Natural Dental Therapies
Of course brushing your teeth and flossing are of primary importance in keeping your teeth clean. I won’t take the time to discuss the pros or cons of fluoride in toothpaste or the water supply, however I will say that after reviewing the full scope of the literature, I choose to use a natural fluoride-free toothpaste. Most any fluoride-free toothpaste worth its salt, so to speak, will replace it with xylitol, which brings me to my first suggestion.
This is one type of sugar alcohol that is derived from tree bark or corn. Unlike sugar, it does not spike blood glucose. Also, while sugar has been shown to cause tooth decay, xylitol has been shown to protect against tooth decay. For example a Scottish study found that children in the top third of sugar intake were 84% more likely to have tooth decay than those in the lowest third of intake. (British Journal of Nutrition) In contrast, a review in 1995 from the University of Connecticut Dental School found there to be conclusive evidence that xylitol gum was anti-cavity forming. (International Dental Journal) You can use xylitol as a sugar replacement in recipes (not too much, as an abundance has been shown to cause stomach upset), as xylitol gum, xylitol toothpaste, or xylitol powder in water swished around towards areas of concern.
Salt and Peroxide:
A few years back I had an infection in the back molars of my upper teeth. I brushed and flossed in the area for a few days, but it didn’t seem to go down. On the third night, when deciding whether or not to make a dentist appointment, I decided to simply swish a little bit of salt water. The next morning, the infection was almost gone, and in one more day, it was totally gone. The use of salt water along with hydrogen peroxide, is backed up by clinical evidence, as a University of Minnesota study showed that it was effective in moving clinical markers of periodontal disease towards states of dental health (Journal of the American Dental Association). This is also about the easiest and cheapest method of infection control. Also, there is no need to even run to the store because nearly everyone has a shaker of salt in their home.
Using the above two measures, you probably won’t need to resort to oil pulling, because you’re mouth will already be as clean as a whistle. However, if you find that you need extra help, oil pulling might be your answer. “Oil pulling” is a terrible name for the practice because it brings to mind pulling of teeth. Actually, it simply refers to the use of various dietary oils, such as sesame, olive, or coconut, as a mouth swish held in place for a longer than usual amount of time. Oils have antiseptic properties, and oil pulling was found to be similarly effective to the mouthwash chlorhexidine in a 2009 study from India. (Indian Journal of Dental Research) Some believe that oil pulling will help heal other parts of the body besides the dental areas, however this has not been formally researched. For more information on this therapy, see oilpulling.com, highlighting the work of Dr. F. Karach, who presented a paper on the practice to the All-Ukranian Association.