Our oral health system which includes everything in our mouth, is a living, changing environment. Optimal oral health comes with supporting the body and mouth from the inside out at the same time. Thus, by just treating from the outside alone (like brushing and flossing), you won’t fix any of your oral problems unless you address the inside too.
Once you start on this 4-step plan, you’ll be amazed at the changes taking place in your mouth and body! And as a result, your teeth may get whiter, your gum puffiness may go away, and you may even become cavity and plaque-free!
Here is Brit Phillips DDS natural dentist’s step-by-step guide to your best and healthiest smile ever using a holistic approach.
1. Scraping the Tongue
As the function of the bacteria in the mouth becomes more understood, techniques to support oral hygiene are becoming more popular. One practice backed by numerous studies is called tongue scraping. It reduces undesirable bacteria which helps in decreasing the likelihood of dental decay and oral disease. It also reduces volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) which are linked to halitosis (bad breath). Lastly, by stimulating the taste buds with tongue scraping, the tongue is better able to perceive tastes and properly aid in digestion—if you constantly have a white coating, then consider oral chewable probiotics to control yeast imbalance.
Research on oral probiotics has increased exponentially. A number of well-controlled studies indicate that a probiotic formula containing Lactobacilli is the most beneficial to suppress candida growth. Taken as directed, these strains should populate your mouth within just a few days so the good guys can get to work keeping out harmful bugs. Taking them just before going to sleep allows the probiotics to work all night on your behalf, without interference from food or drink—try Replenish the Good which contains strains of good oral bacteria.
2. Rinse with warm water and sea salt (no aluminum or contaminants)
Salt water rinses are good because the alkalinity helps kill the acid-producing bacteria which cause dental disease and tooth decay. This also reduces inflammation and promotes a good oral pH, the result will be a healthier mouth. Adding a few drops of essential oils like clove or mint (to the salt water) helps with freshening breath too.
Dr. Terry Bass DDS also recommends rinsing with a little diluted 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide. Dilute it about 50% with water. It’s inexpensive and very effective. Steer clear of alcohol based rinses because they are really harsh with chemicals which can be irritating to the gums and dehydrating for teeth—in some patients it can cause hypersensitivity.
When it comes to flossing, it works great when you do it properly and along with the other recommended steps for maintaining good oral health. We have noticed that a lot of patients don’t know the proper way of flossing and even when we try to teach them in the chair, they tend to just insert the floss up and down instead of hugging the tooth with it. Or we find that patients just don’t like to floss, so we advocate using a Waterpik—it’s an oral irrigator, more effective and fun to use.
Brush twice a day at a 45-degree angle, using a soft bristled brush to help decrease gum swelling. Choose toothpastes free of fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate. The Lancet included it in its list of neurotoxins (along with lead, arsenic, and more), and a 2012 Harvard University report found that kids in areas supplied by high-fluoride water have “significantly lower” IQs than those whose water has less fluoride. The American Dental Association still maintains that fluoride is safe and prevents tooth decay. You can try more natural brands such as PerioPaste, Dr. Jaikaran’s Herbodent, and Deborah Organics Natural Clay Toothpaste.
Lastly, some supplements for periodontal support:
- DesBio Gum Therapy. ($26.28)
- Life Extension CoQ10. ($32.75)
- Solaray Vitamin C. ($19.70)
- “Natural” antibiotics such as garlic extract (Allicin) or Oil of Oregano.
For general oral health:
- Standard Process Bio-Dent—supports the body’s natural processes of growth, development, and repair of teeth.
- Standard Process Biost—promotes healthy bone and teeth.
Chronic mineral deficiency is common today because commercial agricultural practices have stripped minerals from the soil. You might consider taking a quality mineral supplement, such as Trace Minerals.
Always talk with your doctor if you want to incorporate any supplements into your diet to ensure compatibility with your health. Dr. Brit Phillips is a huge proponent of holistic, total health dentistry and encourages you to try natural products which may improve your oral health and benefit your overall health.
Call Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth Cosmetic Dentist at 817-361-1999 if you have any questions about natural remedies to improve your oral health.