Alternative treatments for dental care - are you sick of brushing

by needproof 12 Replies latest social physical

  • needproof

    I have been having trouble with my teeth throughout my life. I am missing a few due to extractions. I have two major problems and they are 1) I have long roots, meaning extractions is painful and 2) I have naturally weak teeth.

    Recently I have been plagued with a tooth at the back of my mouth. Initially I thought that I had cut my tongue, and perhaps I was right, but now the pain has gone to my gum. It's very hard to check but what has happened is a tooth has broken off, digging itself into my gum, causing inflamation.

    I can't figure out why my teeth give me such hassle. I brush twice a day.

    Is there anybody out there sick to death of punishing their teeth with toothpastes morning and night?

    If so, perhaps you will enjoy this info I found on alternative treatments.


    Cleaning the teeth using a dry coarsely-woven cloth wrapped around your finger is more effective than brushing the broad surfaces. You can use a very little bicarb.soda on the cloth if you wish, or dip it in salt water. Don't use dry salt on your teeth, it is too abrasive and may damage the enamel.

    Don't forget to massage the gums.

    Cleaning the sides and in between the teeth needs to be done with something which is flexible and does not injure the gums. I find the dried flower stalks of Fennel excellent for this purpose. They are pleasant tasting, antiseptic, do not splinter, and come in a variety of thicknesses. Any similar dried stem from a non-poisonous plant could be used, e.g. dried grass stems, dill, or parsley. A supply should be cut and stored each year when the stems are beginning to dry naturally on the plant.

    Toothpicks should be used to remove large particles of debris from between and around the teeth as soon as possible - even during your meal. Always be gentle. The wooden toothpicks sold commercially are often too sharp, and/or liable to splinter and can easily injure the gums. A metal or ivory toothpick, if you can find one (try an antique shop - in the past many people carried their own toothpick with them to meals), has a smoothly rounded point, and is preferable, since it protects both your gums and the environment. Or use your imagination and make one from suitable material. You could even buy a dentist's tool made for the purpose, though this is not so easy to carry around in your pocket.

    Chewing fresh parsley, coriander, or mint leaves gives a topical fluoride treatment as well as disinfecting the mouth and sweetening the breath.

    If you prefer to brush, you could try green twigs - chew the ends until the fibres are loose enough to clean the teeth. Discard after use. Suitable twigs include birch, persimmon, elm, and probably camellia. No toothpaste is necessary.

    Tooth care is often skimped, because looking after your teeth properly is time-consuming, however you choose to do it. Using the techniques outlined above means you can look after your teeth almost anywhere, instead of being stuck in the bathroom. You can do it in bed, while reading a book, or even watching television. The most important thing is to make sure your teeth are thoroughly cleaned at least once every day, and that you use a toothpick and mouthwash - water is fine, or thoroughly chew a piece of apple or celery, every time you eat - not just meals, but after snacks. If you can only clean once daily, the best time is when you go to bed. This means your mouth has all night to recover from the onslaughts of the day.

    If you must use a commercial toothbrush, rinsing it well in salt water (one teaspoon to half a cup of water) will keep it disinfected, and prevent the bristles from going limp. Other ways to stop bacteria breeding on the brush are to dry it in the sun, or to keep it in the freezer. Use just a little bicarb.soda, or plain soap instead of toothpaste. Do not rinse after cleaning.

    Mouthwashes are best used in between cleanings as an oral hygiene supplement, or if for any reason you are unable to clean your teeth properly. Plain water is fine, but if you wish you can use a teaspoon of bicarb.soda, or of salt, in a cup of water. They both kill bacteria and sweeten the breath. For a fluoride wash, rinse with green tea.

    Dentures and dental plates

    Dentures are often fragile, and of materials likely to be harmed by using the sun to sterilise them. Mix equal quantities of bicarb.soda and salt, and keep the powder in a covered jar. Use a toothpick to dislodge any food particles from the denture, then clean the surfaces with a soft cloth. (If you need glasses, don't forget to wear them so you can see properly!) Next, dissolve a heaped teaspoon of the above mix in a half a cup or so of water, then soak the dentures for at least 20 minutes in the solution. You can shake off the excess when you remove them from the solution, but do not rinse them. Always use a mouthwash, and give your gums a massage with your finger before replacing the denture or plate in your mouth.

