7 Secrets for Super-Human Oral Health

Wednesday Mar 20, 2013 | BY |
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Oral Health

Brushing and flossing help, but with these tricks, you can do even more to improve your smile.

You know you’re supposed to regularly brush, floss, and attend routine dental check-ups. What you may not know is that there are some things you can do beyond the ordinary to help encourage super-human oral health.

7 Unusual Steps for Promoting Oral Health

Though you may think you’re doing well to find time to brush and floss every day, you can do even more for your oral health without having to take extra time out of your busy schedule. Things like using a straw, for instance, can help protect your teeth from acid erosion while not taking any extra effort or time.

Here are seven other simple and easy things you can do to protect your teeth and increase your odds of avoiding gum disease.

  1. Raisins: You wouldn’t think these would be good for your teeth, because they’re sweet and sticky. Yet a study published in 2005 found that certain compounds in raisins fight bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities and gum disease. These include oleanolic acid, betulin, and other antioxidants. They even prevent the microorganisms from sticking to the enamel surface, blocking the formation of plaque.
  2. Xylitol chewing gum: This sweetener can starve out oral bacteria, encouraging healthy teeth. In one study, chewing xylitol gums significantly reduced cavities in children. You’ll find it in gum and other oral hygiene products, and you can also get it in powdered form and use it in any recipe.
  3. Green tea: Whereas black tea can stain teeth, green tea is easier on the pearly whites, yet can help fight against the formation of plaque and reduce the acids that cause tooth decay. A 2009 study found that patients who drank at least one cup of green tea per day had superior periodontal health compared to those who did not. Another study found that components in green tea inhibit the growth of oral bacteria, and interfere with the production of hydrogen sulfide—which causes bad breath. Green tea also has powerful antioxidants that neutralize cancer-causing free radicals.
  4. Vitamin C: Recent studies have discovered that vitamin C can help enhance wound repair following dental extractions by increasing the body’s construction of scar tissue and the synthesis and deposition of collagen. Vitamin C deficiencies can result in gingivitis and periodontal inflammation—even tooth loss. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C!
  5. Probiotics: This is an exciting area of new research in dental health. Studies have shown that probiotics can help clear cavity-causing bacteria from the mouth, making it a possible new ingredient in gums and candies for healthy teeth. A 2006 study found that a mouthwash containing probiotics helped fight the bacteria that cause bad breath. Preliminary research also shows that probiotics may help inhibit the growth of the yeast responsible for oral thrush. Another reason to reach for live cultures in a yogurt or kefir snack!
  6. Cranberries: Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center found that the same traits that make cranberry juice effective against bladder infections may also help protect teeth against cavities. Scientists found that cranberry juice acts like “Teflon” for teeth, making it difficult for bacteria to cling to tooth surfaces. It also helped disrupt the formation of plaque. Science is still looking into it, but a homemade cranberry mouthwash (unsweetened) may be beneficial.
  7. Cheese: If you’re vegan, this may not be an option, but studies have found that cheese has compounds that reduce the risk of cavities—making it a great after-meal snack. (Just watch the calories.) A review of the literature found that cheese stimulates saliva flow, plus reduces the levels of bacteria in the mouth. Scientists also theorize that the high calcium and phosphorus content in cheese may also help encourage oral health.

Do you have other natural tips for health teeth and gums? Please share!

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Sources
American Society for Microbiology (2005, June 13). Raisins As A Functional Food For Oral Health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 18, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2005/06/050613062724.htm.

K.K. Makinen, et al., “Xylitol Chewing Gum and Caries Rates: A 40-Month Cohort Study,” J Dent Res 74(12): 1904-1913, December 1995, http://pocarisweat.umdl.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/68231/10.1177_00220345950740121501.pdf;jsessionid=C2994011B468D3099DC50F9E7C7A5D42?sequence=2.

“Go Green for Healthy Teeth and Gums,” Perio.org, March 5, 2009, http://www.perio.org/consumer/green-tea.

“Tea Fights Bad Breath,” Unviersity of Illinois at Chicago, May 20, 2003, http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-05/uoia-tfb051403.php.

R.A. Halbertstein, “Vitamin C and Dental Health,” Nova Publishers, https://www.novapublishers.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=5410.

Stephen Daniells, “Probiotic gums and candies show oral health potential,” NutraIngredients-usa.com, April 19, 2010, http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Probiotic-gums-and-candies-show-oral-health-potential.

J.P. Burton, et al, “A preliminary study of the effect of probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 on oral malodour parameters,” Journal of Applied Microbiology, 100 (2006): 754-764, http://www.badbreath.com.au/media/jam_2837.pdf.

Stephen Daniells, “Probiotics’ oral health potential gathers pace,” NutraIngredients-usa.com, August 22, 2012, http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Probiotics-oral-health-potential-gathers-pace.

