Dental care

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Janette Janette
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Dental care

I tried the baking soda tooth powder for a few months, and when I went to the dentist, they have never had to work so hard to clean my teeth. It was quite painful and took a long time. So I'm back to toothpaste.

We are out of dental floss, and I wanted to try the gum stimulator Bea recommended. Before I buy one for me and my family members, can you tell me if it really works as well as dental floss?

I cannot compromise my health for zero waste, but I do want to change to the things that work.

Thanks for your help!
Alexa Alexa
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Re: Dental care

I found that tooth powder wasn't as effective either and switched back to toothpaste. But, I didn't wait for a cleaning to make that decision, I really felt like my teeth were starting to rot a bit. The upper back molars were really starting to ache. Now they're happy again.
As for the gum stimulator, I just don't see how it's a particularly effective replacement for floss. I have one for my wisdom teeth, which I have room to keep, but must clean specially so they don't get cavities. While the gum stimulator does a good job cleaning behind my back teeth, ie between the last molar and the jaw, it's never proven particularly effective at getting stuff from between teeth.

Bea does a lot of great ZW stuff, but on her dental health care choices, I think she's making a mistake.
Janette Janette
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Thanks for you honesty! I don't see how the gum stimulator can get completely between the teeth like floss can. You have to replace the tip periodically, so it's not completely zero waste, anyway.

Too bad floss doesn't come in large spools to at least reduce the packaging waste. And it seems it could be made of a biodegradable material. I wish compaies would wake up and pay more attention to the way they make their products to fulfill the need for the product while making it waste-free!

Janette

On Feb 18, 2013 1:48 PM, "Alexa [via Forum]" <[hidden email]> wrote:
I found that tooth powder wasn't as effective either and switched back to toothpaste. But, I didn't wait for a cleaning to make that decision, I really felt like my teeth were starting to rot a bit. The upper back molars were really starting to ache. Now they're happy again.
As for the gum stimulator, I just don't see how it's a particularly effective replacement for floss. I have one for my wisdom teeth, which I have room to keep, but must clean specially so they don't get cavities. While the gum stimulator does a good job cleaning behind my back teeth, ie between the last molar and the jaw, it's never proven particularly effective at getting stuff from between teeth.

Bea does a lot of great ZW stuff, but on her dental health care choices, I think she's making a mistake.


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mary mary
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Re: Dental care

Would it be possible to make floss with a piece of heavey thread..it could be moistened with a drop of essential oil....Would that work??
Tracy K Tracy K
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In reply to this post by Alexa
I read that a 50/50 mix of salt and baking soda does the trick.  I am just running out of tooth powder (EcoDent, which has been marvelous) and will be mixing up a batch.  We shall see! :-)
Janette Janette
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Thanks for the tip! I also heard hydrogen peroxide and baking soda works and whitens, as well.

Janette

On Jun 6, 2013 12:53 PM, "Tracy K [via Forum]" <[hidden email]> wrote:
I read that a 50/50 mix of salt and baking soda does the trick.  I am just running out of tooth powder (EcoDent, which has been marvelous) and will be mixing up a batch.  We shall see! :-)


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At Home At Home
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In reply to this post by Janette
I had the same thought about the floss. I am a compulsive flosser. I looked into other methods. I tried string- it just broke in my teeth, and I even tried the compostable floss. It does come in a cardboard box but I was sad to discover that it also that the floss comes wrapped in plastic and it has a plastic sticker on it. :(

After researching more I just came across irrigators. they have some that connect to your shower, or even your sink. It sprays water that you can use to clean your teeth. I have not tried them, but they look promising.    
Alexa Alexa
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Irrigators and water picks are NOT as effective as flossing.  I used both to get around flossing whIle I had braces,  but neither proved to be that great.  They don't really get at food particles or plaque below the gum line the way flossing does.
At Home At Home
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Thanks for the tip. If it can't replace floss it doesn't seem worth it.
lofreq lofreq
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In reply to this post by Janette
Any dentist will tell you that there really is no substitute for flossing-- gum stimulators are just that. They aren't meant to clean between the teeth.

Personally, I have fallen in love with Lush's solid toothpaste. It's not ZW, but it comes in a small cardboard box that's far more preferable to a plastic tube, and one box lasts me for almost 2 months. Not to mention that I've noticed that my tooth sensitivity has decreased since I stopped brushing with Sensodyne. Curious, no? ;)

At any rate, I've seen the dentist recently, and after going 3 months with Lush, he hasn't noticed a thing.
at home at home
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In reply to this post by Alexa
I just switched my toothbrush to a wooden version that I found at a local store. I was trying to use it for as long as I could. After a few months I noticed that the tops of my molars and wisdom teeth (yes I still have them) felt like they were covered in a layer of yick. After switching the toothbrush I noticed that it went away. Maybe using a different toothbrush would help? I do use a baking soda toothpaste that I buy from the store and it seems to work fine.

