the 4 keys to oral health

Key #4: Your Lifestyle
Lifestyles That Improve (and do not harm) Your Oral Health

Cavities and gum disease are not a mystery! These are symptoms and signs of a stoppable and preventable, underlying, bacterial disease that occurs when the mouth is out of balance. This means that anyone with a family history of bad teeth does not passively “inherit” cavities and gum disease – no matter what you have been told!

Teeth are Mirrors of Your Mouth Health

Natural teeth are great mirrors of our mouth’s ecology because they absorb minerals from saliva to maintain their strength. Minerals easily flow into teeth, but they also flow out in a dynamic way, every time the mouth becomes acidic. This dynamic effect and the changes in the strength of teeth will start to occur as adult teeth erupt around age 7, and the process continues daily for the rest of your life!
Every 24-hour period will result in either a balance or deficit in tooth minerals. When adequate quantities of minerals go into teeth it indicates good mouth conditions and your teeth will appear strong, shiny and white. A deficit in tooth minerals will allow teeth to look darker, less shiny and be at an increased risk for cavities and other problems. Crowns, bridges and artificial whitening mask these signs. Artificial tooth whitening weakens teeth, to leave them more likely to stain and more sensitive. 

Find The Reasons Why

When I interview clients with bad oral health I want to discover the causes or reasons why someone has cavities or gum disease – problems they may have endured for decades. When we find these problems we can easily find solutions. This is why we focus on the 24-hour experience of a tooth inside their mouth! We talk about the many things that happen during their day – things that can make their mouths dry or acidic often for long periods of time. 

Mouth Dryness
Some people have a face or jaw shape that puts them at increased risk for mouth breathing – which reduces saliva’s ability to heal their gums or strengthen teeth. Others have difficulty breathing through their nose because of allergies or sinus issues. You may be unable to close your lips over your teeth, which leaves these teeth unprotected by saliva and at increased risk for cavities and gum disease. Dry mouth usually leads to sensitivity, staining, bleeding gums and tooth fractures. All these risks can be minimized or overcome completely.

Mouth Acidity
How long is your mouth acidic each day? This is an important question since acidic conditions dissolve minerals out of teeth and leave them soft, more likely to stain and more likely to erode and wear. Acidity provides the conditions for harmful bacteria to multiply – leading to bleeding and the onset of periodontal pocketing and gum disease. 

Many drinks and foods are acidic –even healthy ones – and periods of acidity will need to be balanced or else they will cause serious mouth problems. Foods that contain sugar or carbohydrates create acidity in the mouth. Even some vegetables – like spinach and kale – contain oxalic acid and when these are juiced or sipped, the acidity can cause damage. The problem is not short spells of acidity but the creation of extended periods of mouth acidity – by sipping or snacking over many hours. 

In acidic mouth’s conditions, healthy bacteria will disappear and more harmful ones will become dominant. This eventually leads to symptoms of bad breath, plaque and calculus build-up, gingivitis, and cavities. Teeth will show signs of weakness and damage and tooth enamel may look thinner or appear darker in color, or your teeth may feel powdery and rough or edgy and sensitive.

Lifestyle Routines For Strong Teeth &
a Healthy Mouth!

It is important to limit acidic conditions and give teeth time to interact with undiluted saliva.

  • Chew xylitol gum or eat a xylitol mint frequently during the day to stimulate a flow of alkaline saliva into the mouth. This helps control long periods of mouth acidity after eating or drinking and creates ideal conditions for the replacement of minerals into teeth. 
  • Topical use of a little sodium fluoride toothpaste or a 0.05% sodium fluoride rinse has been shown to work synergistically with xylitol. This means it will speed and improve the absorption of minerals into teeth. We do not recommend drinking fluoride but the topical use of tiny amounts of fluoride can help teeth to attract minerals from saliva and into the tooth’s surface.
  • When we eat, dink or sleep our mouth easily becomes acidic and these acidic conditions can last many hours, to cause acidic damage. This damage can be repaired in the dynamic process that easily maintains mouth health. Defend teeth from acidity created by eating and drinking. End your meal with a tooth-protective or alkaline food (celery, cheese) and a swish of alkaline water and/or a xylitol mint or piece of gum. . 
  • Before sleeping - prepare your teeth for a long night – a time when your mouth may be very acidic and dry (especially if you are a mouth breather or snore). My Complete Mouth Care System is ideal to prepare your teeth before sleeping. The products in my system support a healthy mouth ecology and promote re-mineralization of teeth - while you sleep.
  • A xylitol nasal spray used simultaneously with my Complete Mouth Care System – especially before sleeping – may help with nasal congestion and encourage more natural breathing, while you sleep.

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