that oil pulling works by pulling toxins out of your mouth, and mercury is a toxin, I think its worth taking into consideration.  

Check out this post about oil pulling.

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

7. Using a hard bristled toothbrush

When it comes to tooth brushes, the softer the better! Hard bristles can damage teeth enamel and gums.

Abrading your gums with hard bristles can break the surface allowing bacteria from your mouth enter your bloodstream and potentially cause inflammation in your gut, heart or lungs.

If you have receding or bleeding gums you really need to use soft round tipped bristles and brush very very gently.

You can soften your toothbrush even more by running it under hot water before you start brushing.

8. Cutting your gums when you floss

If your teeth are very close together, and you have to push hard to get floss between them, you risk cutting into your gums with regular dental floss. Try swapping for a dental tape or dental ribbon with a flat surface so it is gentler on your gums.  Check out this video demonstrating how to floss correctly.

Interdental brushes (Piksters is one brand) are ideal if you have gums prone to bleeding and your teeth aren’t crowded to closely. Interdental brushes look like tiny bottle brushes and are used for cleaning the triangular gap between two teeth and the gum.

Poke the brush in that gap and gently rub away the fermentable carbohydrates and plaque.

Or, go high tech and try water flossing with an oral irrigator (like a waterpik). It’s a gentle and effective way to clean between teeth, around the gum line and even into gum pockets. A waterpik is a good solution for anyone prone to frequently bleeding gums.

9. Using an alcohol based mouthwash

Ethanol is the main ingredient in most mouthwashes. Aside from being very drying, alcohol-based mouthwashes are known to cause oral cancer.

Keep your mouth fresh and healthy by rinsing with salt water or a sage rinse.

Check out this video demonstrating how to make a simple natural mouthwash.

 10. Getting bored

Rushing through the same mindless routine morning and night does your teeth and gums no favors. Here are some suggestions to help you to enjoy taking your time to brush and floss mindfully.

  • Brush with a buddy. You might not be able to chat while you are brushing but some friendly companionship can help with FOMO while you are in the bathroom taking care of your teeth.
  • Change up your flavours. Switch between different toothpastes  and tooth powders. Experiment with a variety of essential oils on your floss. Have a couple of different rinses to choose from.
  • Time and track. Put on a timer to spend 10 minutes on your teeth morning and night. Mark the calendar with an X or put a sticker on a chart and try to fill a whole month without missing a day.
  • Environmental improvement. Make your bathroom a more enjoyable place to hang out in with flowers, candles or crystals.
  • Listen up. Put on your favorite music, podcast or audio book and enjoy some distraction
  • Be mindful. Listen to a recording of a guided meditation or affirmations.

Forgive your mistakes

What if you have been making one or more of the mistakes on this list?

First of all, its never too late to change your oral care habits.  But more importantly please don’t beat yourself up about it.

The best thing you can do for yourself and your teeth is to be kind.

Too often we have a difficult time paying attention to our teeth because we feel bad about:

  • how they look or feel;
  • how we’ve treated them in the past;
  • how they have been mistreated by rough dentistry.

Your teeth cleaning time is the best time to think loving thoughts towards your teeth and gums, and forgive yourself any imperfections.   Try using this mantra adapted from the beautiful Hawaiian forgiveness prayer called Ho’oponopono. Direct love and gratitude towards your teeth as you think these words:

I am sorry.

I love you.

Please forgive me.

Thank you.

For more excellent information about oral care at home I highly recommend the book Holistic Dental Care: The complete guide to healthy teeth and gums by Nadine Artemis.

I love recommending books and I love the Book Depository so I have partnered with them for my recommendations. If you choose to purchase through my link I may receive a commission. Win win! Yay!

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

Has a dentist told you that your cavities or receding gums are your fault because you are drinking too much Coke, you don’t floss enough or you need to stop breastfeeding your baby? And you know that isn’t true!

I’m not going to blame you or shame you.
The underlying causes of your oral health issues are not your fault!

Nature or nurture, ancestry or environment, free will or systemic oppression, unconscious emotions or the degraded food system

These are the factors that make your teeth and gums vulnerable to disease.

Even though your tooth decay and gum disease is not your fault, it is within your power to change.

You can turn your oral health around with natural strategies and healthy habits.

Spiritual Reasons for Gum Disease

Understanding the spiritual meaning of gum disease The spiritual meanings of gum disease symptoms are often overlooked, yet working with these messages often holds the key to effective healing.  Gingivitis, periodontal or gum disease often begins with gum recession or...