Though after studying microbiology I learned a few key things. The 3 main factors in tooth health is diet (so you eat a log of sugar that feeds the decay causing bacteria in your mouth), genetic (some people have "bad" genes and their teeth are not as hardy) and the last is bacteria (you have tons of bacteria living in your mouth. If it has been colonized by decay causing bacteria you will have more troubles). So really each person/ mouth is different and you will have to find what works for you.
Heidi Heidi
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In reply to this post by Janette
If you are using toothpaste or have dental waste, consider sending it to Terracycle or dropping it off at a Terracycle location.  They have brigades where the waste is used to make other products and points through the brigades can be donated to a charity of your choosing.  Its not a perfect zero waste solution, but it might give you the alternative you need.
Elizabeth Elizabeth
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In reply to this post by Tracy K
I am a registered dental hygienist and just wanted to chime in on some of the methods here from a professional perspective.

If you want to use baking soda (or salt) to brush, please dilute it until it is a liquid, not a paste! Otherwise it is very, very abrasive and can harm your teeth and gums over time. Of course you won't get the benefit of fluoride this way.

If you want to reduce floss packaging waste, try buying the bulk spools from dental supply companies. Your dentist might agree to order you an extra spool if you ask nicely. Yes, a gum stimulator isn't quite the same as flossing.

Remember that any Earth savings in packaging/oral hygiene supplies must be balanced against the huge amount of waste you will cause if you have to have dental work. Due to infection control regulations, we have to just about encase the dental unit in plastic, use a lot of single use items, and sterilize the rest, usually in plastic packets. Now, I don't want to discourage anyone from greening their oral hygiene, but bear this in mind as well. Healthy teeth are more environmental! :)
gerry11 gerry11
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In reply to this post by Janette
Thanks for giving all these beneficial dental care tips. I will definitely follow them n my daily routine.  I think for better dental care we have to take help from our local dentists.

dentist Manhattan Beach

priya priya
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In reply to this post by Janette
Hi janette,
It is wonderful u are trying out such great alternatives.

 I have 2 wonderful ancient indian practices for good teeth.
1. Use a neem trees branch as tooth brush.it is still used by some people in india .u need to scrape the brown part a bit and then use it as a normal tooth brush.u neednt add any toothpaste or stuff to it .it is a tooth brush and a toothpaste rolled in one.

2. Natural tooth powder used in india before toothpastes became prevalent .u need to procure the covering of grains commonly known as husk. I am not sure where u can get this.but in a rice producing country like india it is abundant. Then u need to clump  it like a mountain and put some smoking charcoal inside it so that the husk fully covers the coal.then after all of the husk turns black it might take a few hours to days. Then u need to powder this black smoked husk .while powdering add in some salt and cloves to gives it a pepperminty feel .then store in a tight conyainer.use it as a toothpaste .u can use ur hands as a toothbrush.u can make the powder fine and soft or a bit coarse depending on ur preference.this makes for string teeth and prevents tooth decay too.

n ful
Janette Janette
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Interesting! Thank you for sharing.

On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 1:07 AM, priya [via Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi janette,
It is wonderful u are trying out such great alternatives.

 I have 2 wonderful ancient indian practices for good teeth.
1. Use a neem trees branch as tooth brush.it is still used by some people in india .u need to scrape the brown part a bit and then use it as a normal tooth brush.u neednt add any toothpaste or stuff to it .it is a tooth brush and a toothpaste rolled in one.

2. Natural tooth powder used in india before toothpastes became prevalent .u need to procure the covering of grains commonly known as husk. I am not sure where u can get this.but in a rice producing country like india it is abundant. Then u need to clump  it like a mountain and put some smoking charcoal inside it so that the husk fully covers the coal.then after all of the husk turns black it might take a few hours to days. Then u need to powder this black smoked husk .while powdering add in some salt and cloves to gives it a pepperminty feel .then store in a tight conyainer.use it as a toothpaste .u can use ur hands as a toothbrush.u can make the powder fine and soft or a bit coarse depending on ur preference.this makes for string teeth and prevents tooth decay too.

n ful


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Janette
Val Val
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In reply to this post by Elizabeth
I like that you brought up the waste dental procedures produce. The less wasteful option does seem to be prevention.  I use one tube of toothpaste a year, I think ppl often use way too much to brush.  
Victoria Nichelle Victoria Nichelle
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In reply to this post by Janette
I oil pull with coconut oil and use Castile soap to brush my teeth and I have never had a cavity! (I've been using the coconut oil, and Castile soap for at least 2 years)
Keen Keen
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In reply to this post by Elizabeth
This is interesting to me because I've read - and from other licensed dentists, no less - that baking soda is no more abrasive than normal toothpaste, and that this reputation is unearned.
zerowastemillennial.wordpress.com
Freels_35 Freels_35
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In reply to this post by Janette
I was also using baking soda for teeth cleaning. That really helped me to have white and clean teeth but access use of it is not good for teeth gums that I came to know from my dentist Manhattan Beach. He is our family dentist and is very well-known in city.
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