Dr. Steven Lin wrote this awesome guest post; a practicing board accredited dentist and health educator. Check out his website here!
When you see someone with a stunning smile, have you ever wondered how they got it? Teeth send a powerful message of your health and wellbeing, but maintaining them can be a challenge.
Iâ€™m going to tell you some unspoken truths about how to get healthier teeth. Not only will great oral health make you look better, they will also save you money on your dental bills!
And here’s the real kicker. For life-changing health, there’s no better marker for many life-threatening conditions, than your mouth.
Diseases that may first be picked up in the mouth include:
- Heart disease
- Digestive disorders like irritable bowel disease
- Type II diabetes
- Erectile dysfunction
- Alzheimerâ€™s disease
- Autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis
So to get a start in 2018, I’m going to share with you some of the TOP TIPS I tell every one of my patients so that they can have a naturally healthy smile and body.
The Do’s and Don’ts of brushing your teeth.
Let’s start with brushing technique.
As a dentist I see some very mistakes people make while brushing.
Hereâ€™s some of the most common:
- Use a brush with hard bristles
- Grip your brush with a fist â€“ use your fingertips for light touch
- Scrubbing too hard with an â€˜elbow action.’ Use light circular wrist motions
- Brush directly after a meal (wait 15 minutes)
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash daily.
Brushing DOâ€™s: Â
Good oral hygiene is incredibly simple. Use a brush with soft bristles and proper technique.
The modified bass technique is the way that dentists tell their patients to brush their teeth for two main reasons:
- It gets to where plaque can build up and cause problems with your teeth (under the gum line)
- Itâ€™s gentle and wonâ€™t cause damage
How to perform the modified bass technique
With a soft bristle toothbrush:
- Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle.
- The action is a â€˜roll-down from the gum pocket.’ Perform a wrist flick instead of an â€˜up and down motion’ (picture the bristles of the brush â€˜scoopingâ€™ the plaque out from under the gums).
- Roll the brush bristles down to â€˜pull’ plaque of the â€˜pocketâ€™ between the gums and teeth
- Perform this all around the mouth (3-4 times per tooth, inside and outside) EXCEPT behind the upper and lower front teeth (known as incisors)
- Behind the upper and lower incisors, put the brush 90 degrees (straight up and down) and use an UP and DOWN motion.
So will this brushing technique keep my teeth healthy for life?
Hereâ€™s the surprising answer to this question.
Brushing isnâ€™t everything you can do for healthy teeth and gums.
But thereâ€™s one key thing I explain to every one of my patients. When your car breaks down, there’s no use taking it to the car wash. A shiny coat of paint is fine, but we need to get under the bonnet and understand what’s wrong.
I’m going to now explain to you, some lesser-known habits for supporting healthy teeth and gums.
Here are some more unconventional, ways to promote healthy teeth.
- Nasal breathing (delivers more oxygen and prevents drying of the mouth).
- Good tongue posture (sitting up against the roof of the mouth. It’s great for your spinal posture.)
- Closed lips when not talking or eating.
- Tongue scraping (You get plaque build-up on your tongue too.)
BUT now letâ€™s get to the SECRET SAUCE for healthy teeth.
All of these factors help you to keep your teeth in good shape. But giving your teeth and gums need the right fuels to stay healthy for life. Â
- Your teeth have an inner immune system (fuelled by vitamin A, D, and K2).
- Oxygen and nasal breathing contributes to jaw growth and deep bodily functions such as mitochondrial balance.
- The oral microbiome (probiotic bacteria) help protect you against tooth decay, gum disease, and conditions like bad breath. It also connects directly to your gut.
Eating a diet that strengthens your teeth, balances your breathing, digestive system, and grow healthy, straight teeth.
- Eat foods rich in the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K2
- Butter (from pasture-raised animals)
- Organ meats
- Egg yolks
- Whole fatty fish
- Fermented foods like sauerkraut
- Remove refined foods, (including sugars)
- Sugar reduction â€“ Give yourself a sugar audit (you can download my free PDF for a guide at www.drstevenlin.com)
- Remove refined flour (breaks down as sugar in the body)
- Processed vegetable oils (they stop you from absorbing the crucial fat-soluble vitamins)
- Balance the mouth and gut with probiotic promoting foods
- Lots of fiber-rich vegetables
- Lots of prebiotic fibers found in foods like garlic, onions, and leeks
- Eat cultured, fermented foods rich in probiotic bacteria
Your body has all the tools it needs to protect you against dental diseases and other diseases. You just need to feed it the right things!
The beautiful thing about dental nutrition is eating for a healthy mouth, means the body follows along, naturally!
Curious to learn more? In my book The Dental Diet, Iâ€™ll show you the entire way that your teeth mirror the health of your whole body. We’ll explore ancestral medicine, the human microbiome, nutritional epigenetics, and youâ€™ll get access to my 40-day dental diet meal plan to start practicing dental nutrition for life-changing health!