We used to believe that genetics and the access to fluoride treatments were the determining factors for oral health. However, latest research points to diet as being the greatest contributor to healthy teeth. Indigenous tribes often have remarkably healthy teeth, until they are introduced to a Western diet. The greatest step you can take for oral health is to eat a traditional diet, emphasizing nutrient dense foods. As well, there are natural daily habits you can include in your routine. Here are our top three tips for oral health:
1 Floss and Brush Daily
We all know that flossing and brushing improve oral health by clearing away food particles as well as bad bacteria. We recommend a natural, fluoride-free toothpaste such as those by Green Beaver and Earthpaste. Continue to include brushing (twice daily!) and add flossing in, if it is not already part of your routine.
2 Oil Pull
An ancient Ayurvedic technique, oil pulling has recently gained popularity due to its ability to naturally whiten teeth, remove bacteria, and improve gum health. To ‘pull’, place 1/2 tbsp. organic coconut oil in your mouth and swish through your teeth and gums the same way you would use a mouthwash. Try to do this for a few minutes, working your way up to longer and longer sessions (up to 20 minutes). When you’re done, do not swallow the oil – spit out in the garbage (it may clog the sink). Follow with your regular brushing and flossing routine. Aim to use oil pulling every day but even a few times a week can be helpful.
3 Improve Your Diet
Dental health is determined largely by our nutrient intake. A variety of minerals, as well as fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K), are required for healthy teeth. We need to ensure that our diet is rich in these nutrients and that we are absorbing them. A high intake of phytic acid (found in grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes) interfere with mineral absorption. Eating a nutrient-poor diet that includes many foods rich in phytic acid can be very detrimental to our dental health. Additionally, starches and sugars directly promote tooth decay.
(coconut oil, pastured butter, cod liver oil)
Foods high in phytic acids: grains, beans, nuts & seeds
Nutrient dense proteins such as organ meats (from pastured animals) and other nutrient dense foods (organic vegetables)
Sugar & high starch foods
Bone broth (from pastured animal bones)
Processed foods, especially soda
Cure Health Decay by Ramiel Nagel
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price