    Some important notes:

    Commercial toothpastes, especially the Multi-national brands, contain synthetic sweeteners, flavours, and fluoride. They may be the cause of irritation or even ulcers. One of the leading brands costs only about one sixth of it's price to produce. Two-sixths goes on packaging, and three-sixths - that is, half the cost, goes into promotion and advertising! Even the 'Health Food' brands are often manufactured, on behalf of small companies, by larger companies. If you really want to use toothpaste, look for Bio-dynamic or Ayurvedic pastes. Use no more than will cover half your little finger-nail, and don't rinse, or you remove the active ingredients from the mouth, which rather defeats the purpose of using it in the first place. While you can spit most of the residue out, do you really want to clean your teeth with something you are afraid to swallow? Back

    Oil of Cloves is often promoted as being good for toothache. It is! But if it comes into contact with the gums or tissues of the mouth, it will burn! The safe and painless way to use it is to protect the tissues around the affected tooth with soft rag, then apply the oil directly to the cavity and/or surfaces of the tooth. A cottonbud may be too large for this purpose, and anyway, if you are environmentally aware, you will not be using such disposables. A scrap of soft rag held in a pair of fine tweezers is works well. Use a mirror, and open your mouth really wide. Better still, get someone else to help you.


    Fluoride certainly hardens the outer surface of the teeth, but too much is very toxic. Adding it to a public water supply is risky, not only because of the direct effects, but also because foods grown and irrigated, or manufactured, in areas with fluoridated water may overload the diet of people living in areas where the naturally occuring level of fluoride is already too high.

    The Linus Pauling Institute has an excellent and comprehensive page about Fluoride, which can be accessed using this link to the website of the Oregon State University - FLUORIDE

    Natural sources of fluoride:

    If you need to make certain your fluoride intake is adequate for strong teeth and bones, you may like to consider the following:

    Dietary sources

    Seafoods - all seafoods contain some fluoride. The bones of marine fish have significant amounts, so eat the bones of canned, or better still, home-pickled fish if you need a rich natural source. All green leaves contain fluoride, which leaches into the water when they are cooked. Thus green tea is a good source, as is the water in which your greens have been cooked. Black tea does not contain so much, and if you take milk in your tea, the calcium in the milk reduces the body's uptake of fluoride. Persimmons are rich in fluoride, as well as many other essential nutrients.

    Topical application:

    You can get natural fluoride directly in contact with your teeth by using green tea as a mouthwash; or by chewing edible green leaves like parsley; or chewing celery stalks. Give the chewed material a chance to mix with your saliva, and hold the mix in your mouth, moving it around to allow contact with all the surfaces of the teeth. Then choose whether to spit or swallow!!

  • Satanus

    I brush w hydrogen peroxide*.

    *Only 3%, not the rocket fuel version.


  • greendawn

    I never believed in brushing my teeth to stop caries I think teeth will not decay if they are strong and one avoids too many sticky sweets. Yet I had friends who ate a lot of sugar and had few if any cavities others ate a lot less of it and had several cavities. I brush them twice a week to keep the gums healthy. Many of my teeth were damaged during childhood as I used to eat far too many sweets. After I stopped doing that the damage has barely progressed.

  • needproof

    And what about your breath, do you use mouthwash?

  • greendawn

    I eat naturally so I don't get bad breath from decaying food but I do eat a lot of garlic and onions. Occasionally I use peppermint oil. Otherwise brushing twice a week and flossing once a week is good enough.

  • Mulan

    When two of our children were wearing braces, I asked their orthodontist to talk to them about eating so much sugary stuff. He laughed and said it had absolutely nothing to do with tooth decay. He then proceeded to tell me why. I can't remember all of it, but one thing was that he ate lots of hard candy, and had one cavity that he had had since he was a teenager, and that's all. He had scientific reasons too.

    He agreed that hard candy wasn't good for braces. :)

  • juni

    Here in the US dentists stress brushing your teeth at least once a day and flossing once a day and professional cleanings once a year. If one can brush after every meal that is optimal. But who can? Flossing is one of the biggies stressed. But with all of that care, if one has inherited caries-prone teeth their SOL.


  • needproof

    Does anybody know about the dangers of fluoride? I heard that fluoride was bad for you, although maybe I misheard.

  • Madame Quixote
    Madame Quixote

    From the American Academy of Pediatrics, those at highest risk of tooth decay, have risk factors that include "high sucrose carbohydrate diet, orthodontic appliances and certain medical conditions such as dry mouth."

    Also, fluoride is very safe, if used in small amounts and it is effective in preventing caries, if used routinely. Studies show that water fluoridation has helped to decrease the rate of tooth decay (in populations where water fluoridation is used) by 50%.

  • restrangled

    I guess our family was blessed with very strong teeth. Both my boys aged 18 and 22 have never had a cavity......but I made them brush 3 times a day and floss. (They had little TO NO coke and/or sugary treats...(candy). Deserts, yes.

    I haven't been to a dentist in 3 years but my teeth are strong. I use a very expensive electronic toothbrush, floss and use Crests mouth wash. I also periodically use Hydrogen Peroxide and baking soda for polishing and whitening.

    My gums do not bLeed.

    What I have heard is that dentists no longer make money on cavities so they now have their dental hygentists get everyone to get gum surgery.

    My mom had this done, went back 3 months later to the same dentist and the hygentist said.....Oh my god you need gum surgery. She said I just paid $$$$$$ 3 months ago and they came running back in with papers for her to sign so that she wouldn't sue.



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