Clients often ask me which toothpaste is best to use. Unfortunately, this is the sort of area in which it is impossible for a Nutritional Therapist to advise, as we would not want to be responsible for any dental problems. However, in light of the fact that some people would like to experiment in reducing the amount of commercial toothpaste that they use, I thought this article on Care 2 make a difference by Michelle Schoffro Cook, is very interesting.
I have not made this alternative toothpaste myself yet, so cannot comment on it, but you may like to use it for one of your regular brushing times each day. Don’t forget to have regular check-ups with your dentist.
Most toothpaste contains sugar, fluoride, artificial colours, and other harmful ingredients that are best avoided. Instead of using the toxic commercial varieties, why not make your
own? It’s simple and quick. Once you have the essential oils needed you can use them to make the toothpaste or tooth powder, which more accurately describes it, for years to come.
Natural Tooth Powder Recipe
- ½ cup baking soda
- 10 drops pure peppermint essential oil (this is not the same as peppermint extract or fragrance oil. Also, it should be a high quality food grade essential oil, which is available from many health food stores)
- 5 drops pure myrrh essential oil (optional, also available in many health food stores)
Mix all ingredients in a small jar with a lid, cover, and shake well to disperse oils throughout. Use a small amount on a damp toothbrush the way you would use
The peppermint essential oil helps freshen breath, kill bacteria, and clear sinuses. The myrrh oil is highly antibacterial and anti-fungal. The baking soda restores a natural, slightly alkaline pH balance to the teeth and gums and helps to whiten teeth.
Any dietary recommendations that i advise to clients are generally supportive of oral health. Sometimes yeast overgrowth can particularly affect the mouth, either specifically with oral thrush, or indirectly as dying yeast produces an increase in toxins, which may cause a furry tongue or sores in the mouth. Some food allergies might also cause blisters in the mouth, but in eating a less processed diet and increasing vegetables and natural foods, nutrients to support tooth, gum and mouth-health are encouraged.
The quality of tooth enamel is now a ‘hot topic’, with dentists drawing awareness to the fact that not only sugar can damage enamel, but also the acidity in fruit and fruit juice may be detrimental. Since I never recommend drinking fruit juices, and frequenly advise that clients avoid fruit while balancing gut ecology, a main area where this might affect my clients is if they use lemon juice in water and cooking. It is not clear as to whether the tiny amount of lemon in a glass of water would have any significant impact on enamel health, but if you want to err on the side of caution, you can drink water with lemon through a straw and then rinse the mouth with water after eating or drinking anything with lemon. Wait for at least an hour to brush the teeth, as the acidity of the lemon softens the enamel, making it more susceptible to being worn by the bristles of the brush. As an alternative to lemon to flavour water, try a slice of cucumber and/or some fresh mint leaves.
Research is revealing that fruit teas might also have an impact on enamel, so while these are acceptable on the yeast-free diet (if they contain no citric acid or sweetening) you may want to limit fruit teas containing lemon, blackcurrant or raspberry for example. It would be wise not to drink these teas throughout the whole day, and according to Dr Amolak Singh, chief executive of the General Dental Practitioners’ Association, to rinse the mouth with water after a fruit tea. Dr Singh said herbal teas with no fruit content, such as camomile or peppermint, were not a danger to teeth.