Dental Health in North America
In North America, common knowledge (and the ADA) tell us that regular brushing, flossing and visits to the dentist keep our teeth healthy. Let’s look at some North American stats.
- By age 2, nearly half of North American children have cavities. 1
- By age 17, 78% and 7% have lost at least one permanent tooth.
- Among adults aged 35-44, 69% have lost at least one permanent tooth
- Among adults aged 65 to 74, 26% have lost all their natural teeth.
- About 80% of North American adults have gum disease.
This either means most people don’t perform standard dental hygiene, or the standard is ineffective. The truth is a combination of both. Although 1/3rd of Canadians don’t have dental insurance,1 we are consistently encouraged to buy dentist-approved toothpastes, mouthwashes, and chewing gum. Wait, chewing gum? Since when was the processed food industry involved with health? Let’s look at the companies that produce chewing gum.
As it turns out, the corporate directors behind the top selling chewing gum brands are also behind the top-selling toothpaste brands. These directors also manage at least a dozen pharmaceutical companies, and are staffed in several high-level government positions in multiple countries, including roles in health policy and food regulation. Could such close relationships evoke conflicts of interest? And at whose cost?
Aside from using thousands of toxic chemicals in their products, these corporations have been repeatedly documented to exploit child labor, commit cruelty to animals, and cause massive deforestation for beef, soy, palm oil, paper and pulp production7. Their processed foods are responsible for global pandemics of obesity, heart disease and diabetes8. At the same time, their pharmaceutical brands stand to earn billions every year from obesity, diabetes and other medications.
Holistic dentistry reveals the relationships between dental health and the health of the whole body. Several common conditions such as acidosis and diabetes can affect dental health9,10. A diet rich in processed foods containing simple sugars, protein and other acid-forming compounds will leach the body of calcium, encourage parasitic growth, and create the ideal conditions for tooth decay. Chronic stress also acidifies the body, taxing bone health and density. Standard dental care is simply not enough to withstand the standard North American lifestyle. Conversely, with a healthy lifestyle, the teeth will be less susceptible to the bacterial infections that cause tooth decay and gum disease.1(p2-8) In fact, a healthy lifestyle can reverse tooth decay and remineralize damaged teeth1,11.
According to 7 Steps to Dental Health: A Holistic Guide to a Healthy Mouth & Body, beyond healthy lifestyle and total body hygiene, the best techniques for maintaining tooth health are: rinsing, brushing, interdental hygiene, scaling, tongue scraping, and gum massaging1(TOC).
Spiced Myrrh Toothpaste
3 tbsp calcium bentonite clay (or other bentonite/kaolin clay)
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1.5 tsp clove
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp myrrh
(optional) boiling water, coconut oil, or seedless strawberry paste
- Mix dry ingredients by shaking vigorously in a glass jar
- Let it settle for a minute, then transfer to cosmetic jar
- (optional) Add boiled water gradually and stir (with stainless steel or untreated wood) to make paste
- (optional) Instead of water, use coconut oil
- (optional) Instead of water, use fresh, blended, finely sieved strawberries
- Place some tooth powder in your hand
- add tiny bit of water, mix into thick paste
- apply to toothbrush and brush normally
- Or, rub paste on gums with index finger using circular motion
- Adjust recipe to your taste and ingredient intensity
- Don’t applying dry powder to teeth
- Haroon, M., & Sawiak, O. (2014). Oral Health Statistics. In 7 steps to dental health: A holistic guide to a healthy mouth and body (2nd ed., p. Xiii). Toronto, Ontario: Life Transformation Institute.
- Leading U.S. chewing gum brands based on sales, 2013 | Statistic. (n.d.). Retrieved March 23, 2015, from http://www.statista.com/statistics/295031/leading-us-chewing-gum-brands-based-on-sales/
- Mondelez International: Advertising and marketing profile at Adbrands.net. (2015, January 1). Retrieved March 23, 2015, from http://www.adbrands.net/us/mondelez_us.htm
- Corporate Governance. (2015, January 1). Retrieved March 23, 2015, from http://www.mondelezinternational.com/investors/corporate-governance#ourBoard
- Mars Inc : Advertising and marketing profile at Adbrands.net. (2015, January 1). Retrieved March 23, 2015, from http://www.adbrands.net/us/mars_us.htm
- Mars, Incorporated: Board of Directors. (2015, January 1). Retrieved March 23, 2015, from http://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/board.asp?privcapId=184468s
- Frequently Asked Questions | Mars. (2014, January 1). Retrieved March 23, 2015, from http://www.mars.com/global/about-mars/faq.aspx
- Monteiro, C., Levy, R., Claro, R., Castro, I., & Cannon, G. (2010). Increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods and likely impact on human health: Evidence from Brazil. Public Health Nutrition, 14(1), 5-13. Retrieved March 23, 2015, from http://www.wphna.org/htdocs/downloadsdec2012/2011_PHN_Monteiro_et_al.pdf
- Diet, diabetes and tooth decay. (2015, January 1). Retrieved March 23, 2015, from https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/diabetesdw.html
- Mentesana, D. (2011, January 1). Patient Education – Tooth Decay. Retrieved March 23, 2015, from http://www.numberonedentist.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=6&Itemid=11
- How to Remineralize Teeth Naturally | Wellness Mama. (2012, January 10). Retrieved March 23, 2015, from http://wellnessmama.com/3650/remineralize-teeth/
- Dodson, R., Nishioka, M., Standley, L., Perovich, L., Brody, J., & Rudel, R. (2012). Endocrine Disruptors and Asthma-Associated Chemicals in Consumer Products. Environmental Health Perspectives, 120(7), 935-943. Retrieved March 23, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3404651/
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