Yep. That’s right. No toothpaste in our house. And no cavities, either.
Hasn’t always been this way, though. We used toothpaste in the past, gobs of it…I would buy tubes of it, on sale, by the dozen.
My kids also used to have cavities. Gobs of them. At every 6 month visit, there would be another dental cary to drill and fill. Same story of all four kids. As young as two years old, even, my kids had cavities. My daughter had a tooth pulled when she was six.
Yes, we brushed our kids teeth. Yes, we flossed our kids teeth. No, we did not dine on pure sugar. No, we did not even keep soda in the house.
Our diet was pretty typical, I think, though with a slant towards plenty of fresh produce. Cold cereal for breakfast (not the sugary kind, mostly plain, puffed wheat or brown rice). Sandwiches, fruit and milk for lunch (whole wheat bread, not the white stuff). Homemade dinner, with fast food about once a week. Sugary snacks in moderation. You get the idea. Pretty typical. Seemed fairly healthy.
But those darn cavities would show up at every dental check-up. I hated that, and felt like a mom failure. What had I missed?
The dentist said we were doing all the right things, but she suggested that we switch to the SoniCare toothbrush. Which we did. That was an investment.
Then I did some general Google searching on tooth care. Did you know that:
– brushing is what cleans teeth, not the toothpaste?
– toothpaste is full of chemicals
– the benefits of fluoride are controversial
– cavities are holes made by bacteria
– bacteria feeds on sugar
I reasoned I could manage oral hygiene without the chemicals, so with my dentist’s blessing, we put the kibosh on toothpaste.
We also cut out all processed sugar. All of it. There is no processed sugar in my house. No sugar = no food for bacteria = a clean mouth.
Before you think that we are Spartans, let me reassure you that we do eat sweet treats. We have weekly Sunday sundaes; we have chocolate cake (or brownies). We eat pancakes and waffles, both with syrup. I make muffins and cobblers and more. We are not a sweet-deprived family.
We just don’t use processed sugars. We use Sucanat. And raw honey. And pure, Grade B maple syrup. All organic, by the way.
So, what is the difference?
Sucanat, for example, is dehydrated juice from the sugar cane. No processing, just drying, so that the end product retains all the minerals and fiber from the original plant. Do you know why white sugar is white? Not only is the sugar cane juice processed and filtered, but it is also bleached, just like your laundry.
Sucanat has a light molasses flavor, which especially compliments chocolate desserts. I use Sucanat 1:1 in any recipe that calls for sugar.
But getting back to the dentist….
Before we stopped toothpaste, and before we eliminated processed sugars, one of my children had a small cavity between two molars — not big enough to drill out, but enough for the dentist to watch.
Eighteen months later, still no cavities.
Two years later, you guessed it, no cavities.
This is monumental for us, given that my kids routinely had cavities at every six month dentist appointment, while using toothpaste and eating refined sugars in moderation.
I’ll even add that my teeth no longer have a layer of sticky, morning gunk. My breath is fresher. Can you imagine fresh breath without minty toothpaste? It’s true.
But the real kicker? You know that cavity that the dentist was watching?
It died. The bacteria had no food on which to thrive. The tooth is regenerating itself.
Which toothpaste can claim that?
Recipe for clean teeth and fresh breath
– brush 2x/day with SoniCare toothbrush (no toothpaste)
– floss daily with Desert Essence floss, with tea tree oil
– for fuzzy teeth, dip toothbrush in a pinch of Celtic sea salt, and brush (no more than 1x/week)
– mouth wash to be used, as needed: mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water, swish in mouth for as long as you can, spit out, and rinse with water. This mouthwash must be made as needed, since the hydrogen peroxide deteriorates when exposed to light.