Strong Oral Health On a Plant Based Diet

Strong Oral Health On a Plant Based Diet

Can you cure cavities and gum disease holistically on a vegan or plant-based diet?

Whether you are strictly vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free or just minimizing meat, there are a suite of holistic strategies that you can use to cure and prevent cavities. 

It’s common for vegans or those on other meat-less diets to be looking for holistic teeth healing solutions that allow them to cure cavities and improve their oral health, without compromising their commitment to a plant-based diet.

In this article, I’ll use the term ‘vegan’ but the information really applies to anyone. It is particularly helpful for those on any kind of restrictive diet and it is important to know that because there are a variety of options don’t let anyone tell you that you have to bend on the values around what you eat, though you may need to change up the specific foods you eat and the frequency in which you eat certain things.

In the video below, I use the game of Jenga to demonstrate how different influences in your unique situation give you more, or less, resilient teeth, and what you can do to make your teeth stronger to help cure cavities.

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

Why your teeth may give you trouble.

What causes cavities?

There are lots of reasons why some people’s teeth stay strong and healthy no matter what they eat, or don’t eat, yet others (like me) have teeth that are prone to decay, no matter how hard we try to take care of them well.

Vulnerability and resilience to cavities

The health of your teeth and gums is influenced by earlier generations’ health, diet, stress and events.

Any stressful experiences in your own life experience as a baby, child, adolescent and adult accumulate their affect on your teeth as you get older.

The particular nutrients you’ve consumed or not consumed at different points in your life, from the moment of conception until today, play a role.

Environmental influences on cavities

Pregnancy and motherhood, especially long periods of breastfeeding more than one child can really deplete your teeth’s resilience.

Environmental toxins including fluoridated water, GM foods and exposure to pesticide and toxins in your own body including old dental work may influence the current and future health of your teeth.

All or any of the following factors (and more) can also influence whether your teeth are able to stay strong on a plant-based diet:

  • illness
  • medications
  • recreational drugs (including tobacco and alcohol)
  • lip or tongue piercings
  • long-periods of travel or even short periods of homelessness
  • relationship break-ups
  • job losses
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • loneliness

 

How to cure cavities on a vegan diet

It is possible to heal your teeth holistically without compromising your commitment to a plant-based diet.

Because there are so many potential factors influencing your vulnerability to decay, there are also many potential ways to increase the strength of your teeth and gums.

The more demands placed by your current lifestyle, the more stress and strain you place on your teeth (e.g. motherhood), the more important a multi-faceted approach becomes.

 

Vegan diet hacks that can help to cure cavities

  • Minimize phytic acid from grains, beans, nuts and seeds
  • Eliminate sugars including dried fruit and juice
  • Eat lots of organic, fresh vegetables
  • Add minerals from sea vegetables, supplements and/or cell salts
  • Add Vitamin K2 from fermented foods especially natto
  • Add high quality, cold-pressed fats
  • Use herbs such as black walnut
  • Drink spring water
  • Use a good sea salt or Himalayan salt

 

4 pillars of the Holistic Tooth Fairy (no matter what your diet)

Can you be just as whole-heartedly consistent with all 4 pillars of the Holistic Tooth Fairy Way as you are to your vegan or vegetarian identity?

In practice, this means:

  • Relaxing and stretching your jaw every day,
  • Honestly and courageously addressing underlying emotional or environmental influences on your oral health, however uncomfortable,
  • Gentle, appropriate oral hygiene rituals every day
  • Mindfully eating the foods and supplements that nourish your teeth and gums every day (and avoiding those which don’t support your healing).
Bowl of Kale Noodles - Holistic Tooth Fairy - Oral Health On a Plant Vegan Diet

Other holistic strategies to help cure cavities

Vegans who are vulnerable to cavities due to accumulated influences not only need to ensure you are getting the best possible teeth healing nutrients through your diet, you also need to to incorporate additional holistic strategies.

  • Do guided meditations for teeth healing
  • Don’t sleep with your cell phone
  • Don’t use drugs or medications that inhibit your mineral uptake
  • Do investigate meridian connections between cavities and the rest of your body
  • Don’t get a tongue or lip piercing
  • Don’t use alcohol based mouthwash
  • Do research before getting dental work
  • Do use your intuition to ask your body for guidance on how to get rid of cavities
  • Do be consistent with the best oral self-care routine for you

 

What are you going to implement first to prioritise your oral health?

 

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 a natural oral health coach and 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 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.

I can help you to turn your oral health around with natural strategies, healthy habits and intuitive insights. 

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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 a natural oral health coach and 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 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.

I can help you to turn your oral health around with natural strategies, healthy habits and intuitive insights. 

