I share these tips with my patients, and I practice them myself everyday!
1. Good nutrition.
Healthy teeth are linked to good nutrition, as great nutrition helps remineralize teeth. In fact, tooth decay is not prevented by just a good oral hygiene routine. I recommend the Weston A Price Foundation’s dietary-guidelines to start: Knowing that each individual has different needs, consult with a nutritionist to find the right diet for you.
2. Keep your oral ph as alkaline as possible.
Rinsing food away inhibits its fermentation by bacteria, which keeps the plaque ‘immature.’ ‘Mature’ plaque is full of bacteria and much more toxic to your oral health.
My method: After you have a meal or drink, rinse your mouth with water 4 times. You can swallow it or spit it out, whichever you prefer. Incorporate activities to manage stress.
3.Baking Soda Rinses
Baking soda is great for raising our ph. Our ph is most acidic at 2am (because of our physiological cycle), so raising your ph before bed is important for good oral hygiene.
My method: Mix ½ tsp of baking soda in 4 oz. of water. Stir that up with your toothbrush and take a sip, keeping it in your mouth until the salty flavor is gone. Continue taking sips until you are done with the 4 oz.
4.Drink carbonated drinks safely
Carbonated drinks have low PH. Kombucha,Sparkling water, Beer , Apple Cider Vinegar, lemon water among others can be very detrimental for our teeth(enamel) if we don't take some safe measures at the time we drink them due to the acidic PH.
For instance a good Kombucha should have a pH of between 2.5-3.2. The low pH is necessary to maintain healthy microbial activity in this live food. See our blog post
These are some tips when you have carbonated or any low acidic PH drink:
Use a straw: using a straw will prevent that the acidic drink seats for long time on our teeth dissolving our enamel. It would be good to use one which goes to the back in order to have it close to the throat.
Drink it in a short period of time: don't sipping on it throughout the day. This will contribute to have acidic PH longer time affecting the enamel of the teeth. Enjoy your drink but try to drink 4 ounzes in 10 minutes maximum.
Rinse your mouth with an alkaline water or solution: once you are done drinking a carbonated drink, rinse your mouth at least 5 times with either alkaline water or baking soda in water or salt water or xylitol in water etc. Doing so you will help your saliva to raise the PH in your mouth. Our oral health goes better with alkaline PH than acidic PH.
Don't brush your teeth after you finish your carbonated or acidic drink: Due to the acidic PH the enamel is weakened , scrubbing that weakened surface will only liberate more minerals from the tooth surface. It is better to wait at leats 30 minutes before you brush your teeth.
Use an Oral Probiotic: Oral probiotics are live bacteria that are identical to the beneficial microorganisms found naturally in your mouth. The addition of oral probiotics to an oral care regimen can restore the natural balance of beneficial bacteria. Oral probiotics are different than regular probiotics. Probiora is a good example of an oral probiotic.
5.Drink coffee and tea the safe way.
Drink your coffee and tea with coconut oil, no sugar and in a short period of time.
My method: Adding a TBSP of coconut oil or MCT oil to coffee and tea is a great way to avoid stains on your teeth. Some people complain of upset stomach when they add Coconut oil to the coffee, that could be due to the Lauric acid. If that is your case MCT oil could be better. Consult with your medical doctor before you start adding either one. If you prefer Bulletproof coffee, it is a great idea to start your day(collagen, butter and MCT oil), good fuel for your brain and great for your teeth. That's what we drink every morning in our office. Here is a good video. Drink your coffee without sugar, but if you can’t resist, either Stevia or Xylitol is a good alternative. Drink 6 oz in a short period of time, as coffee raises the acidity of the Ph in your mouth. When you are done, rinse your mouth with water in order to raise your Ph level.
6.Wait at least 3 hours before you begin eating again.
The buffering capacity of the saliva takes approximately 3 hours. Buffering capacity is the quality that saliva has to neutralize acids in the mouth. Our ph. becomes acidic at different degrees after any meal we eat or any drink but water.
7. Oil pulling
When you wake up in the morning, do oil pulling with “skinny” coconut oil. I have seen excellent results in patients that have used this product and use it myself daily. I strongly recommend this specific type of coconut oil. The company extracts the oil by hand not by machine and doesn't use heat so it is truly alkaline. It also contains peppermint and tea tree oil which is good to stimulate our salivary glands to produce a better flow of saliva. I see patients that go out and buy products for oil pulling that do more harm than good due to high acidic ph.
My Method: Every morning, I swish ½ tbsp. in my mouth while I shower and get ready. It's the perfect amount of time (5-20 min). Although 1 tablespoon is generally recommended, it's just too much for my mouth. Adjust the amount to what feels right for you.
“based on the lack of scientific evidence, the American Dental Association does not recommend oil pulling as a dental hygiene practice.”
8. Combine the right foods and eat them at the right time.
Protein helps balance blood sugar and lowers the acidity of your ph levels. So, eat protein with yours snacks and main meals. If you really like fruits, combine them with a protein. If you feel daunted by giving up sugar, start by eating them with protein. The sugar in the blood won’t be that high and the ph won’t be as acidic as if you ate the sweet alone.
9. Take the right supplements for you.
The older we get the more minerals we lose. Unfortunately, even good food is not enough to supply our needs, and consequently we need to take supplements. There are some supplements that I recommend, although I always tell my patients that they should ask their medical doctor what their deficiencies are first so that they take the right supplements for them. Trace minerals taken with Vitamin D3 and K2 help getting those minerals back to our teeth. If your primary health practitioner approves them,they will be a good help to lower dental sensitivity.
10.Good Oral Hygiene Before Bedtime.
Ideally we should use dental floss, brush, and rinse our mouth twice a day, but mornings can be so busy for many people. If you cannot brush your teeth in the morning after breakfast, at least rinsing with water will help.
Studies show that people who regularly perform good oral hygiene at night are less prone to get tooth decay than those who just brush in the morning.
My method: At night after you have dinner, floss then brush your teeth with Akamai toothpaste and do a rinse with baking soda (explained below).
- Flossing is very useful to clean our teeth and our gums. In doing so, we keep the bone (which holds the teeth) healthy. In addition, our immune system gets stronger when we use dental floss. When we don’t floss, gums become inflamed and our ant-inflammatory cells rush to help, which wastes their energy. When you use dental floss, the inflammation decreases or disappears, and our body uses that energy for more important things that we can’t control ourselves.
- Akamai toothpaste is the best toothpaste that I have found in the market. My family and I have been using it for quite a while, and we love it! The ingredients are great. It’s great for detoxing, ph, remineralization and more. It has no fluoride, no glycerin and no added chemicals. It is also a local Boulder company.
- If you use another toothpaste be sure that you don't brush with powders since they are very abrasive. The best way it is to dilute the powders in water and then dip your toothbrush in the mixed , then brush your your teeth.