The daughter of a dental assistant, you would think I have perfect teeth and great habits. Well, I do. At least for the last 15 years. I don’t really remember what was going on before that, but apparently it wasn’t good because my mouth is in terrible shape.
Mouths and feet are equally disgusting. I can’t even.
I haven’t had a filling in a long time, but I shamefully developed gum disease and this year had a bone graft surgery throughout most of my mouth. Yes, it’s just as much fun as it sounds.
I have been obsessed with oral hygiene to the point that it annoyed Brooks. He accused me of nearly being OCD, but when you know your mouth isn’t in great shape and food really bothers it, you quit caring how you are judged for your OCD. After this year’s surgery, he eased up.
For years I have believed that perhaps my gut issues were connected, but I didn’t dig through research to find out. Recently I heard a guest on one of my favorite health podcasts, the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast, talking about natural dental care, how our mouths are sooo connected to the rest of our body and I felt like I discovered gold. I’ve barely scratched the surface, but I did find a book that everyone who cares about health and longevity should read.
Holistic Dental Care, by Nadine Artemis, sheds incredible light on the misguided actions of many dentists. If only I’d had this book ten years ago! C’est la vie… it’s mine now and I am obsessed.
If you care about your overall wellbeing, read Holistic Dental Care. I won’t bore you with the details and I can’t show you my hygiene routine because, as I mentioned previously, mouths are gross and this is one blog that won’t have any accompanying videos.
I already had a 5-step cleaning routine, so adding a few extra steps to follow Nadine’s suggested 8-step routine was not such a stretch. Sounds like a lot, but it’s not bad. Especially when you consider what it’s doing for your long-term health.
Here we go!
8-Step Cleaning Ritual
2. Brush your gums ever so gently. My fave toothbrush.
3. Brush your teeth with baking soda.
4. Scrape your tongue. (At least brush.) Try this tongue scraper.
5. Floss (add essential oil to your floss). Thick floss I prefer.
6. Use a dental tool along your gum line. So great!
7. Extra care like an irrigation tool. Water Pik is my brand.
8. Oil pulling. (Add essential oil)
With the extent of my issues I ask every dentist what I should eat to take care of what’s left of my mouth. To my surprise, they have never made any suggestions. Looking at the science of how your body processes nutrients into your teeth from the inside this non-advice is shocking. How would everything else in your body react to food in some way, but not your teeth. It’s not complicated. In fact, it’s basic. Eat whole foods, keep your insulin in check and don’t eat processed foods.
What you lose in your mouth is gone forever, so yes, I’m obsessed with keeping all my teeth and maintaining my current level of health.