Why should we brush our teeth?
We, and by we I mean the “baby boomer” generation, are the first generation that is expected to keep our natural teeth until we die. I remember my grandparents putting their teeth in a jar at night and telling me that I should take care of my teeth so I wouldn’t have to do the same thing.
Then there is the dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and of course we always brush twice a day, don’t you? Fluoride was all the rage for a while then the hard brush, the soft brush the electric brush that went back and forth and now the spinning tooth brush and teeth whiteners. Gees e pezz e. What’s next?
Cutting right to the heart of the subject, plaque is a biofilm, light yellow in color in the mouth formed by colonizing bacteria. In the short run, plaque protects the teeth and thus the body from the colonization of microorganisms that may be pathogenic. If plaque is not removed with in 48 hours it turns very hard and it difficult to remove and in about 10 days turns to tartar which is rock hard and can promote decay and lead to gum disease. For an in depth look at Plaque and the micro buddies that live with it to to PLAQUE
How to Brush Correctly
The enamel on our teeth is hard but can be worn away by over brushing through the years. The American Dental Association says we should brush our teeth at least twice a day and even as much as after every meal. More importantly, we should floss every day.
Most people think they brush for 2 mins or more. Wrong. Most people really brush for 30 secs or less and to make things worse, they brush hard and fast.
You should take your time brushing, using a soft bristle brush gently for roughly 2 mins. Then floss, because if you don’t floss you are missing 35% of the tooth surface. My electric tooth brush has a pause function every 30 sec to let me brush in one area until the pause then move on to the next area until I’m done.
If you brush too hard you not only abrade your enamel but you most likely you are damaging your gums.
My personal study finds that it isn’t as important to use a commercial tooth paste as it is to just brush. But, that said, it is important to use something, even if it is just salt or baking soda.
The benefit of a commercial paste is that they include fine abrasives to help remove plaque. Some include fluorides which have beneficial effects on our tooth enamel. Also found in tooth paste are surfactants which act as a foaming agent, supposedly to get deep into the cracks and crevices of our teeth. Not to forget the Antibacterial agents which reduce tartar and bad breath as well as flavor additives to make it all taste good.
Are Tooth pastes toxic?
Hell yes! In small quantities, not so much, but DO NOT swallow. In fact in 2007 a Chinese-made additive used in many brands of toothpaste lead to a multi-nation recall and ban on the use of diethylene glycol in toothpaste. Duh. That stuff is ANTIFREEZE, AND WILL DAMAGE YOUR LIVER AND KIDNEYS AND KILL YOU. I’m just going to say it – don’t by products that you know have ANYTHING manufactured in China in it or on it.
The Fat Farm does not endorse the use of whitening tooth pastes that whiten by the means of an abrasive. Even if they include peroxide it isn’t the peroxide that make the teeth whiter it is the abrasive removing the tartar. In reality the only effective way to whiten teeth is by bleaching. There are several to bleach teeth but none will last longer than a few months. Less if you drink coffee, tea or smoke. Some of the risks include:
- Chemical burns
- Over bleaching
- Pain if you have sensitive teeth
- Risk of increased hot/cold sensitivity
- Increased risk of tongue cancer
The really, really important part
Our teeth, gums, tongue and mouth are the gateways to our entire body, digestive system and blood stream. Did you know that if you have mitro-valve prolapse in your heart and you don’t tell your dentist about it you can die from a simple teeth cleaning. Yes, really. The cleaning can force bacteria into the blood stream and it can set up and infection in the heart. Your dentist will prescribe you a strong one time antibiotic pill to take the day before your cleaning if they know about it.
If a cleaning can cause a heart infection then just think how bad it would be to let tooth decay or an abscessed tooth go untreated.
The Fat Farm concludes that it is very important to brush regularly and to see a dentist often. Our mouth is the first stop in our journey to better health. – jughandle