Holistic Dental Care is so much more than the products you find that are pure, toxin free and effective. It's also about questioning all the regular advice, investigating the efficacy of those practices, and determining whether perceived convenience outweighs the potential damage to your health.
For me the answer was clear, so I switched over to natural dental care more than a decade ago. I'm always happy I did. The more research I do into oral health the more I find contradictions to logic concerning procedures that have come through to the modern day from practices that date back to post WW2. Text book learning is never enough...real world investigation and experimenting with beneficial practices is always going to reveal what really works; which requires taking responsibility for health away from the corporate collective and back in the hands of the individual.
Ever considered what's in your toothpaste?
Mainstream oral care formulations contain contaminants and toxins like artificial flavours, preservatives, colours derived from petro-chemicals, antibacterial chemicals (like Tricolsan - a known animal carcinogen and pesticide) and sweeteners which have direct access to your body via the thin lining of the oral cavity. They also contain fluoride which is only effective as a topical treatment to be left on, and an array of soap (or soap-like) ingredients that can be contaminated with 1,4 Dioxane (a known carcinogen and a contaminant that does not have to be listed as an ingredient)...so if you think you may be ingesting, or your child may be ingesting, some of the toothpaste being used, then this IS an issue.
Purely natural dental care formulations contain powders, salts and oils that gently and effectively clean teeth (MOTHER O PEARL), gums and the oral cavity without needing any harsh chemicals. That's why the powdered toothpaste is salty, not sweet. Good quality salts (eg: Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Rock Salt) encourage saliva production with a good balance of vital trace minerals.
Mouthwash is also an avenue for harsh toxins to enter your body. Alcohol based formulations can burn and irritate, doing more harm than good. Simply rinsing with a few key essential oils (FRESH PEARL blend) in pure water, or a salt solution, will do as good, or better, than any commercial mouthwash. Enamel is helped by healthy saliva production so the use of a mouthwash that encourages saliva will in turn encourage enamel production.
Make dental floss your friend
Biodegradable flossing picks and brushes are now available from online retailers. Just search for it. I found mine at a local supermarket. Use FRESH PEARL blend as an additive to these two practices. One drop in your Oil Pulling blend (or use the new PEARLING OIL and DEEP PEARL blends from MEM) and one drop in a dish to dab your flossing pick in before using.
Practices like bi-annual periodontal cleanings place the ongoing responsibility for your major tooth and gum health as the Dentist's job, rather than making you responsible for daily maintenance of your own teeth and gums, to avoid plaque build up in the first place and to avoid having expensive dental work done. Plaque around the gum lines (the marginal gingiva and sulcus) and between teeth, is the primary reason for deep clean appointments, and can be avoided altogether with daily Oil Pulling and flossing twice. Twice?? Yes, it means you have to do 5 minutes more each day. I'd rather do that than pay $200+ and an hour's appointment in a dental chair twice a year. If anything does go wrong (injuries, a corrupted tooth, an abscess or gum infection) you will need professional help to correct it. Much like any medical professional/surgeon, they are there for the extreme situation, and we value and appreciate their expertise when we need it.
Whitening teeth by bleaching the outer layer is unhealthy, partly because a lot of whiteners contain harsh toxins, and while the use of them can be counter productive to looking and feeling healthy, used as a means to remove stains from smoking and over-imbibing coffee|tea|red wine, with the view to removing those habits for good, then a whitening treatment can be a massive encouragement. But, I'm wading in with the Mumma face on and waiving a warning around...if we continually choose the 'not my responsibility' mindset, reaching for a quick fix to the symptom, (any symptom) it creates a knock on effect throughout your health and well-being choices. Whiter, stronger, healthier teeth come from your nutrition AND great oral health practices not just the toothpaste you use.
Sometimes tooth colour is affected by medication, in which case you may need to use a small amount of medical peroxide in small episodes of treatment (long term use can damage tooth enamel), however the stain is coming from within the body (systemic) so it will continue for as long as you take the causative medication. A better alternative is to use Activated Charcoal which can help to whiten teeth with regular use. For those who have to take medication, or regularly drink stain-causing beverages, the use of a regular stain removing blend (BLACK PEARL) with Activated Charcoal and natural Bi-Carb Soda will be an effective tooth brightening solution. Oil Pulling with DEEP PEARL blend also helps to remove stains and brighten teeth on a deeper level as the charcoal acts as a magnet, attracting toxins and heavy metals from the whole mouth cavity.
The reality may be that you have to try one or two changes slowly.
A new bamboo toothbrush and a packet of biodegradable floss picks.
Actually flossing every day...for real.
Trying a powdered toothpaste a few times a week.
Ditching your toxic mouthwash and using a home made one.
Questioning the use of soap products in oralcare formulations.
Experimenting with Oil Pulling.
Removing stains naturally and making yourself feel great.
Whatever it is that you choose to do, start today and do a little more each week. You'll find that there will be a detox process. Often the first week of going to a salty toothpowder from a sweetened toothpaste will promote a detox of the mouth. The saliva glands that are being activated are in shock and will probably over produce for a day or two. This is actually a good thing as healthy saliva promotes enamel growth (yay!) that strengthens your teeth. This is where the oil pulling will help you feel more comfortable.
Dedicating a little more time to your oral health can bring big rewards later on. Keep your teeth and gums healthy and you'll notice your overall wellbeing increase.
Keep on smiling!