Seeking within for toothache meaning

Asking your intuition about your toothache meaning can put you in touch with the subconscious feelings and thoughts that influence your oral health. The metaphysics of the mouth can also include meridians, chakras, dreams, ancestral influences, family and cultural...

Horse teeth vs human teeth

This is a guest post written by my good friend Trisha Wren from Equine Energetics. If you don’t have a horse, or haven’t spent much time around them, you may not have given much thought to their teeth and how they differ from human teeth. There’s the obvious of course...

How to get rid of cavities naturally, for FREE

I believe in empowering you to be your own teeth healer, no matter how much cash you've got left after visiting the dentist. I'm not holding back some powerful secret behind the paywall of my coaching services. It is completely feasible that you can learn how to heal...

Natural solutions for gingivitis or gum disease

What is gingivitis or gum disease? Gum disease or gingivitis covers a continuum of symptoms such as bleeding gums, gum recession and gum pockets which may or may not proceed to ginigivitis and eventually periodontis.  Left untreated the consequences can range from...

How long does it take to remineralize cavities?

How long does it take to remineralise cavities?    How long it takes to remineralise cavities, reverse decay or regrow receding gums depends on three factors. Your symptoms, how severe they are and how long you've had them for How wholeheartedly you are able to...

Is your jaw clenched right now?

If you had to stop to evaluate whether or not it was clenched, noticed that it was, and then had to manually un-clench it – this article is for you!We are in an unprecedented moment.  Not only are we adapting to a complete change in daily life, but we are in a time...

How to heal decaying baby teeth

As a parent you want to do whatever is right to keep your baby healthy. You can feel so guilty to see brown spots or cavities developing on your baby's teeth. Yet, discoloration and dental decay can start very young, sometimes within hours of a new tooth erupting!...

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Root Cause is the Netflix documentary stirring up root canal concerns I had to write this Root Cause review because root canals loom big in my life. I’ve had six root canals in five teeth, I still have three in situ. Their origins are, without exception, memorably...

Channeled Teeth Healing Codes

Symptoms are messages from your soul The problems in your teeth and gums are more than symptoms of physical imbalance or depletion, they contain information about the health of your energetic body including emotions, conscious and sub-unconscious thoughts, beliefs,...

Removing Root Canals

Removing Root Canals

How long can a root canal last?

In Part 1 of this two part article about root canals, I told the story of my first, traumatic, root canal on a front tooth more than thirty years ago.

I still have that root canal right in the front of my mouth. Over the years it gradually became discolored. I called it my grey tooth and would try to hide it in photos.

It felt like the most visible marker of my bad teeth I could feel it growing weaker and tried to avoid biting into crunchy food on that side.

Then, about 8 years ago, it snapped in half on a cookie. Now my grey tooth was a blackened stump hovering over a gap.

It wasn’t painful, it wasn’t dangerous, but the shame was overpowering. To my mind, nothing screamed ‘desperately poor’ like a missing front tooth.

As soon as I could get to a dentist, I got a crown which involved inserting a post through the stump roots, into the gum, crowned to match the rest of my teeth.

Good news: no more grey tooth. Bad news: the crown was even more fragile than the dead tooth and snapped off within a few months, leaving me with a blackened stump/steel post/gap in the middle of my mouth, in the middle of a job search.

I had to find a new dentist and borrow money to pay for another crown. With the new crown I avoided biting cookies, carrots and apples. But within months it had broken on a piece of toast.

I asked for the replacement crown to be made shorter for better stability. It has only needed to be replaced once in seven years. I don’t mind the short tooth, even though gives me a lisp.

Root canals and your health

There is a growing awareness of how a root canal can affect one’s general health due to toxification of bacteria in the tiny tubules of the roots. This can lead to inflammation in the mouth or elsewhere in the body, especially along the meridians (microscopic energetic channels) that connect each tooth to organs, sinuses, sense organs, vertebrae, muscles, tissues, joints and glands.

Root canals have been implicated in the onset of degenerative diseases such as arthritis, heart valve problems, breast cancer, gall bladder disease, eczema, cystitis, colitis, migraines, sinusitis, hypertension coronary artery disease and thyroid disease.

Many people have found that debilitating symptoms such as problems with digestion, fatigue, headaches or skin, that couldn’t be diagnosed or cured conventionally actually disappeared when they had a root canaled tooth removed.

