Is regularly brushing our teeth with toothpaste enough to protect our pearly whites from cavities and tooth decay?
With toothpaste and toothbrush working hand in hand to clean our teeth, the majority of today’s tubes of toothpaste found in our local grocery stores have fluoride in it.
That seems like a good thing, right?
The general knowledge about fluoride is that it is supposed to help keep our teeth clean and healthy.
But do we truly know if fluoride is doing what it is supposed to do, and its possible side effects for too much usage?
You must be wondering, “Hey, my oral hygiene is impeccable. Why am I still susceptible to cavities and tooth decays if I start my day by brushing my teeth, brush and floss after meals and before going to bed?”
Forgetting to brush and floss your teeth after meals not only are the contributing factors to cavities and tooth decays but also most importantly, so are your diet.
For our body to protect itself against diseases, it is of utmost importance to make proper nutrition our first line of defense.
Do you recall your mother or your grandmother telling you every occasion they get, to always eat your vegetables; that broccoli on your plate or that lettuce on your salad?
The reason why it is important to eat our green leafy vegetables is for our body to receive the nutrition it needs to protect us from environmental stressors that could make our body sick.
As the oral health expert, Nadine Artemis of Living Libations put it, “The mouth is actually alive. It’s connected to our bloodstream; it’s connected to digestion, the actual core of the tooth. When we can get the body activated, then we can prevent cavities, because if we just put a filling on it, then we are not actually addressing what caused the cavity in the first place.”
Think of it as putting a band-aid on a wall that has a huge crack on it and already has a risk of crumbling down. The temporary solution is there to stall but will still make the inevitable happen.
In comparison to the eyes being the windows to our soul, our mouth is a gateway to the entire blood supply, “the portal to the body and the inner altar of the brain” as what Nadine have said.
Understanding the significance of Oral Ecology will help us know why this is important to our overall health.
Our bodies carry different kinds of bacteria, and there are some that are actually good for our bodies.
With our mouths having a moist environment, it becomes the ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria that cause inflammation, infection, and gum disease.
Our mouths are home to diverse microbial civilizations whose job is to pre-digest our food, which serves as our body’s fuel, protect our teeth and gums and pathogenic invaders.
When these good microbes are healthy and balanced with the help of a well-balanced diet, tooth decay will not be an issue. Since the microbiomes found in our digestive tract and mouth are interconnected, it is important to support it by eating healthy food with sufficient nutrients to avoid helpful microbiomes in our gut being compromised.
To prevent tooth decay, we can eat food rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other key nutrients; and we should steer clear from toothpaste that has fluoride, synthetic foaming agents and antibacterial chemicals like triclosan because it degrades the gums, crumbles bones and interferes with collagen synthesis.
Homemade products are healthier than the ones found in the market because it only has a few ingredients and does not contain synthetic chemicals that are proven harmful.
With only baking soda, a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil or essential oils for added flavor and natural antibacterial and even some food-grade hydrogen peroxide for whitening are enough to make yourself a homemade toothpaste solution that have natural antimicrobial properties that will harm the “bad” kind of bacteria instead of the “good” one.
Also, brushing our teeth with botanical ingredients such as Neem, Cardamom, Clove, Cinnamon, Peppermint, Oregano, Sea buckthorn sounds like an ancient way of caring for our teeth and digestive system but they activate the hypothalamus and get our digestive juices flowing and can help the gums and the mouth.
Not understanding that our teeth are connected to our body’s bloodstream and lymph causes damage because we tend to consume products that are bad for our overall health.
We should be conscious of what our bodies consume!