Nothing is lovelier than a radiant smile- one that lights up your eyes, sets the laugh lines dancing, and illuminates your entire being.
A fabulous smile depends on healthy teeth: teeth that are clean, and not disfigured by unsightly tartar or other discoloration or cavities. Teeth do not need to be perfectly straight: slight imperfections lend an individual charm of their own. A big smile that reveals a lot of spaces left by missing teeth, however, is only cute on a six year old.
A wholesome diet is half the battle
Cereal grains, wholegrain bread and lots of raw crunchy fruit and vegetables are the foundation of good nutrition for healthy teeth. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” also applies to the dentist! Sun-ripened citrus fruit are important to healthy gums as they provide essential minerals and vitamins. Too much lemon is not good though, as their acid is strong enough to destroy tooth enamel.
In addition to eating the right foods, chewing them thoroughly is crucial to proper digestion and to the assimilation of vitamins and minerals. Did you know that chewing stimulates the flow of saliva in your mouth, and that this saliva neutralizes destructive food acids?
Tooth enamel is not as hard a surface as it may seem. Eating foods that are too hot or too cold stresses tooth enamel to the point where hairline cracks develop. These tiny cracks attract bacteria – always present in even the healthiest mouth – creating further damage.
When should you start caring for your teeth?
In infancy. Breastfed babies generally get all of the nutrients they need for normal tooth development. To promote proper growth, you can use Calcium Absorber – Urticalcin, crush into a fine powder and, using a wet finger, applied to the infant’s gums. Teething is a difficult stage for babies and their mothers. If a baby is obviously uncomfortable, homeopathics containing chamomilla 6X or pulsatilla 6X can be soothing when applied directly on the gums.
The debate as to whether fluoride prevents cavities is ongoing. It has been proven that fluoride is a toxic substance, even in small quantities. It has long been known that excessive fluoride intake carries serious toxic effects and can lead to fluorosis permanently damaging the teeth, and even bones1. Even if it does prevent cavities in small doses, as a toxic element it goes against the holistic principles of natural medicine – you don’t fight one bad thing with another bad thing!
Less sugar, more hygiene
Food particles, especially from sugary and starchy foods, ferment in the mouth causing an acid that attacks the enamel and encourages tooth decay. Bacteria, normally present in the mouth, cause decalcification and cavities. The only weapons against decay of this nature are reduced sugar intake and good oral hygiene. For maximum results, brush your teeth after every meal – snacks included! Regular brushing should be encouraged from an early age: very young children need to be taught and encouraged to brush their teeth often. Flossing is just as important since the toothbrush cannot reach in between the teeth.
Sugar in beverages should also be reduced. The practice of giving young babies a pacifying tea sweetened with sugar usually results in severe damage to milk teeth. When these teeth are damaged, the permanent teeth that come in later are also at risk. Most people know that children should not have a lot of sugar because it promotes cavities and tooth decay. What is not common knowledge is that sugar intake depletes the body of calcium -the most important mineral in the development and growth of teeth and bones. Of course, children can still enjoy a sugary treat once in a while, but not on a regular basis. Fresh fruit and fresh fruit juices are healthy alternatives to candy and soft drinks.
Tooth care tips
The state of our teeth is often overlooked until it is too late. We must acknowledge the importance of healthy teeth to our overall health. Neglecting your teeth can cause irreversible damage. Proper brushing is essential: the superior teeth should be brushed from top to bottom, brushing down from the gum line. Avoid aggressive rotary brushing as this motion only stresses the gums and forces food particles between the teeth and gums. Use circular brushing techniques only for the surface of the molars. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, to remove that white or yellow film. Change your toothbrush every three months – if the bristles are all bent, it’s a sign that your brushing is too aggressive. Choose a brush with soft, synthetic bristles with rounded tips. Floss your teeth at least once a day, preferably at night. Use the rubber tipped dental aid to massage your gums to prevent bleeding gums and periodontitis (gum disease), of which people over forty are particularly prone.
Toothpaste made from natural ingredients
Most toothpastes contain fluoride, and sodium lauryl sulfate, a synthetic frothing chemical, as well as preservatives, coloring agents and artificial aromas. Worse are tooth whiteners that contain oxidants that corrode tooth enamel. These toothpastes can be used from time to time, but certainly not on a regular basis. Toothpastes made from calcium and clay bases like A.Vogel Echinacea toothpaste or Dentaforce toothpaste are recommended. Ordinary baking soda is an inexpensive and efficient tooth whitener. It is wise to regularly change toothpaste types.
Bad breath usually comes from deeper than the mouth and can be a symptom of poor digestion calling for an amendment of diet – more fiber, fruit and salad. The condition of the intestines can be improved with a tablespoon of Molkosan every morning taken on an empty stomach. A teaspoon of Molkosan diluted in a quarter cup of water is an excellent mouthwash, and is particularly useful as a gargle for those who suffer from mouth ulcers and sore throats. Dentaforce is a mouthwash made entirely from natural ingredients. It comes as a mouth-spray that you can easily conceal in a pocket, for those moments when fresh breath is essential.