Do you brush your teeth? And floss? Every day, twice a day? That's what we've been told and trained to do, isn't it? I can remember back to elementary school the giant tooth that we all marveled at as we learned the importance of oral care, promptly thinking we are going to lose another tooth, and promptly forgetting to floss that evening.
We also learned about fluoride.
Then, and up until recently, I, like most people, thought that flouride was a good thing. I mean, it's in our toothpaste, you are offered flouride treatments at the dentist office, and most of our water is flouridated. Why? Because flouride can help prevent tooth decay and therefore cavities. Curiously, flouridation of the water supply started back in 1945 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. By 2008, more than 72% of the US population has flouridated water. You can check if your water source is fluoridated here.
Oddly, according to FluorideAlert.org, the US stands alone in this. "In Europe, only Ireland (73%), Poland (1%), Serbia (3%), Spain (11%), and the U.K. (11%) fluoridate any of their water. Most developed countries, including Japan and 97% of the western European population, do not consume fluoridated water." Some countries, like China, India and parts of Africa where high levels of flouride naturally occur in the water supply, make an effort to remove flouride because of the health issues it can cause. And, in 2010, Time magazine listed fluoride as on the top ten hazadous household chemicals. Time people! So even if you are not into holistic medicine, Time is a pretty agreed upon reputably source. And this was back in 2010!
Why is fluoride problematic? Here are just a few startling facts from fluoridealert.org:
If that wasn't enough to get you thinking, check out this short film by Jeremy Seifert.
Oh man, right?!?! Definitely got me thinking...hard.
Now, are you ready for some amazing toothy tidbits?
Did you know that each of your teeth has a direct correlation to an organ, joint, system and more in your body? There has long been research and discussion about the role of the gut in our physical and emotion health, but our oral health has something to do with it, too.
So here is where good oral health, and good dental practices, really start to make an impact on our whole body health. Things like fillings and root canals can really wreak havoc with your oral health, and your whole body health, depending on the materials used, and how well the tissue in your tooth socket is taken care of and cleaned after root canals.
The good news?
There are many good natural options out there to avoid fluoride and take great care of your teeth
and your whole body while you're at it!
1. Coconut oil pulling - coconut oil is naturally antibacterial. It's a great way to remove bacteria and promote healthy teeth and gums. Swish for 5-10 minutes every 2-3 days. It literally pulls toxins out and creates a clean, antiseptic environment. Adding essential oils to your oil pulling makes it an even better option! Essential oils contain some of the most potent antibacterial and anti-fungal properties on the planet. Additionally, essential oils will absorb into your tissue as you pull, so your body gets the antioxidant and medicinal powers inherent in these potent compounds. Do not swallow your pulled oil. You want to get any bacteria out of your mouth, not into your body ;)
** for every day pulling try adding 1-3 drops of any citrus oil such as lemon, graprefruit or wild orange.
** for extra fresh breath, try peppermint
** for tooth discomfort or possible infection try adding a drop of immunity blend essential oil or clove
2. Non-fluoridated toothpaste - You still need to brush and floss your teeth. However, you can do that with toothpaste that is not upping your fluoride intake. Here are a two great options:
On Guard toothpaste - this fluoride-free Natural Whitening Toothpaste combines the protective benefits of the proprietary immunity blend of Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils with other natural ingredients that help clean teeth, reduce plaque, and whiten teeth with gentle polishing agents. Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary essential oils provides an extra cleaning boost, and are also antibacterial oils!
Make your own toothpaste - Make your own blend of coconut oil, baking soda and any essential oils you prefer. Mix oil and baking soda to make a light paste, stir in a drop or your oil of choice, and brush away. Baking soda is a gentle abrasive to help with cleaning and can also help whiten your teeth.
3. DIY mouthwash - This one is super easy to make. You can even do it on a daily basis! All you need is water and your favorite essential oils. Make it as needed by filling a small cup with water and adding a few drops of your oil of choice. Alternatively, make up a (glass) bottle of 2 cups of water to 5-10 drops essential oils. Shake before you your pour it out. Some great oils for mouth wash are melaleuca (tea tree) and peppermint, immunity blend, spearmint, or blend spearmint and tangerine, peppermint and lemon. Get creative and see what feels good and tastes good to you!