Nature Can Nurture Your Dental Health!

Nature has nurtured us for thousands of years so it makes sense that she has some natural answers to our modern dental health problems.

Natural remedies are valuable additions to a regular regime of brushing, flossing and dental checkups. Ongoing scientific studies look at which natural ingredients work best to help prevent cavities and gum disease. These are easy things that you can do every day that will have your dentist and hygienist smiling at your next appointment.

Fluoride is familiar to most people but did you know that Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in all water sources including oceans? Research has shown that fluoride reduces cavities and helps repair early stages of tooth decay.

Most people get fluoride in their drinking water so simply by drinking water you can benefit from fluoride’s cavity protection. However in Victoria the tap water is not fluoridated and is naturally low in fluoride. You can get fluoride in your toothpaste or as a supplement. Ask Dr. Babin for information on the amount of fluoride is recommended for you and your family.

Baking soda can help fight tooth decay by discouraging the formation of plaque and helps to prevent gum disease. Baking soda is available in some toothpastes or as an ingredient in many “make-it-yourself” toothpaste recipes.

Green tea is an interesting and accessible ingredient that is easy to add to your diet to improve your oral health in addition to other health benefits. Research has found that frequent consumption of green tea may help promote healthy teeth and gums and reduce periodontal disease. It is believed that green tea’s mode of action is through its high levels of the antioxidant, catechin, which can reduce inflammation in the body.

One study suggested that rinsing your mouth with green tea extract may help prevent erosion of your enamel. Researchers found that rinsing with green tea strongly inhibited the growth of the plaque bacteria on teeth within minutes. Just seven minutes after swishing with green tea, the number of harmful bacteria in the plaque scraped from participants’ teeth was nearly cut in half!

Vitamin D has several important functions. Ingesting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth. Studies have shown that you may be more likely to get gum disease if you don’t have enough of it. BC guidelines for Vitamin D state “The BC population is at risk of low vitamin D levels from autumn to spring.” “Because vitamin D supplementation in the general adult population is safe, it is reasonable to advise supplementation without testing.”

Since the amount of Vitamin D produced by our skin is dependent on sun exposure those of us living on the “wet coast” can certainly understand why our Vitamin D levels might need a little boost.

If you are looking for natural sources for Vitamin D you will find it in egg yolks, fatty fish like salmon, mushrooms, beef liver, cheese and fortified orange juice.

At your next dental appointment be sure to ask Dr. Babin about natural additions to your diet that will help keep your teeth and gums healthy.