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5 Natural Ways to Improve Dental Health

Oct 02, 2013

Has anyone seen September? I must have misplaced it but I swear it was here a moment ago. Which reminds me – if lost stuff is always found in the last place we look, wouldn’t we save time by looking in the last place first?

Pardon me? Oh. Felicia says I’m wasting pixels and I need to introduce this month’s blog topic. Apparently our Internet carrier doesn’t allow pixel usage to rollover month to month. Anyway, in October we’re writing about natural ways to improve dental health. 


Photo source: BusinessInsider.com

And why not explore natural alternatives? We've written about toothbrushes that vibrate and oscillate, miraculous tooth paste formulas that shock and awe, and tooth brushing apps that play polka versions of Broadway show tunes. Yet tooth cavities and gum disease remain widespread throughout North America.

Recent estimates show that 1 out of 4 children between the ages of 2 to 5 have tooth decay. And the numbers worsen for older kids. Fifty percent of children ages 12 to 15 and 67% of teens ages 16 to 19 have tooth decay.

So this month let’s explore some natural ways to keep our chompers healthy and our oral health aglow.

We Are What We Eat We’ve frequently discussed in Agent Straight-Talk the ruinous effect diet drinks have on oral health.  It’s important to eat natural, whole foods due to how processed foods are made. Processed foods lose much of their natural benefits through heating, lighting or loss of oxygen during processing. And that’s before we broil it, roast it or fry it at home!

Also, many processed foods contain lots of sugar or high fructose corn syrup, both of which contribute to a wide range of health problems like heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

Sweeten Up But Hold the Sugar Sweet tooth lovers may say they’d rather undergo a root canal without anesthesia than give up chocolate or other sweets. If you are in this category (I’m holding up my hand now), health experts recommend you use sugar substitutes like xylitol or sorbitol. Xylitol and sorbitol are actually believed to have some restorative benefits to damaged tooth enamel, although sorbitol has been known to cause (insert favorite whoopee cushion joke here) intestinal distress. 

Other sugar substitutes are stevia (make sure Breaking Bad’s Walter White didn’t pack the box), sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame or saccharin. (You remember saccharin? The FDA voted against it for 30 years before voting for it.) Sugar substitutes can be used to sweeten foods and drinks and can help users to avoid getting cavities, lose weight and control blood sugar.

When’s Your Tea Time? Green, black and oolong tea contain antioxidants that inhibit the growth and maturation of oral bacteria that cause tooth decay. These teas help improve overall dental health, prevent tooth decay and offers preventative protection against oral cancer. To obtain the healthful benefits of tea, studies indicate that 1 to 2 cups should be consumed daily.

Swear off Alcohol-Based Mouthwashes A few people like the burning sensation associated with alcohol-based mouthwashes. Both of you know who you are. Makes no sense to me but then what do I know? I swig French’s® Worcestershire sauce whenever I feel a cold coming on. Some studies say that the alcohol contained in these mouthwashes dissolves the essential oils in your mouth that provide the antibacterial benefit. In other words, the alcohol in those mouthwashes may cancel out the helpful benefits of the other ingredients. Seems to me that’s like trying to win a marathon without leaving the treadmill.

Alcohol-based mouthwashes are also believed to lead to temporary dry mouth, and if dry mouth becomes permanent it can be a gateway to cavities, bad breath and thrush. Also, mouthwashes with fluoride greatly reduce the likelihood of getting cavities, assuming they are used together with regular brushing and flossing. Likewise, mouthwashes containing natural ingredients like chamomile, myrrh and echinacea (an immune strengthener found in purple coneflowers) can be beneficial.

Supplement Your Oral Health Quality multivitamins/minerals provide useful nutrients that help maintain a strong immune system that can protect against oral bacteria. Zinc, selenium, phosphorous, iron and calcium are great for strengthening teeth and are usually found in multivitamins. Other useful supplements are:

  • Vitamin C – just 70 mg a day can improve gum-tissue health in a hurry (for those who are vitamin C deficient)
  • B-complex vitamins in general and a daily dose of 10-20 mgs of B6 specifically, nurture good oral bacteria and fight the harmful bacteria.
  • Coenzyme – 50mg daily helps protect against bleeding gums
  • Last but not least is a friendly nudge from us to visit your dentist twice a year.  Routine dental visits are the best preventive medicine you can take to guarantee that molar hills don’t grow into mountainous bills. Blowing off a six-month dental visit can be an expensive mistake and repeating that mistake regularly isn’t smart.

    Let’s make a deal right now. You handle the brushing, flossing and mouthwash rinsing, and we’ll help cover the dental visit expenses with a convenient dental plan. Deal?

    Sources: Healthy.net, WebMd, DMDApproved.com


    Copyright 2013 Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC©

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