Holistic dental care is to some degree unchartered territory. Not many dentists know too much about natural remedies, and dentists may come across opposition or challenges when attempting to learn about and implement these treatments. There are a few things you can do, however, at home or at your dentist’s office to ensure you’re exposing yourself to fewer toxic chemicals and procedures. Try these seven tips for holistic dental care.
1. Buy a Natural Bristles Brush
Your first step to holistic dental care comes right down to your very toothbrush! Most toothbrushes aren’t biodegradable and use harsh materials for the bristles. Try finding a toothbrush that’s made out of bamboo instead and uses recyclable, BPA-free materials. Not only will this be gentler on your teeth, but also for the environment!
2. Use Fluoride-Free Toothpaste
I know you’ve heard a million times that fluoride is essential for strong teeth. But what once was standard in the world of dentistry is now coming under scrutiny. Research is still divided, but when you consume too much fluoride it definitely can be toxic. If you’re worried you won’t get strong teeth using fluoride-free toothpaste, remember that a lot of beverages like city drinking water have been fortified with fluoride.
3. Avoid Mercury for Cavities and Fillings
You might think a mercury-based filling is your only choice for a cavity, but there are alternatives out there. Talk to your dentist about whether or not you’re a good candidate for using a composite filling instead of a mercury filling. Some people report getting mercury poisoning from long exposure to this heavy metal in their fillings.
4. Look for Organic/Natural Materials Floss
Many flosses are covered in synthetic waxes that aren’t good for your body or the environment. Some flosses also contain trace amounts of gluten or yeast, which is especially important if you have a wheat allergy. Try buying organic floss that’s biodegradable and made from natural resources like silk and various plants.
5. Try Neem Oil for Pain Relief
Neem oil has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years for hair, skin, and dental care. It’s a natural antibiotic, meaning it kills bad bacteria without killing good bacteria. Some holistic practitioners swear by brushing their teeth with neem oil instead of regular toothpaste. Even if that does sound a bit extreme, rubbing a little neem oil on a toothache can buy you time before seeing your dentist.
6. Consider a DIY Mouthwash
Conventional mouthwashes are loaded with alcohol, which can dry out your mouth and kill all the good bacteria you need in your system. There are plenty of recipes online for DIY mouthwashes that involve distilled water and various essential oils. Just like conventional mouthwash, do NOT swallow these mouthwashes. Even if they are natural, swallowing these concoctions can lead to health problems.
7. Don’t Neglect Your Diet
Ultimately, one of the best ways to keep your teeth healthy comes down to your diet. Eating a diet that is full of fiber and raw food and limits sugar and artificial sweeteners can definitely help keep your teeth in good shape. Dental health has been linked to all sorts of other ailments like heart disease and diabetes. Chances are if it’s good for your teeth, it’s good for the rest of your body.
As always, talk to your dentist and medical provider before embarking on any sort of holistic dental practices. Also don’t be afraid to ask your dentist questions about alternative treatments and products. What are your favorite ways to keep your teeth feeling fresh and clean without a ton of nasty chemicals?