There is a contentious debate between dentists who unquestioningly advocate doing root canals to ‘save the tooth’ and those who believe all root canals are toxic and must be removed for safety. On one side they compare a toxic root canal to an infection under your fingernail to treat with antibiotics, and other side they compare it to a gangrenous toe that must be amputated.

I believe that both and neither argument is correct, because some of us are more resilient and able to tolerate a root canal, and its potential toxicity, better than others. This resilience can change over time and in response to different circumstances.

Should you remove your root canal?

Many people can tolerate a root canal well and it is possible to live for decades without a root canal causing problems. 

My first root canal is now over 30 years old and of the five more I have had done since, two remain in my mouth.  My overall health is pretty good but I know that the longer a root canal is in place, the more one is at risk.

Symptoms of an autoimmune condition or degenerative disease would certainly make me question whether I should remove one or more of my root canals.

However, I work with a kinesiologist who monitors the level of toxicity in the root canal and any adverse affects through out the body, especially on associated meridians. I’m confident that I am managing the risk with a healthy lifestyle and close monitoring.

I’ve created a checklist of ten questions to help monitor the stability and potential impact of a root canal on general health, which you can download now.

This is my checklist of questions to ask both before getting a new root canal and when considering removing one. Most of the questions are the same in both situations, and the checklist includes a separate discussion for how to interpret your answers when considering a removal.

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

Assessing your root canal

If, like me, you have root canaled teeth in your mouth right now, what should you do?

Some professionals will advise removal in every case.

However, many people can cope with one for years, or at least tolerate the consequences of root canal toxicity for years.

The first question to ask about your existing root canal is whether you have symptoms that suggest toxic influences from the root canal.

If you have a degenerative disease or symptoms in related body parts for that tooth, there is a reasonable likelihood of a root canal connection.

Conventional medical tests will probably not pick up whether the tooth is connected, but alternative tests such as Applied Kineseology or AEV (Electro-acupuncture) or consulting with a Medical Intuitive or Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner may help give you some guidance.

If there are no obvious symptoms, but you are concerned about future risks, I recommend going through the Root Canal Questions Checklist for a holistic perspective on your options.  Maintaining a healthy, low stress lifestyle and monitoring your health closely can help you to manage the risks of living with a root canal. 

On the other hand, if your root canal seems to be connected to serious health problems in the rest of your body, removing the tooth may alleviate your symptoms or may even cure the disease.

Extracting a root canal

Removing an existing root canal means extracting the tooth.

Extraction carries it’s own risks which are increased when the underlying problem that led to the root canal procedure and/or contributed to it’s intolerable toxicity has not been addressed.

If jaw tension, poor nutrition, poor hygiene or emotional issues triggered the infection or decay that led to your root canal, those same issues may also make you more vulnerable to a ‘failed root canal’, may provoke disease elsewhere along your meridians, may lead to cavitation after an extraction or an implant being rejected by the body.

Cavitation is an infection in the jaw bone which can gradually erode bone density and lead to inflammation in the mouth and elsewhere in the body especially those parts connected to the tooth’s meridians. Cavitation (which is a risk associated with all types of extractions) can take years to develop noticeable symptoms.

Watch this space

Eventually extractions (of any kind) may lead to bone loss, misaligned teeth, and perhaps issues with the opposing teeth as well (the risk is higher if the gap is left unfilled).

You will have to choose between an implant, a partial (false tooth) or leaving a gap. 

None of these is an ideal option and for many people losing a tooth is a major barrier to choosing to remove a root canal tooth, especially if there are no obvious symptoms of toxicity.

Furthermore, few conventional dentists seem willing to remove an apparently healthy (at least by conventional dental standards) root canaled tooth.  There are actually very few dentists worldwide who actively encourage the removal of root canals (they generally prefer to do over the root canal – do overs of failed root canals account for two of my six root canal procedures).

Working with a root canal removal specialist can cost $10,000* for multiple visits to prepare for the extraction, laser clean after extraction to prevent cavitation and eventually filling the gap with an implant (*this kind of service seems to cost about the same in both USD and AUD).

Living well with your root canal

For many people, removing a root canal is not affordable, accessible or perhaps even desirable.

Once you have a root canal in your mouth there is no ideal outcome, so you need to feel confident that you are making the best decision for your unique needs and circumstances (recognising this may change over time). 

If the best decision right now is to keep your root canal in place, at least until you can find or afford a dentist to remove it safely and replace it appropriately, what’s next?

The same strategies that may heal and prevent decay in your living teeth are the foundation for tolerating a root canal, even if there is toxicity.

