Oral hygiene is something we don’t often think about until we get a gum abscess or a rotten tooth. A twice-daily brushing of the teeth, some mouthwash, and an occasional flossing is standard practice for most folks, but these habits are no guarantee for healthy mouth and teeth – in fact, they might be causing problems. Personal experience makes me believe otherwise, and I’ll tell you why.
Over two years ago, I developed a gum infection from a replaced molar filling. My dentist immediately insisted on a root canal, but only after prescribing a round of antibiotics to kill off the infection. One round, and then a second round of antibiotics, and the infection was still there, but with no pain in the tooth itself. Three months had gone by and the infection was still present, so I began to research other options. I was shocked at the vast amount of information available on natural dentistry, most of which was in direct conflict with what my dentist suggested. Since I had nothing to lose (except my teeth, and I am quite fond of my teeth), I put together an oral hygiene regimen that has completely reversed my problem, and avoided the pain and cost of a root canal.
- Change your toothpaste – most toothpastes contain hydrated silica, flouride, sodium lauryl sulfate, and glycerin. Silica is too abrasive, flouride is toxic (read the poison control warning for children on the box if you don’t believe me), SLS is absorbed into the mucosal linings of the mouth, and glycerin creates a sticky, inviting habitat for bacteria and plaque. I substituted Vicco, an Ayurvedic herbal toothpaste that contained none of those things, and brushed twice a day as usual.
- Change your toothbrush – most toothbrushes are too hard, and the bristles too large. I bought a Radius Source toothbrush because the bristles are fine enough to get between the sulcis of the tooth and the gum, where bacteria lurk, and they are soft enough to massage the gums instead of eroding them.
- Rinse your mouth – After every meal, even after every drink, I swished some water around to loosen anything that might be stuck to my teeth, even if I would be brushing in a few hours.
- Use colloidal silver – Silver is naturally antibacterial and has no chemicals or alcohol like mouthwashes. Instead of using Listerine, I swished two tablespoons of colloidal silver in my mouth for 5 minutes, then swallowed it (which you can’t do with mouthwash). I did this after my evening brush-up before bed.
- Add cod liver oil to your diet – Cod liver oil is chock-full of vitamins A, D, and omega3 fatty acids, all of which contribute to strong bones and immunity. One tablespoon a day in the morning not only helped my mouth, but made my skin softer and my eyes less dry.
- Cut back on your sugar – I didn’t cut out sugar, I just cut back, and not because sugar causes cavities. Sugar causes inflammation, and inflammation supports infections.
- Get informed – I read everything I could about teeth and oral hygiene, and that’s a lot of reading. Ramiel Nagel’s “Cure Tooth Decay” and Weston A. Price’s “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” gave some real science behind modern tooth decay; those books are still on my shelf, and I refer to them often to this day.
These 7 steps aren’t just good for a mouth infection, but are good for improving your overall health. Don’t wait until your dentist warms up his drill – try them now and see how they work for you, and you may see less of the dentist's chair.
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