I felt horrible. I brushed my teeth twice a day - every single day. I never missed a day! I floss. I eat healthy. Blah...blah...blah. Nothing ever helped.
Human health is one of my biggest interests. I spend a lot of time reading scientific studies, checking out books, and experimenting. A key in the struggle to optimum health for me was reading Dr. Weston Price's book: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. It's a tedious book, but it's insightful. Dr. Price was a dentist that was obsessed with cavities. Why did they form? Why did some people have straight teeth and others were crooked?
He thought it had to do with nutrition. And he was right. He went on the hunt for people that lived in isolated areas - that were "untouched" by modern society. These were people just like us, but without all the modern conveniences. And time after time he found that they had straight teeth and no cavities. They had less of the diseases we currently deal with as well - but looking into your mouth does give you a good sense of what's going on in your entire body.
The diets of each culture varied a lot. He looked at Europeans, Africans, Native Americans - all sorts of genetics. It didn't matter. The result was always the same: their traditional diets kept them healthy and disease free - even though the diets were not the same! Once people went into the modern world or modern conveniences crept in, they all got bad teeth (and bad health.)
It may surprise you to know that the diets were all over the board. Some of the diets featured tons of carbohydrates (in the form of BREAD, rice, potatoes and more!) Some were higher in fat or protein. But they all ate animal products. Every single one of them. And they ate them nose to tail. I throw this out there because so many people get sucked into fad diets - low carb/low fat/south beach/hcg - it doesn't matter. For optimum health you need bits and pieces from whole animals. And you need adequate exercise, stress levels, and enough calories. All your food choices should be as unprocessed as possible - with the fewest artificial ingredients possible.
Okay, enough about that. What does it have to do with breath!!!??? Well, the traditional diets kept their teeth straight and cavity free. Almost none of the people brushed their teeth - especially not in the way we think of it now.
Dr. Price said that they did not get cavities despite having poor hygiene. Think about that for a few seconds. Over and over again, he found that brushing/hygiene had nothing to do with cavities. Then what the hell are we doing putting all those chemicals in our mouth every day?
What I'm about to share with you is based on experiments I ran on myself. Conventional wisdom states that we must have fluoride to prevent cavities. It's put in our water! It's in the toothpaste we buy. It's forced upon children at school (if they are found to drink well water at home.) It's important, right? Actually, it's a poisonous waste product that lowers our immunity, consciousness, and bone density. But...it's what's "normal."
I no longer use fluoride toothpaste. In fact, I no longer use tooth paste at all.
A little background. I have poop breath. I guess I always have?? I didn't realize it until my husband started calling me out on it right after we got married. He made it pretty obvious that it was beyond offensive. So I started trying to fix it. It's been 14 years. I used mouthwashes. I used different toothpastes. I brushed my teeth multiple times a day. I chewed gum and ate mints. I asked for help at the dentist (talk about embarrassing!!!) I never saw a change.
Soon after my husband so lovingly brought this to my attention, I came up with ways to test my breath. I would breath into my hands, a blanket, or a sleeve - then smell the air. I would lick a clean part of my wrist, arm, or hand - then smell the area. These tests were pretty conclusive - I did in fact of stinky breath. All the time.
I took garlic, onions, beans, meat, and various other foods out of my life for weeks at a time to see if it would help. I tried drinking more water. Water with lemon. Water with lime. Nothing.
Then I had an "aha" moment. It came about when I was trying to make my own deodorant (my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at 56, so I wanted to get rid of the aluminum in my life.)
I used activated charcoal in a lot of my recipes for deodorant and as I googled more about it's uses, I saw people were using it for whitening their teeth. So I gave it a try.
I don't think it whitened my teeth at all....BUT it did help my breath substantially. And my mouth felt way cleaner!
In fact, my mouth felt clean for the first time in a long time. I tried regular toothpaste again and realized it made my teeth feel slippery. It left a film - a bio film - in my mouth and it smelled bad.
I think this is a good point to start with one more piece of evidence. My sink grows black slime in it. Down in the pipes. It's gross, it's smelly, and it's called bio film. Why does this grow in our pipes? It's coming from us or the products we use, or the combination. Later on, I'll explain what happened to this sink gunk as I kept at my brushing experiments.
I originally ground up the charcoal from a deodorizer bag (weird, right) but then went on to use the powdered activated charcoal. They both work. The powdered charcoal is easier to use, doesn't leave rocks in your teeth, and is much harder to rinse out. Pros and cons. They both work well for breath freshness and teeth cleanliness. But they aren't perfect, and quite frankly aren't enough.
I brush my teeth with charcoal after breakfast and before bed. My mouth feels clean and my breath smells good for a few hours. After I eat throughout the day, a bit of staleness comes back. It's not dog feces anymore. But more of a sourness.
This is a huge improvement!!! But I found something better. Hydrogen peroxide. You know, the same stuff you use to wash out wounds. Easy and inexpensive.
Again - there are pros and cons. I use them together. I brush with the charcoal, rinse with water, then rinse with a 50/50 hydrogen peroxide/water mixture.
This combination keeps my breath smelling fresh ALL day - even after eating meals. AND it makes me wake up with reasonable breath. Not at all poop smelling. Not really even bad. That's amazing!!!
Here's the downside: I think hydrogen peroxide tastes horrible. And the taste stays. All day. Not excessively, but it's always there. I don't know why it stays. I can even taste it when I wake up in the morning. It doesn't change the way food tastes to me or anything, but every once in a while I catch a taste of it and I'm not super happy. But then I check my breath and think "hot damn!"
It's literally a miracle. And it's cheap as hell. You probably have it in your cabinet already. I think it costs less than $3 at Walmart.
A couple of things to keep in mind. First, all people are different. Maybe you are lucky and your breath never smells. If that's the case - I hate you. But seriously, if that's the case, then don't change what you're doing. It's working for you!
Charcoal might turn out to be way messier and scarier than you want it to be. Maybe you'll be sensitive to it? Maybe you're afraid you'll swallow some (even though it's routinely used in hospitals to fix food poisoning/drug overdose.)
Maybe you've read that hydrogen peroxide is bad for your teeth? If so, then I recommend you walk the toothpaste aisle and see how many tooth pastes actually contain hydrogen peroxide (hint: it's a lot - its used as a whitener.) Hydrogen peroxide (or similar products) are used in tooth whitening kits. It may make your teeth sensitive. But it doesn't do that to me. I have had no negative side effects (except for having to taste it and having a black mouth while I brush with the charcoal.)
I've been using this routine for over 8 months and I've been to the dentist twice. My teeth are cavity free. I do not have any mouth sores, gum issues, or weakened enamel. And best of all, no stinky breath. I've even noticed whiter teeth now - probably because of the peroxide and less because of the charcoal. I'll take it either way.
Do what works best for you. I just felt like I needed to share this with people. It's changed my life - it cost me practically nothing, and its given me a lot of my confidence back. I hope it can help somebody! If nothing else, have the courage to question what you know to be true. Go out and try new things - experiment - and work to make your life the best version it can possible be. Good luck!
*Consult your doctor or dentist before making changes to your health routine. I am not a doctor and this should not be construed as medical advice.