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I sat with the treatment plan in my hand. Three thousand dollars, just to get started. Ten thousand dollars to make everything right. How did it come to this? I brushed my teeth. I took care of my mouth. I ate healthy and took vitamins. How could my mouth be this bad? How do I reverse this? And more importantly… how do I keep it from happening again?
There is one area of my life that I am no longer super minimal about. Tooth care.
I used to not give much mind to oral health. It is what it is, right? You brush your teeth and that’s that.
Unfortunately, that’s not that. And I found myself with some oral health issues after a hiatus between regular cleanings. (Long story short, I got burned by a dentist and it took longer than I meant to find another.) The dentist said it would cost over ten thousand dollars to fix all the damage.
This sent me down a path of research in order to protect my teeth, and my children’s teeth. What I found was incredible and has already saved me from a bunch of dental work. My life was changed with everything I learned that I can’t help but share it with others.
Note: I am not a dental professional. I share my experience here but its by no means any sort of medical advice. Please do your own research to find what works best for your family.
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Its Not Only About Food
I have been a big fan of the Cure Tooth Decay book (and protocol) for a long time. And more recently, I read and enjoyed The Dental Diet. I think they both do a really great job of shining a light on how important nutrition is to not only our overall health but, especially. our dental health. However, there is another side to oral health which relates to the physical cleaning of our teeth. Things like PH levels, biofilm and decontamination are so important to oral health. Today I am sharing a few of these things with you.
Did you know that the more acidic your mouth is, the harder it is to remove the bacteria we call “plaque”? Our mouths are more acidic right after we eat and if we lack sufficient saliva. Some very simple fixes to this are to wait a bit after eating before brushing and make sure you are hydrated enough and producing adequate saliva. (Note, some medications can cause dry mouth and is not related to hydration.) Other options are to do a pre-rinse with some baking soda or a a mouth wash like Spry Mouthwash. Once you have the PH higher, then when you brush your teeth, the bacteria is more easily removed.
I’m going to try to not get too science-y here, but the bacteria in our mouth creates a biofilm which coats our teeth and protects the bacteria while its growing. Sometimes, disrupting that biofilm is necessary. We use Squiggle toothpaste that does a really great job of breaking up that biofilm. It uses xylitol, which the bacteria consume but because its non-nutritive, they starve. This creates a cycle in which the bacteria cannot grow.
This may be the most important aspect of all of it. Every day we brush our teeth, our toothbrushes are coated with the yucky junk we just took out of our mouths, then we take those toothbrushes the very next day and put them back in our mouths. Gross, huh? How are we supposed to break this bacteria cycle if we are continuously putting the bacteria back in our mouth? I believe that’s why people who start having oral health issues really struggle to get back on track. We never break that cycle.
We do a couple of things to help with this. First, every person has their own cup so that nobody’s brushes are touching other people’s brushes. Every person has their own oral microbiome and it is possible to give someone else the bacteria in your mouth. This is especially important with kids. Second, every evening, we decontaminate our toothbrushes in their own individual cups. We use either hydrogen peroxide or vinegar. This works to kill the bacteria on the toothbrush so that the brush is clean for the next use
The Right Tools
Another game changer was learning that the types of toothbrushes I use really do make a difference. I used to think that any toothbrush will do until I used a toothbrush that changed my entire mouth. My entire family uses TePe brushes now (the Compact Supreme and Compact Tuft.) When we first used them, my gums hurt and bled. As it turns out, the TePe brush was getting up under the gum line where the bacteria was hiding. My gums were in worse shape than I realized. After a few weeks of this, the pain and bleeding stopped and my gums started to heal.
I also use a Waterpik and Burst Brush weekly to reach different places. And of course, we use floss. Its important to use different tools to ensure all areas get reached. We don’t just use one tool to clean our bathrooms, right?
Doing Your Own Research
The majority of what I learned came from the Oral Health Coaching course. I want to plug it in here because what I’ve shared is only a tiny portion of what this course covers. My own personal experience with this course saved me thousands of dollars in dental work. Of course, this is only my experience and I’m not at all guaranteeing anyone else results like this, but of all the people I’ve talked to who have taken this course, most of them say the same thing.
Not only does it teach on things like PH levels, biofilm and decontamination but goes into more details on finding the right dentist and the course creator (a registered dental hygienist with 25 years experience) can help you navigate which procedures and products may be right for you and what alternatives are out there. Its not a one-size-fits-all protocol. And it doesn’t put the focus on nutrition, which can often be tricky to navigate.
The information I have found in this course is information that I don’t know that I ever would have found anywhere else. I feel empowered with my oral health and the health of my kid’s mouths too. I’m not one to recommend a course very often unless I feel it can be majorly impactful. And I believe this course is. At the end of the day, we all have to do what’s best for our families and I have found that finding real information on oral health is difficult, at best, so this has been a goldmine for me. You can click here to sign up, and she even offers payment plans!
Every member of our family has their own…
- Cup to hold brushes (I reused some old jelly jars)
- Decontamination glass
- TePe Supreme brush
- TePe Compact Tuft brush
- Waterpik head and
- Burst Brush head (clicking that link will save you $30 off your Burst brush)
My youngest still uses a baby brush from the store but she does have a Burst Brush head to get her used to the vibration.
What About Waste?
Everyone knows I try to limit waste whenever possible. I’m not at all “zero waste” but I do consider myself a conscious consumer. So how do I justify all these plastic toothbrushes and other things? Because health matters. There are so many places we can cut out waste like making our own meals instead of grabbing takeout and using reusable bags at the grocery store. I use one toothbrush for an entire 6 months. That’s really not a significant amount of waste. I guarantee more waste is created when you have a routine cleaning at the dentist because of all the plastic they use for sanitizing their tools. I’ll be on the lookout for more eco-friendly options in this area, but in the meantime, my health comes first.
Sharing is Caring
I hope this has been helpful for you. Its definitely not one of the things I would normally share about living in simplicity but I feel its such an important topic and its made such a difference in my life that I can’t keep it to myself. Feel free to drop a comment here or contact me if you have more questions on our oral routine!