Now obviously taking care of your teeth is essential, but people are becoming more and more aware of the importance of oral health, brushing several times a day, flossing, regular dental visits, cleanings, fluoride treatments, etc, etc. But our teeth are still deteriorating. Someone who takes care of their teeth consistently is still more than likely going to end up in need of a filling or other dental intervention at some point. Why?
Well there is a book you can read that is VERY informative, and will in detail explain this to you called Cure Tooth Decay and an organization dedicated to oral health through diet called The Weston A Price Foundation. Many in the natural community are already aware of the detriment that a grain based, low fat diet has on your health, and it is slowly becoming more widely understood. The paleo diet, SCD, and GAPS diet are all prime example of how people are healing themselves from life long afflictions that there were no other options for with nutrition.
Teeth decay due to lack of nutrition. There are components of grains, seeds, legumes, and nuts that inhibit the absorption of vital nutrients for your body, including your brain, your bones, and your teeth. Many (but not all) believe that properly soaking your grains, nuts, legumes, and seeds draws these harmful components from the food and you are left with a much healthier product. I'll leave that up to you to check out yourself. I like this article, and this one.
One thing that I really believe in though is that enough saturated fat in your diet is essential for carrying fat soluble nutrients throughout your body. A well balanced diet with ample fat will help the overall health of your body, and in particular, your teeth.
Now another thing to consider when discussing tooth de-mineralization, is the use of standard commercial toothpastes and mouthwashes. They all contain glycerin which coats the teeth and is said to take up to 20 rinses to clean off. It is not a necessary ingredient for your oral health and is primarily used for creating a nicer textured paste. Mouthwash also contains glycerin. Even a lot of natural oral products contain glycerin. (By the way, the one we use when not using homemade is Earthpaste)
And then there's fluoride. Naturally occurring fluoride has been shown to lessen the occurrence of tooth decay and promote dental health, however, it's chemical counterpart that is present in fluoride rinses, tablets, and toothpastes, is a very dangerous neurotoxin which has actually been shown to CAUSE decay over time. There are warnings on your toothpaste containers to call poison control if consumed, and for good reason. Fluoride is dangerous.
Ok so now that almost all commercial toothpaste has been ruled out (at least for our family) we need to figure out what is good to brush your teeth with... Earthpaste is great, it is made out of clay and contains no glycerin. It is slightly alkaline, neutralizing the acids in the mouth which eat away at enamel, but we weren't crazy about the way it made our teeth feel. I always felt like my mouth wasn't as "fresh" feeling. Also, my husband and I both noticed that it was making our teeth very sensitive. Not to mention the cost at over $6 a tube...
So once again, there I was, trying all sorts of concoctions that I could get my hands on for my own toothpaste, I tried this one, and this one, and even this. I was disappointed with each effort. My teeth were still sensitive, and they tasted awful. Finally after much experimentation, I have come up with something that gets your teeth feeling very clean, freshens breath, has helped my enamel to become noticeably stronger (my teeth used to be quite transparent at the ends, and are now MUCH more opaque) but also, has made my teeth much less sensitive. I no longer cringe every time I sip a cold drink.
This tooth paste, like many, is coconut based. I am c-c-c-crazy about coconut oil. Pretty much anyone who has tried it feels the same. It is in every room in my house, used in every application, and on every family member, from baby to adults, to the dog. Coconut oil is gaining much fame for it's oral health benefits as well. It's natural anti-fungal, anti-microbial properties, also help to inhibit the growth of acid producing bacteria (which damages your teeth) and yeast, reducing the risk or occurrences of oral thrush. It also helps give teeth that nice slick feeling when you run your tongue along them.
- Baking soda adds the alkalinity and a very gentle bit of abrasion to help loosen plaque and food.
- The calcium is essential to healthy bones and teeth, and also adds an amazing texture to the paste.
- Xylitol is a natural, sugar-alcohol sweetener, that is known for it's ability to prevent cavities, as well as inner-ear infections. It is great is toothpaste because it sweetens things up as well as adding a slightly cool feeling. Look for a non-GMO brand, as much xylitol is derived from corn.
- Neem oil is great for killing bacteria that cause bad breath, cavities, and gum disease. You can read about the benefits of neem here. Omit the neem oil however, if you are pregnant or if a child who cannot spit out toothpaste yet is using the paste.
- Trace mineral drops are pretty much just a great magnesium source, also imperative to bone and teeth health.
- Peppermint oil is great at freshening breath and an also help ease toothaches.****
Remineralizing Sensitive Toothpaste
1 cup coconut oil
2 T baking soda
1/3 cup calcium powder
1/2 cup GMO free xylitol powder
10 drops neem oil
20 drops trace mineral drops
50 drops peppermint oil*****
*****Note: For children who do not like the taste of peppermint, try using a combination of citrus oils (lemon, sweet orange, lime) for a more kid friendly flavour.
We have been using this particular toothpaste for about six months now, and couldn't be happier. Give it a try, let me know what your think :)
Check out my DIY baby wipes for another great homemade natural idea!