smileBefore we get into reversing cavities, we need to ask, what exactly does oral health consist of? Oral health is invisible and relatively difficult to measure. Currently we rely on dentists measuring with equipment that can only detect cavities and gum disease after our oral health has already been damaged. So what stops this damage and makes our mouth healthy? Is it diet, flossing, or regular dental cleanings?

Plenty of people brush, floss and eat a healthy diet, yet they continue to experience cavities, breakdown of fillings and gum disease. Most people are told their problems are part of an aging process or due to genetics or missed dental appointments. We can empower ourselves to be able to determine the lack of truth in these excuses by learning more about oral health. With this knowledge you can protect and improve your own mouth health, often reversing and healing cavities and gum disease by yourself – simply with a few changes to your regular daily home care.

Most people have limited knowledge about teeth. Many are not aware of the existence of the healthy bacteria that live in their mouth. The mouth is not supposed to be squeaky clean, so don’t believe false advertising that suggests everyone needs professional cleanings every six months: It is not true! Other commonly held beliefs about mouth care can be harmful and it is misguided to scrub, whiten or over-clean teeth, since tooth enamel is delicate and requires proper consideration. Our choice of tooth-cleaning products is vital and we must avoid abrasive pastes, acidic mouth rinses, and chemicals that upset the health of the mouth. Fortunately there is a natural way to repair teeth and promote mouth health – and it does not involve flossing!

To improve and maintain mouth health it’s important to know these five truths:

  1. Both good and bad bacteria transfer from tooth to tooth, from person to person, and from teeth to toothbrushes. Therefore, if you are fighting cavities or gum problems, it’s important to clean your toothbrush EVERY time you use it, such as by swishing it in a little Listerine and allowing it to dry in open air circulation.  
  2. Acidity in the mouth weakens teeth and promotes calculus, plaque, gum problems and bad breath.
  3. Teeth need time to interact with healthy mouth saliva every day. If we snack constantly or if we drink all day long – even water! – we never give our teeth sufficient “face time” with this healing liquid.
  4. The worst nightmare for teeth is when you sleep. Overnight, the flow of saliva slows down and the pH of saliva becomes gradually more acidic, promoting the growth of the worst kinds of harmful mouth bacteria. Proper care before bed with non-abrasive pastes and non-acidic rinses can help your teeth stay mineral dense, acid-resistant and protected!
  5. Mouth Health and Whole Body Wellness are connected.

But I love sweets. How can I help my teeth?

Xylitol is a delicious healthy sugar that makes plaque slippery and promotes mouth health. Xylitol can help to protect teeth from acidic damage as it stimulates saliva to flow. Xylitol, when eaten frequently in small amounts, can help teeth become stronger and healthier. Xylitol can work synergistically with certain mouth rinses for improved mouth health and to reverse dental problems.

Just one caution: xylitol should not be shared with any pets.

Want to learn more? Join Dr. Phillips’ upcoming class, “Naturally Repair Cavities and End Gum Disease“, Tuesday, Feb. 7 @ 7 PM at Peoples Conference Room South!

ElliePhillipsDr. Ellie Phillips graduated as a dentist from the University of London and has worked in the U.K, Switzerland and the United States. She has specialties in advanced general and children’s dentistry. She is a founding member of the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health and is passionate about the impact of oral health on general health. She has published articles and books – most notable, Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye – available on Amazon. Her next book, for publication in 2017, will explain how mouth health is related to general health, and why we should avoid dental treatments and even dental cleanings for improved mouth and general health.