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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 a natural oral health coach and 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 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.

I can help you to turn your oral health around with natural strategies, healthy habits and intuitive insights. 

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Paying for a Hollywood smile- The real cost of veneers

Paying for a Hollywood smile- The real cost of veneers

The real cost of veneers

Porcelain veneers are responsible for many perfect Hollywood smiles, the cost of veneers may not only impact your bank balance but also to the integrity and long-term health of your teeth.  Before you invest in this form of cosmetic dentistry, be sure to ask some searching questions, both of your dentist and yourself.

To help you make an informed decision and minimise the risks if you choose to get veneers, I’ve put together a checklist of 15 questions:

  • to ask of your dentist in the initial consultation;
  • to ask of yourself about the dentist after the initial consultation; and
  • to ask yourself,  and other health professionals.

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

What are veneers?

Sometimes called caps, veneers are thin shells of porcelain attached to your own teeth to make them appear straighter, longer and/or whiter. They are sometimes compared to false fingernails as they are about the same thickness, and comply with the same unrealistic standards of beauty. The false fingernail comparison may be contributing to the growing popularity of veneers, encouraged by cosmetic dentists and ‘walk in dental clinics offering lunchtime smiles’*. However, veneers are not the equivalent of false fingernails.

Veneers are permanent, they damage your own teeth and they are often painful. They take real skill to fit safely and attractively, yet the practice is unregulated and any dentist can offer them.  And they are very expensive.

Once you have been fitted for veneers you will not be able live comfortably without them for the rest of your life. Veneers involve ‘shaving and molding’ at least 0.5 – 1 mm of the enamel surface from the tooth to create a surface needed to bond the veneers.

Removing too little enamel can cause the veneers to feel uncomfortably thick: affecting bite, speech and chewing.

Removing too much enamel can expose the nerves in the dentin causing extreme pain during and after the shaving procedure and even after the veneers are fitted.

How can a veneer fail?

Most veneers do not cause problems, but as their popularity grows, with both consumers and dentists, there are increasing numbers of people experiencing problems. In the UK alone dental negligence cases are increasing at about 20% per year.*  So what kind of things can go wrong with veneers?

  • Veneers can fall off the teeth when the bond fails
  • Gaps between the veneers and the underlying tooth can allow bacteria to flourish, leading to decay
  • Overhanging veneers cause problems to the bite; making talking and eating difficult, causing headaches and neck problems, contributing to pain, sleeplessness and gum disease.
  • If the dentist removes too much enamel from the root surface the nerve can become inflamed or infected and the tooth can die off.

What happens when a veneer fails?

If your original veneers were comfortable and long lasting, you are probably a good candidate for replacement veneers. The replacement cost of veneers is likely to be lot more than your original veneers. Replacement veneers require even more skill to apply because there is less tooth structure to bond to than during the original procedure.

If your veneers have failed quickly and painfully, unfortunately it’s likely that the only solutions are either a root canal and crown, or an extraction and implant. Both procedures are painful and expensive… and have long term health consequences.

What are the alternatives to veneers?

The best alternative dental treatment is to whiten the teeth and gently contour the enamel edges; trimming a long edge or building up shorter edges with composite.

Crowns can achieve the cosmetic advantages of veneers but are considerably more damaging to the tooth structure, often leaving only a peg or stump of tooth beneath. They should only be used when the tooth is already severely compromised by decay or a root canal.

There are holistic solutions to the problems of crooked and discolored teeth. For example, adjusting your diet and other self-help strategies will strengthen and whiten your teeth. A specialist cranial-sacral oesteopath can help to ease up crowded teeth.

These approaches take more time and commitment than buying cosmetic dentistry. The results will never be as dramatic as veneers but they are more sustainable and involve less risk.

Even the most expensive holistic strategies will cost less over your lifetime than then the initial cost of the cheapest veneers (which might be guaranteed for 5 years).

The cost of veneers encourages many consumers to look internationally for more affordable dentists.  When shopping for dental services overseas it is even more important to do your due diligence about the dentist to ensure they are experienced and well equipped to provide a safe service and comprehensive aftercare and guarantees.  The questions in the Veneers Checklist should be asked no matter where you are buying your veneers.

 

Further reading:

*According to market research by Mintel, the amount of money spent on cosmetic dentistry in the UK last year rocketed to £627million, from £519million in 2006 and £210million in 2005.  Read more

Realself  

The Dental Law Partnership

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 a natural oral health coach and 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 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.

I can help you to turn your oral health around with natural strategies, healthy habits and intuitive insights. 

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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 a natural oral health coach and 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 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.

I can help you to turn your oral health around with natural strategies, healthy habits and intuitive insights. 

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