During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many let their healthy habits slide. They ate more. They drank more. They sat more. They stopped making routine appointments. And for some, personal hygiene fell by the wayside.
In fact, some seemed to drastically skimp on ONE vitally important hygienic routine in particular.
But it’s one that research strongly links to major systemic health problems—including Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and even dementia.
Here’s why you need to take this area of health more seriously, starting TODAY…
Healthier mouth, healthier life
Oral health is actually a window into your overall health. But according to a new survey, many people stopped making it a priority during the pandemic.1
- 21 percent of people stopped brushing their teeth in the morning
- 31 percent snacked more on sweets, which cause tooth decay and cavities
- 28 percent didn’t schedule or forgot to schedule routine dental visits
- 24 percent stopped flossing as frequently, with 23 percent not flossing at all
As a result, 82 percent of dentists saw a HUGE decline in their patients’ oral health—with more severe plaque build-up and tooth decay.2
Both of which have strong links to the MAJOR health issues I mention above. Meaning it’s time to revamp (and rethink) your oral hygiene routine immediately.
Of course, most dental hygienists will recommend brushing, flossing, and gargling with mouthwash at least twice a day.
These routinely recommended products contain fluoride, a mineral found in nature that inhibits the formation of dental plaque.
But did you know fluoride is also a neurotoxin?!
According to a recent report by the National Toxicology Program, fluoride is “presumed” to be a “cognitive neurodevelopmental hazard to humans.”3
Granted, while most of the research included in the report points to fluoride’s harmful effect on cognition in children, seven, big, cross-sectional studies show some evidence that it causes cognitive impairment in adults, too!
That’s why I urge you to avoid any product that contains it… including drinking water. (Yes, many municipalities add fluoride to the public water!)
Instead, consider taking a natural probiotic supplement (if you don’t already)…
A safer alternative to fluoride
As you know, probiotics are great for your gut health. But research shows they also protect your oral health and even serve as an effective, natural replacement for fluoride.
In fact, in one recent study, researchers looked at the effect of probiotics on oral pathogens that cause cavities.4
First, they divided 66 participants into two groups. One group ate 300 grams per day of a probiotic yogurt for two weeks. The second group ate regular yogurt with no probiotics for two weeks.
It turns out, the probiotic group experienced a “significant reduction” in Streptococcus mutans and lactobacilli (two oral pathogens that cause cavities) compared to their baseline… and to the placebo group.
In a second study, researchers found that taking an oral probiotic supplement cut down on plaque accumulation after four and six weeks.5
Of course, when choosing a probiotic supplement, you’ll want to look for one that features different strains of friendly flora—along with prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics. (When it comes to probiotics, more isn’t necessarily better. The key is diversity of strains over quantity.)
Plus, you can even try using a probiotic mouthwash…
In a 2015 study, researchers compared the effectiveness of mouthwashes containing fluoride, probiotics, and chlorhexidine (another toxic “antiseptic” agent commonly found in mouthwashes).6
Well, wouldn’t you know it… the probiotic rinse worked just as well as the fluoride and chlorhexidine rinses in reducing plaque (the main goal) after 30 days!
Safely revamp your dental routine
So, as you start making oral health a top priority, I suggest ditching all the fluoride-laced dental products and replacing them with safe, effective alternatives.
Keep your toothbrush handy… and brush after eating (or as often as you can)—at least three times a day. Then, when it comes to:
- toothpaste—opt for a non-fluoride variety.
- floss—look for untreated picks or floss made from organic silk or organic beeswax. Electric water flossers work well too when used daily.
- mouthwash—choose a probiotic rinse or simply add a high-quality probiotic supplement, taken twice daily, to your routine.
(The Environmental Working Group [www.EWG.org] can serve as a guide here as well.)
Lastly, now that COVID-19 cases are trending downward, and we’re catching up on overdue medical appointments, make sure to schedule your routine dental appointments.
You can even contact the Holistic Dental Association (www.holisticdental.org) for help finding a dentist in your area who practices without the use of toxic fluoride.
SIDEBAR: Junk food + tooth decay = bad news for your heart
This month, I’m encouraging you to take a sugar holiday.
Not only will it benefit mental and physical health… research shows it will also help IMPROVE oral health, specifically!
In fact, in a recent study, researchers with the University of Buffalo found that postmenopausal women who regularly eat junk food have higher levels of Streptococcus mutans, a harmful oral pathogen linked to tooth decay, gum disease… and even heart disease!7
So, on your quest to following a new-and-improved dental routine, make sure to stop indulging in junk food, too. See page 4 for my plan to cut sugar and other crud from your diet in just THREE DAYS!
- “Survey Reveals COVID-19 Is A Major Factor in Americans’ Failing Dental Health.” PR Newswire, 2/8/21. (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/survey-reveals-covid-19-is-a-major-factor-in-americans-failing-dental-health-301223396.html)
- “People are brushing their teeth less during COVID pandemic, survey reveals.” Study Finds, 2/1/22. (https://www.studyfinds.org/brushing-teeth-less-pandemic/)
- 3. “Fluoride at High Levels ‘Presumed’ a Neurodevelopmental Hazard.” Medscape Medical News, 11/18/2019. (medscape.com/viewarticle/921485)