As children, most of us had 20 teeth, while for adults, the norm is 32. And it is even possible for people who lose their second set of teeth to get a third one from their dentist!
Many teeth problems can be solved with good nutrition and proper care as they are nourished through their roots, building and renewing themselves from the food we eat.
How To Care For Your Teeth
Plaque And Tooth Decay: Caution And Cure
Of an estimated 300 types of bacteria that inhabit the mouth, about 20 are linked to gum disease.
Plaque tends to form at the base of the teeth and is difficult for even dentists to remove. It can cause bad breath or bad taste in the mouth. It can be removed through flossing, which is considered even more important than brushing.
After a thorough flossing, use a soft brush to brush at a 45 degree angle at the gum line, pressing gently. Brush not only the teeth (for about two minutes) but also the gums and the tongue with toothpaste or baking soda.
Eat sweets only occasionally, rather than having a constant supply of long-lasting hard candies that keep your mouth in an acidic condition. Always brush after eating sticky foods like dates and raisins as their sugars can stick to the teeth.
Refined carbohydrates, which break down too quickly, also feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Substances likely to stain teeth include
- red wine,
- blueberries, and
To get rid of the stain, rub a freshly cut raspberry or strawberry over the teeth. These have natural whitening action due to high acid concentration.
The Right Nutrients For Healthy Teeth And Gums
Eating crunchy food like raw carrots, celery, sunflower seeds, and apples massages the gums. Chew on both sides to keep the muscles equally developed.
Take capsules of nutrient-rich herbs that strengthen the teeth, such as alfalfa, blue green algae, horsetail, nettles, oatstraw, and spirulina.
Calcium, the main constituent of teeth, is a necessary nutrient for both teeth and gums. Calcium and magnesium help prevent bone loss and teeth grinding.
Vitamin C deficiency can contribute to breakdown of connective tissue that produces blood vessel walls, bone matrix, cartilage, collagen, and dentin.
However, avoid chewable Vitamin C, especially if you are an adult, as the ascorbic acid can be corrosive to dental enamel.
Deficiency of B vitamins, especially folic acid, can cause weakened gums.
Coenzyme Q10 has been found helpful for gingivitis. It improves circulation and increases oxygen levels in the tissues.
Natural Products For Tooth Care At Home
A simple tooth cleaning powder can be made with 1 cup baking soda, 2 tbsps sea salt, and 5 drops essential oil such as anise, cinnamon, peppermint, rosemary, spearmint, or tea tree. The essential oils freshen the breath and taste good.
Baking soda cleans teeth, removes stains, and does not damage tooth enamel. It also is antibacterial and neutralizes plaque acids.
Salt helps draw out agents that contribute to decay. It also helps lessen the reactions of sensitive teeth from hot or cold and curbs bleeding from the gums.
Use in smaller amounts, as it is too abrasive if used excessively.
How To Prevent And Cure Gum Diseases
Bleeding gums, loose teeth, change in bite, and gum recession and inflammation are all indicators of periodontal disease. If it persists, periodontitis may develop, which can cause the tissue surrounding the teeth to be inflamed and the bones supporting the teeth to deteriorate.
For bleeding gums, you can make a mouth rinse or use herbal tea to run through a water pik type device. A folk remedy for bleeding gums is to massage them with a piece of inner lemon rind.
Gargles and mouthwashes are made by either preparing a standard tea and allowing it to cool or by adding a dropperful of tincture into a glass of warm water.
Gargle and or rinse the mouth, swishing the liquid around in the mouth for at least a minute, and then spit it out.
Home Care Before And After Dental Surgery
Valerian root tincture, which is known to be relaxing, can be tried before a dental appointment.
Alternatively, you might consider taking a 500 mg supplement of bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapple, for a few days before and after a major dental surgery. Bromelain helps lessen swelling from dental surgery.
Homeopathic Arnica 30c can also help reduce swelling and inflammation after dental surgery.
13 Essential Herbs For Tooth Care
- Bloodroot contains the alkaloid sanguinarine, which helps prevent plaque from adhering to the teeth.
- Calendula relieves mouth ulcers and inflammation. It relaxes jaw tension and is antifungal, antiseptic, astringent, and vulnerary.
- Chamomile flowers are anti-inflammatory and can relieve the soreness due to inflamed gums.
- Goldenseal root, an antiseptic, reduces gum recession, infection, mouth sores, and thrush. Use it topically for gum and tooth infections.
- Myrrh resin, also antiseptic, improves mouth sores, gingivitis, gum recession, bleeding gums, and infection.
- Neem herb reduces bacteria populations in the mouth. It strengthens the gums and prevents plaque buildup.
- Peppermint leaf is breath freshening and relieves gum inflammation.
- Prickly ash bark improves circulation and tightens gums.
- Sage leaves improve bleeding and receding gums, gingivitis, and mouth sores. It is mildly antiseptic and healing to mouth ulcers.
- Spilanthes bark, which is antiseptic, is used for treating gum infections.
- White oak bark strengthens and tonifies tissue. It helps relieve bleeding and receding gums.
- Yarrow leaf promotes healing of mouth sores due to braces, surgery, and overzealous teeth cleaning. It is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, circulatory stimulant, and styptic.
- Yerba mansa leaf is an anti-plaque herb and good for gum recession. It is antiseptic, antifungal, and astringent.
Things To Remember
- As brushing too hard can cause gum recession and tooth destruction, use rounded bristles rather than natural bristles, which might be too rough and sharp.
- Change the brush every six weeks to three months.
- Use a disclosing tablet to note the areas that are being missed.
- There are a plethora of gadgets to clean your teeth. Get those that your dentist suggests.
- Rule out tooth care products with harsh chemicals, which can aggravate teeth sensitivity. Natural food stores have selections of beneficial products for mouth care.
- When we hold our jaws in a rigid way, we impair circulation to our teeth and gums.
- When you have a few free moments, gently massage the jaw over the teeth area to improve circulation.
- Pay attention to your teeth before you are forced to take expensive action.