123 Cavity Free
What would you do if every time you saw the dentist or hygienist to get your teeth cleaned all they would tell you is that you had great, strong teeth and no cavities? Imagine the anguish, money and time you would save!
Are you interested in a cavity free life?
Well, a cavity free life is entirely possible and more common every day. All you need to do is follow the 123 Cavity Free protocol that I have developed and you are on your way. Now mind you, just like anything serious in life, it requires a commitment. You want to loose weight? Eat less, eat healthy and exercise. A cavity free life is not much different. You need to want to change your life.
Here are the steps:
Foundation: Establish a sound foundation for everything in your mouth to function correctly. Teeth start to dissolve at a pH of 5.5 or less, an acidic environment. People check the amount of calories in their food all the time, which is good. For the mouth to be healthy you need to begin checking or understanding pH. It is actually quite simple. Let’s start with liquids. For a liquid to be sold it needs to have a shelf life. To get a long shelf life the liquid needs to be preserved (at a low pH) with artificial chemicals. Pure water has a pH around 7, or neutral. Your mouth has a pH around 7.4. ANY soda out there is very acidic (pH around 3.4!) and will essentially dissolve your teeth away. Every sip of soda you take reduces the pH in your mouth below 5.5 for 20 minutes. This means that if you have to drink a soda, drink it quickly! Do not sip on acidic drinks. Soda affects your whole body adversely, not just your teeth. Eliminating soda from your diet is one of the best decisions you can make and an essential step to become cavity free. How do you know if something is acidic? Buy some pH strips, or as I did, an electronic pH meter. Both are very cheap.
It does not matter if it is diet soda or not, acid is the problem, not bacteria that eat the sugar. Here is how it works. Bacteria do not eat teeth. They simply sit on the teeth and eat the left over food particles that stick to your teeth. Bacteria eat the food, especially sugar, and then release acid as a by product/waste. This acid is released onto the tooth surface that then dissolves. As the tooth surface dissolves it goes from glassy like a windshield to sandpaper, porous and rough. This rough surface attracts more food particles, more bacteria, more acid is released and the coarseness of the sandpaper tooth surface gets worse. Soon the pores created from the acid penetrate into the tooth allowing bacteria to hide deep inside your tooth where you can no longer remove them. Now they still eat the food particles in your mouth, release acid, and voila you have a cavity. You do not even need bacteria if you go straight for the acid. The result is the same, decay.
To establish a sound foundation you need to create a healthy environment in your mouth. So, now you know about acid and pH. There are many acidic products out there. Most sport drinks, flavored waters, soda, etc. Most any liquid short of water and milk are acidic. So what do you do? Number one, eliminate soda. Number two, couple other drinks with a quick swish of water. For example, drink some Gatorade and then swish and swallow some water. Drink as much Gatorade as you like, quickly. Do not sip. Orange juice is acidic, so do the same. Drink it quickly, sip water, and be done with it. Do this for all acidic products.
Now let’s assume you have elimiated soda and control the acid you put into your mouth. There are 3 more components to a healthy foundation. Saliva, stomach acid and nutrition. Let’s begin with stomach acid since we know about acid already. Acid Reflux, or heartburn, has the same effect as any acid does on your mouth, it dissolves teeth. Your dentist will be able to tell you if you have acid reflux. If you do, learn about it and either control it with diet or medication. I prefer diet if possible. Meaning, don’t eat after 7 pm, don’t eat spicy foods, red sauces, etc. for dinner. Learn about it and control it. This may require you to speak to your medical doctor as well. Secondly, saliva. Saliva has many functions. For one, saliva cleans your teeth, coats them, delivers minerals to them so they can remineralize, and kills bacteria. Saliva is essential. You can’t eat without it – food would stick to your teeth. You need a healthy amount of saliva. Now without getting into too much detail, saliva needs to be a liquid, not thick or ropey. It needs to be able to coat and wash teeth. Anything that reduces or changes your saliva is bad. And I mean anything. Anything that dries you up, reduces mucus, including your sinuses, also reduces and changes your saliva. Examples would be anti-histamines, Sudafed, Xyrtec, etc. If you think you may have dry mouth, then you do. Other common ways to reduce the saliva or change it is through chemotherapy, not drinking enough liquids, or drinking the wrong liquids (diuretics). For example, coffee is great, I love it, but it is a diuretic. Meaning it causes you to loose more liquid then you take in. Many people drink coffee all day long, no water, and then maybe a soda or two. The overall result is a net loss in liquid. What does that mean? It means your saliva and your blood will be thicker. Both bad things. So, you need to drink water, water, water. Not flavored water, just straight pure water. A good rule is for every cup of coffee drink a cup of water. You will feel better. Lastly, nutrition. Have you ever heard the statement you are what you eat? Well, you are. Your body will use what you put into it to build, well, you. Every 7 years you are all new! Every cell gets remade. So what are you? Did you give your body the building blocks it needs or are you a preserved acid growth hormone induced hamburger? This is completely up to you. All you own in this life is your body, nothing else. Spend your money on that, not cars, clothes, luxuries. Identify wants from needs. You need to be healthy to live. That is the number one priority. Skimp everywhere else. Buy good food. You will do nobody any good when you are dead. I say this because when it comes down to it, you are the most valuable asset you have to yourself and everyone you know. To be a good mom, dad, brother, sister, husband, wife, etc. you need to be there, period. The healthier you are the better you are at all of those. So, not to ramble on, but put yourself first. Make the best “you” you can. Give your body the nutrition it needs to create a strong, healthy you. Allow it to build a strong immune system. There are literally millions of books out there on nutrition. I do not claim to be a nutritionist, so feel free to consult with one. I personally focus on organic products. I shop at Whole Foods, am part of a farm co-op where we get weekly groceries that are all natural, and take supplements (more on that later). I drink little soda, coffee and water, and am very aware of acid in my diet. Look at your diet. Examine what you are putting into your system. Can your body build or maintain a human being on your diet? A cavity free life requires good nutrition. A simple formula would be something like this: Cut out 90% of the fast food you eat. Do not snack on junk (if you snack all day long, which by the way is not bad, snack on carrots, apples, etc.). Do not drink or eat preserved food – eat and buy fresh food. Eat smaller portions and eat slowly. Eat breakfast (many people cut this out due to being too busy. If you are too busy to eat breakfast then you need to change your life as breakfast is critical). The less you exercise the less you need (and should) eat. Buy organic foods and eat a well balanced meal (this sounds so cliche, but it is true). And finally, surround yourself with like-minded people! at first this sounds strange, but think about it. If you want to quit smoking, don’t hang out with smokers. They are negative and will certainly not encourage you. If you want to loose weight…you get the picture. If you want to succeed, surround yourself with successful people. You will become what you are around. It is just human nature. On a professional note, make sure the people giving you advice walk the talk. This means, see a skinny doctor and a dentist with excellent teeth!
Lastly, I do not want to forget exercise; it is a part of nutrition in my eyes. Walk, jog, run, bike, swim, it does not matter. Do something on a regular basis. I do not need to preach on this, we all know we need to exercise more.
This concludes the synopsis on step number 1, your foundation. It may seem long, but it really is a synopsis. Nothing in your mouth will last as long as you want it to unless you have a good foundation. This foundation affects your entire body, as the mouth is just another part thereof. The mouth is a great way to judge how healthy a person is…it is somewhat of a window into the body’s overall health.
More on steps 2 and 3 coming soon.