Although it might seem obvious, we don’t realize that our entire body is one, elaborate organism made up of integrated systems that symbiotically work as one.
This fact means that we have to consider every part of our body and take thoughtful care of it. No part is excluded. Not even the less obvious ones!
We know by now that organic, nutrient-dense, nature-made food form the foundation of our overall health. Hence this quote from Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine: “Food is medicine.” But being fully healthy requires more than just food.
Even if we’re healthy food fanatics and are conscious of every bite that we put in our mouth, we still overlook the non-food products that we put in and on our body. Most of which are loaded with artificial chemicals that are even more dangerous that the bad food!
Let’s just take one body part… your mouth for example.
The gums in your mouth are made up of skin cells. But do most of us treat them as such? You wouldn’t take a bath filled with alcohol to clean your body, yet we drench our mouths with alcohol when we use most mouthwashes.
On a personal level, my mouth is my nemesis. Between gum disease, fillings, root canals, caps, amalgam removal, skin grafting… I could keep going… I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars treating this difficult foe. But this was all before I understood true oral health. And the “source” of my oral ailments.
Now that I’m an oral health zealot, I’m always on the hunt for healthy oral products and providers. Which as you might guess… cannot be found at your local Walgreens or typical dentists’ chair.
I’d like to introduce to you Shannon Drake. In my quest for products that meet my high health standards, I came across this remarkable woman. I love her life philosophy. Her conscious business practices. And her intense passion toward making the world a healthier (and happier) place.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my new oral hygiene practices have made it such that my mouth is no longer my nemesis. I now get a perfect score when I go to see my (biological) dentist. Without a doubt, my use of “The Dirt” toothpaste (one of Shannon’s products) is a huge factor in my healthy mouth.
I urge you to listen in on our full conversation where she busts mainstream oral health myths and shares some knowledge that you probably didn’t know about your mouth!
Or… you could read my biggest takeaways below.
According to Shannon, here are 3 natural alternatives to using chemical-laden products to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
1. The Natural Solution to Bad Breath
It might seem tough to give up mouthwash. But if you’re worried about bad breath, try using a tongue scraper.
I realize that it might sound strange, but these handy devices help to get rid of the tough bacteria that gives us bad breath in the first place. According to Shannon, most bad breath is caused by bacteria clinging to one’s tongue.
Mouthwash technically gets the job done by attacking all of the bacteria in your mouth. But it also attacks so much more. And at the end of the day, it’s overkill. You simply don’t have to destroy everything in your mouth in order to eliminate bad breath.
2. The Natural Solution to Fluoride
Society constantly reinforces the fact that we need lots of fluoride in order to keep our teeth strong. But according to Shannon, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Shannon compares fluoride to Western medicine treatment. For instance, if you break your leg, of course you’d go to a Western medicine doctor to set the leg and put it in a cast. But if you’re merely feeling a little bit off balance in one way or another, Eastern medicine is probably the way to go. You can often supplement or make a diet change in order to reach a place of balance once again.
Similar to how mouthwash “gets the job done” by bombing your mouth, fluoride is technically very effective at hardening your teeth. But also like mouthwash, it can be overkill.
So if you’re in dire straights, you’ve had a horrible diet your whole life, and your teeth are on the verge of crumbling, then fluoride is like a cast that can really help you. But for most of us, our teeth are probably in pretty good shape. And if we’re worried about the strength of our teeth, we most likely just need to make smaller tweaks.
Rather than turning to fluoride on a daily basis – which, by the way, is poisonous – simply make sure to maintain a healthy diet and make good nutritional choices. Fluoride is most often an industrial byproduct that does harden teeth, but it should be a last resort.
3. The Natural Solution to Whitening
All of us want to have white teeth, but tooth-whitening products are yet another example of a horribly chemical-laden product! So what do you do?
According to Shannon, it’s just a matter of finding methods that do the least amount of damage. Technically, all forms of teeth whitening are doing some kind of damage to you. By nature, they all put your teeth through some kind of chemical process to lighten your enamel. With that being said, here are some alternatives that do less damage than traditional products…
For one, activated charcoal is a great way to go. Alternatively, a little bit of lemon juice works well, but it’s of course very acidic. So you don’t want to use that too often, and you’d always want to dilute the juice with water quite a bit. Finally hydrogen peroxide is also very effective, but it can cause harm your gums if you use it too often.
At the end of the day, all of these solutions are also akin to Western medicine just as mouthwash or fluoride are. You simply don’t want to be whitening your teeth very regularly since by nature, it’s always damaging in some way. So you just want to whiten as necessary, and you’ll be in good shape.
What are your oral hygiene habits?