Nourishing food, herbs and supplements increase your body’s resilience and help your elimination organs to deal with root canal toxins effectively.

Relaxing the jaw enables your innate bodily systems designed to flush out toxins to function better.

Safe and effective oral hygiene habits help keep the oral cavity healthy to avoid provoking more toxicity in the root canal.

Perhaps most importantly though, working energetically with your meridians (and the rest of your energetic body) may help you to tolerate and perhaps even to heal a toxic root canal.  Some of the modalities that work energetically with meridians include kinesiology, acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine and the kind of intuitive healing that I practice with my clients.

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

Has a dentist told you that your cavities or receding gums are your fault because you are drinking too much Coke, you don’t floss enough or you need to stop breastfeeding your baby? And you know that isn’t true!

I’m not going to blame you or shame you.
The underlying causes of your oral health issues are not your fault!

Nature or nurture, ancestry or environment, free will or systemic oppression, unconscious emotions or the degraded food system

These are the factors that make your teeth and gums vulnerable to disease.

Even though your tooth decay and gum disease is not your fault, it is within your power to change.

You can turn your oral health around with natural strategies and healthy habits.

Channeled Teeth Healing Codes

Symptoms are messages from your soul The problems in your teeth and gums are more than symptoms of physical imbalance or depletion, they contain information about the health of your energetic body including emotions, conscious and sub-unconscious thoughts, beliefs,...

How long does it take to remineralize cavities?

How long does it take to remineralise cavities?    How long it takes to remineralise cavities, reverse decay or regrow receding gums depends on three factors. Your symptoms, how severe they are and how long you've had them for How wholeheartedly you are able to...

Is your jaw clenched right now?

If you had to stop to evaluate whether or not it was clenched, noticed that it was, and then had to manually un-clench it – this article is for you!We are in an unprecedented moment.  Not only are we adapting to a complete change in daily life, but we are in a time...

How to heal decaying baby teeth

As a parent you want to do whatever is right to keep your baby healthy. You can feel so guilty to see brown spots or cavities developing on your baby's teeth. Yet, discoloration and dental decay can start very young, sometimes within hours of a new tooth erupting!...

A simple guide to online coaching

Any timezone, any place A consultation with the Holistic Tooth Fairy is nothing like going to the dentist! It's easy, empowering and even fun! All my consultations are done in online video calls which means that you can work with me no matter what country or what time...

Spiritual Reasons for Gum Disease

Understanding the spiritual meaning of gum disease The spiritual meanings of gum disease symptoms are often overlooked, yet working with these messages often holds the key to effective healing.  Gingivitis, periodontal or gum disease often begins with gum recession or...

Horse teeth vs human teeth

This is a guest post written by my good friend Trisha Wren from Equine Energetics. If you don’t have a horse, or haven’t spent much time around them, you may not have given much thought to their teeth and how they differ from human teeth. There’s the obvious of course...

Metaphysical teeth: Self-help strategies for oral health

Metaphysics is the study of abstract ideas, concepts and systems.  There is more to teeth and gums than their existence as physical objects within our bodies. Economics, aesthetics, psychology, spirituality, meridians, family stories and cultural myths are just a few...

Seeking within for toothache meaning

Asking your intuition about your toothache meaning can put you in touch with the subconscious feelings and thoughts that influence your oral health. The metaphysics of the mouth can also include meridians, chakras, dreams, ancestral influences, family and cultural...

My 5 Best Websites for Natural Oral Health

As soon as you start searching for information about oral health on the internet you can quickly become overwhelmed by thousands of choices, most of them fronting small dental practices or large toothpaste manufacturers. Almost all offer the same tired mainstream...

Yoga for Receding Gums

Yoga for Receding Gums

Receding gums and jaw tension

Clenching or grinding teeth is one of the major causes of receding gums. When you clench or grind your teeth even a little bit, it rocks the teeth which can wear down the top of the bone socket inside your gums.

The best way help stabilize your receding gums is to relax your jaw completely, as often as possible.

My TMJ playlist includes a range of self-help tactics that I’ve curated from around You Tube, but this simple yoga hack is my own variation.

I’ve been practicing yoga for about 30 years, and almost daily for the last dozen. These days I usually just follow an online class, but whatever kind of yoga I’m doing, I turn it into teeth healing practice with this simple hack.

A simple exercise to help stabilize your receding gums

In any inversion pose where my face is pointing towards the floor (eg forward fold, downward dog, or child pose). I consciously relax my jaw and face and let my lips fall down into a duck face.

