Saturday, September 27, 2014

What about my dental health?

If asked we would all say that we want to be the best person we can be. Nobody intentionally tries to ruin their health. Many people would say that good health is their responsibility; others would say it is the responsibility of whatever health care professional they go to. How many would say that it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to keep them healthy? Many items we routinely purchase are advertised as being healthy, when in fact they are having a negative effect on our health. Dental products are a good example.

Many of us think we ought to have mouths that are bacteria free, but that is far from the truth. Our mouths are supposed to carry some good bacteria at all times. There are toothpastes on the market that contain a product called triclosan. It is included in toothpaste so they can claim that the toothpaste fights bacteria. What the label doesn’t say is that triclosan is a known toxin. Its effects on the human body include is to inhibit the growth of children, disrupts the hormones, disrupts thyroid function, causes birth defects, cancer, infertility. Triclosan is very close in chemical structure to Agent Orange. Unfortunately it can sometimes be found in other personal care products as well.

Another dental product ingredient that can be harmful to your health is zinc. We all need some zinc, but when you are using denture creams that contain zinc it is very easy to get enough to put it into the toxic category.

We have probably all heard that fluoride is a poison, but many people still pick up toothpaste that includes fluoride, thinking they are doing something good for their teeth.  They also don’t look at the labels to see if they are free from sodium laurel sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate. These are put into tooth pastes to make them foam and to hide the flavor.

Don’t even get me started on the health problems caused by the mercury in so called silver fillings. Generations of people have been walking around with this poison in their mouths. Dental mercury converts to methylmercury, a highly toxic form of mercury known to be hazardous to brain and nervous system function, particularly in fetuses and young children. This not only happens in our mouths, but in our environment as well. Methylmercury can harm your nervous system to differing degrees, depending on how much mercury you've accumulated in your body. At above average doses, brain functions such as reaction time, judgment, and language can be impaired. At very high exposures, mercury can affect your ability to walk, speak, think, and see clearly. A lot of this mercury comes from industrial sources, but some comes from the waste water from dentists offices.
If we are in charge of our own health what can we do to have healthy mouths and teeth? One of the easiest things we can do is to make our own toothpaste. There are lots of different recipes out there. The majority include some type of coconut oil, salt or baking soda, and a healthy sweetener such as xylitol or stevia. Some include essential oils for both flavor and bacteria fighting.

One way of cleaning our teeth and gums is oil pulling. The benefit of doing this is to reduce the amount of harmful bacteria, reduce dental plague, remineralize your teeth, fight gingivitis, and strengthen your gums. There is also evidence that it can rebuild our teeth and ‘heal’ cavities. This is another place that essential oils can be included for added benefits. Oil pulling is easy. Just put up to a tablespoon of oil into your mouth, the favorite here is coconut oil, along with any essential oils you want to add. Then swish the oil around for up to 20 minutes. The key is to spit it out and not swallow it. This rinses away all the bad things on your teeth, between your teeth and under your gums. There are many people that say that it actually pulls bacteria and toxins from throughout the body, but if it only cleans your mouth isn’t that superior to toothpaste that just cleans your teeth?

Some people have said to start with a small amount of both oil and time and work your way up. For those with a strong gag reflex this may be great advice. We just aren’t used to the feel of a mouth full of oil. Others recommend following up with brushing with a natural or homemade toothpaste just to get the remnants of the oil off our teeth.

Where do you stand on who is responsible for the health of your mouth and ultimately the rest of your body?


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