“Give Thanks for the Cranberry, Say Dental Researchers,” University of Rochester Medical Center, November 23, 2005, http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=947.

Colleen M. Story

Colleen M. Story

Colleen M. Story, a northwest-based writer, editor, and ghostwriter, has been creating non-fiction materials for individuals, corporations, and commercial magazines for over 15 years. She specializes in the health and wellness field, where she writes and ghostwrites books, e-books, blogs, magazine articles, web copy, newsletters, research-based projects and more.

Colleen is a self-described health nut, and understands from experience that “junk” foods and lack of sleep lead to fuzzy thinking, which isn’t helpful when facing project deadlines! She enjoys interviewing top scientific researchers, alternative medicine gurus, and cancer survivors from all over the nation who have overcome great challenges to find new purpose and vitality in life. In telling their stories and sharing their insights, she feels a sense of belonging in a wider community of individuals who seek to experience life in the most vibrant way possible.

Colleen’s fantasy novel, “Rise of the Sidenah,” is forthcoming from Jupiter Gardens Press. Her literary novel, “Loreena’s Gift,” is scheduled for an August 2015 release with Dzanc Books. She lives in Idaho. www.colleenmstory.com

7 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. Linda Park says:

    I use baking soda on my teeth daily to keep them white. It also neutralizes your saliva.

  2. eileen says:

    thank you for those hints – I also find by purchasing Dental Toothpicks in the Dental Toothpaste aisles are always a help — They take the food in between your teeth out so easily and you can also massage your gums gently with them. there are two forms of these products so pick one or both and see which ones work best.

  3. Janet says:

    Oil Pulling is a safe, simple, cheap and gentle ‘do it yourself home remedy’ that cures and prevents diseases and extends your healthy life.

    It involves rinsing the mouth with 1 tablespoon (10ml) of oil for 15 to 20 minutes and spitting it out. You can use either sunflower oil or sesame oil, both of which are usually used for cooking and readily available in the home. I use coconut oil.

    This simple therapy is completely harmless as you do not take any medicines – even the oil you use is spit out after OP. By helping the body get rid of toxins that have accumulated, Oil Pulling promotes self healing from within.

    The first thing that most people notice when they start oil pulling is an improvement in their oral health. Teeth become whiter, breath becomes fresher, and the tongue and gums take on a healthy pink color. Even problems such as bleeding gums, tooth decay, and gum disease are greatly diminished or completely healed.

  4. Michelle Russell says:

    I believe oil pulling is very good for mouth health removing all toxins from the mouth.

  5. is it the same lingonberry juice than cranberry. lingonberry is in germany and europe more common. its probably the same botanic family.

  6. Malvin says:

    After recently reading Ramiel Nagel’s book “Cure Tooth Decay” it’s hard to take this article very seriously. Although the last sentence about the cheese is spot on! And that’s progress :). It makes sense that these things help but not because the bad bacteria is the real cause for tooth decay.
    I would also like to know your thoughts, Kevin, about his book and in general about Weston A. Price’s work.

  7. COMMENTS:
    I overcame many oral hygiene problems as below by using the root powder of licorice, muleti in Hindi , AS TOOTH POWDER and oil pulling with virgin coconut oil.
    Normal days no issues of teeth: Teeth brushing with licorice morning and night and oil pulling with c oil only at night before bed.
    Suffered from Sensitive Teeth:
    Brushed two times with licorice.
    Oilpulling with c oil several times a day after eatring or drinking.
    Suffered from very deep cavities:
    Several times oil pulling with c oil. Brushing into cavities.
    Suffered from sharp broken teeth:
    HAd the teeth blunted by the dentists tools.
    Suffered from need for root canal treatment as asserted by Dentist
    All as above cured it.
    I saw to it that no bacteria ever invaded my cavities.
    With the use of the coconut oil.
    For whitening I would prefer a combo of baking soda with c oil and may add few drops of lemon. AFter which i should wash teeth thoroughly, and again to do oil pulling.
    YOU CAN MANAGE ALL THE ISSUES AT HOME FOR YOU AND KIDS.
    THIS IS A THOUSAND TIMES SAFER THAN DRUGS AND HARMFUL PASTES OF MAIN LINE COMMERCIALS.
    – param
    naturopath india
    with a lot of health tips in my facebook page called sunflowerdance
    http://www.sunflowerdance.com
    I AM INDEBTED TO MARY AND KEVIN FOR ALLTHE GOOD HEALTH EMPOWERING THEY ARE DOING FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS. GOD BLESS THEM WITH ALL PEACE AND HAPPINESS AND MANY MANY YEARS OF ENLIGHTENING TO PPL

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