If you want to do this exercise without doing yoga, simple get on your hands and knees, or just lean forward so your face is pointing downwards (make sure you aren’t hurting your back or your neck as you bend forward).

Here’s what to do: Breathing deeply and steadily pay attention to all the muscles around your mouth, jaw and eyes and deliberately release your normal facial expression and let the muscles of your face give way to gravity.

For extra fun, you can try blowing our your breath in a horsey huff to loosen up your lips some more, or gently shake your head side to side and letting your loose cheeks and lips sway with the motion.

Toothache home remedy

This hack is good relieving toothache, particularly those deep in the root aches that are particularly painful at night.

Keeping your jaw relaxed takes the pressure off of the nerves in your jaw, giving pain relief that is sometimes instant.

The only side effects are good ones: relaxing the jaw also allows blood to flow more freely, carrying nutrients and oxygen to the teeth and gums so that the body’s can carry out natural remineralization and bone growth.

It even helps to prevent cavities because clenching and grinding puts pressure on the enamel causing cracks and chips.

 

Most people are so used to carrying tension in their jaw that they aren’t even aware of it.

It might take several sessions of practice before you can really feel what its like to have your jaw completely relaxed.

Doing this exercise regularly will make it easier to notice when your jaw is tense, so you can mindfully relax it, throughout your day.

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

Has a dentist told you that your cavities or receding gums are your fault because you are drinking too much Coke, you don’t floss enough or you need to stop breastfeeding your baby? And you know that isn’t true!

I’m not going to blame you or shame you.
The underlying causes of your oral health issues are not your fault!

Nature or nurture, ancestry or environment, free will or systemic oppression, unconscious emotions or the degraded food system

These are the factors that make your teeth and gums vulnerable to disease.

Even though your tooth decay and gum disease is not your fault, it is within your power to change.

You can turn your oral health around with natural strategies and healthy habits.

Spiritual Meanings of Teeth

Root cause vs immediate cause  The biggest difference between holistic oral health coaching and mainstream dentistry may be coaching’s consideration of the spiritual meanings of teeth.  The spiritual meanings of teeth can help you to identify the root cause of your...

Natural solutions for gingivitis or gum disease

What is gingivitis or gum disease? Gum disease or gingivitis covers a continuum of symptoms such as bleeding gums, gum recession and gum pockets which may or may not proceed to ginigivitis and eventually periodontis.  Left untreated the consequences can range from...

A simple guide to online coaching

Any timezone, any place A consultation with the Holistic Tooth Fairy is nothing like going to the dentist! It's easy, empowering and even fun! All my consultations are done in online video calls which means that you can work with me no matter what country or what time...

My 5 Best Websites for Natural Oral Health

As soon as you start searching for information about oral health on the internet you can quickly become overwhelmed by thousands of choices, most of them fronting small dental practices or large toothpaste manufacturers. Almost all offer the same tired mainstream...

How to get rid of cavities naturally, for FREE

I believe in empowering you to be your own teeth healer, no matter how much cash you've got left after visiting the dentist. I'm not holding back some powerful secret behind the paywall of my coaching services. It is completely feasible that you can learn how to heal...

Is your jaw clenched right now?

If you had to stop to evaluate whether or not it was clenched, noticed that it was, and then had to manually un-clench it – this article is for you!We are in an unprecedented moment.  Not only are we adapting to a complete change in daily life, but we are in a time...

How to heal decaying baby teeth

As a parent you want to do whatever is right to keep your baby healthy. You can feel so guilty to see brown spots or cavities developing on your baby's teeth. Yet, discoloration and dental decay can start very young, sometimes within hours of a new tooth erupting!...

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Root Cause is the Netflix documentary stirring up root canal concerns I had to write this Root Cause review because root canals loom big in my life. I’ve had six root canals in five teeth, I still have three in situ. Their origins are, without exception, memorably...

How long does it take to remineralize cavities?

How long does it take to remineralise cavities?    How long it takes to remineralise cavities, reverse decay or regrow receding gums depends on three factors. Your symptoms, how severe they are and how long you've had them for How wholeheartedly you are able to...

Horse teeth vs human teeth

This is a guest post written by my good friend Trisha Wren from Equine Energetics. If you don’t have a horse, or haven’t spent much time around them, you may not have given much thought to their teeth and how they differ from human teeth. There’s the obvious of course...

Register now to watch the

Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording

on how to maintain oral health at home

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