One of the best things about finding real food wasn’t even the food at all. It was all the information about why real food was so important. Hand in hand with that knowledge, I came to appreciate how tooth mineralization depends so much on our body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the food we eat.
[Rami] points out that bacteria don’t cause tooth decay. S. mutans is the one often fingered for decay, but as it turns out, it performs the useful function of keeping yeast overgrowth in check. Hey, surprise surprise! correlation is not causation. Maybe these bacteria are more prevalent when there’s tooth decay, but they (and their acidic by-products when we eat starches and sugars) are only problematic to weak teeth, and only proliferate when we’re susceptible. If our teeth (and our bodies) are robust and healthy, the bacteria can’t mess with us. Which is to say, germs don’t cause illness- poor health does. There will always be micro-organisms within and around us. Rather than trying to avoid that (not possible), we do better to focus on getting and staying healthy so that exposure does not lead to getting sick. (source)
In other words, we are missing the big picture here. Which aspect causes the other? What exactly is the root of tooth decay?
Now, most real foodies might cringe when I say this, but the solution to tooth mineralization is not going grain-free or eating more calcium. Don’t get me wrong, whole foods certainly help. But the problem of having weak teeth comes from a deeper issue than simply not eating the right kinds of foods. So what is the secret then? Let’s find out.
Metabolism: First of all, your metabolism has to be in good shape, functioning at a high level, without excess stress response in the body, to absorb any food well, whether it is fast food or real food.
It is only at that point that it matters to worry about how much vitamin K2, A, D, and calcium you are consuming. You could be eating grass-fed butter all day long, but if your metabolism isn’t able to help your body absorb those nutrients, they go wasted.
So instead of fretting about going grain-free, finding a pesticide to blame, or railing about white sugar, perhaps a better approach is to focus on the root of the problem: if your body is stressed, it won’t be able to make your teeth healthy and strong. When the body deals with chronic stressors, such as trauma, abuse, toxins, sleep definiciency or other stressful elements of life, there isn’t enough energy left over to properly absorb nutrients.
Vitamin K2: Once you have your metabolism roaring, then you can worry about your teeth and your ability to absorb proper nutrients from your food. Critical to the blend of nutrients you choose to nourish your body with is vitamin K2.
Vitamin K2 can be a major player in tooth remineralization and health, as well as working synergistically with a diet high in vitamin A and D to increase the absorption of all the nutrients involved. It brings to mind the saying “greater than the sum of it’s parts”.
In addition to vitamin K2-rich foods like hard cheeses, grass-fed dairy fats, and natto, I also suggest these foods and supplements for tooth health:
- homemade bone broths: beef and chicken
- raw milk
- mineral powder like Min-Col
- fermented cod liver oil and high-vitamin butter oil blend
Homemade Toothpaste: Another contributing factor to tooth health are the ingredients in your toothpaste. Common national brands of toothpaste mostly contain problematic ingredients like:
- sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), a soap and known skin irritant and pesticide
- flouride, a known contributor to kidney impairment, weakening of bones, and low IQ
- artificial colors and flavors, known genetically modified (GMO) ingredients
- vegetable glycerin, a sticky substance that coats teeth and blocks mineral absorption
If you don’t make your own toothpaste, at least purchase a natural brand from a health food store or online, at least without flouride and SLS. Even better: finding a brand that doesn’t use glycerin, although I have never found one.
But the best option of all is to simply make your own toothpaste. I know that might sound overwhelming or perhaps like overkill. But if you are a real foodie you probably already have most of the ingredients on hand anyways. Regardless, I am here to tell you that it is not only easy to make your own, but worth it.
- coconut oil, a clean traditional fat known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties
- mineral powder, a highly absorbable source of calcium
- sea salt, a natural mineral source and gentle scrubbing agent
- spearmint essential oil, anti-inflammatory and naturally astringent
- mineral drops, for added mineral-rich tooth help
It’s worth it because of what is in it as well as what is not. No questionable ingredients, of course, and plenty of helpful minerals, essential oil, and clean base ingredients.
2 tablespoons expeller-pressed coconut oil, softened (buy coconut oil here)
2 tablespoons baking soda (buy aluminum-free baking soda here)
2 tablespoons green stevia powder (buy organic stevia powder here)
1 tablespoon mineral powder (like Min-Col)
1 teaspoon sea salt, optional (buy unrefined sea salt here)
35-40 drops spearmint essential oil (buy organic essential oils here)*
10 mineral drops (buy mineral drops here)
*you can also use a blend of spearmint and peppermint essential oils, if desired
- In a small bowl, combine the coconut oil, baking soda, stevia, mineral powder, and sea salt. Combine well. Add the liquids: essential oil and mineral drops. Combine well again.
- Pour or scoop into a small jar and carp tightly. If your house is warm, you can store in the refrigerator so the ingredients don’t separate. If your house is cool, simply keep it in the bathroom. You could even put it into a squeeze tube like a commercial brand of toothpaste. Fun!