It can be difficult to get through the holiday season without making some compromises on your usually healthy eating habits.
I have been working on a few sensitive teeth for a few months and have been pretty good about what I eat. I didn’t keep to my plan over the holidays but I’m still in pretty good shape, so I wanted to share some of my tips for keeping teeth healthy, and even healing them when they’re getting sensitive.
Caring for Sensitive Teeth Naturally
I avoid xylitol, glycerine, fluoride, and sugar in my toothpaste as they can all interfere with our teeth’s ability to mineralize. I tend to buy or make my own simple clay toothpaste as it is the best aid to keeping teeth strong.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
Diet is the first thing to alter when you’ve got the start of a cavity, but some herbal help along the way is always a good idea. This past year I had a soft spot on one of my teeth. Every night before bed I chewed up a comfrey leaf and held it in place for at least 10-15 minutes. Within the week my tooth had hardened back up. Comfrey is high in calcium and can help to create a callous over an area of bone.
Plantain (Plantago spp.)
Plantain is right up there with dental floss in being able to remove food that is stuck between teeth or below the gum line. I have a space between two teeth that I allowed a dentist to mess up for me. It is just wide enough to get food caught and it can be very painful at times. When I know something has been jammed down below the gum line I pack some plantain in between my cheek and gum and let it do its work. I chew up a fresh leaf when I can, but in the winter I take a pinch of the dried leaf and cover it with some hot water for about 5 minutes. In very little time, the plantain will have pulled up the offending bit and I don’t need to dig around and risk scratching at sensitive gums.
Oil pulling is a simple and ages old method for clearing bacteria out from around our teeth. Just 10 minutes a day swishing away with your choice of sesame, olive, or coconut oil can cover a lot of dietary mistakes.
I wouldn’t try any natural therapies for healing my sensitive teeth without the help of a good bone broth. This is not just a stock, but rather is cooked with the help of an acid (apple cider vinegar) to pull minerals out of the bone into the broth. I sip on a cup of this at least three times per day anytime I have problems with my teeth.
I especially like to get a boost in Vitamin C from parsley. This is great most of the year when I can get them fresh out of the garden. Over the holidays we kind of got into the habit of having a spoonful a day of cranberry sauce. The recipe I use combines a whole orange (peel, pith, and all) with the cranberries. This type of sauce is high in Vitamin C with bioflavonoids. The sauce becomes a tooth superfood, so long as you don’t add much sugar. Vitamin C is not often mentioned in the same sentence as bone health, but it is incredibly important for us to be able to grow and repair tissue, and that includes your teeth!