Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Look into your Mouth…What do you Wonder About?

January 2nd, 2013 · 35 Comments · Natural Health

Katie Kimball square headshot

See my dazzling smile? I’m happy about butter, raw milk, and cute babies.

But I have no clue what I’m talking about when it comes to taking care of that smile.

I’ve been making real food and natural health changes with great focus for about four years now, along with a gradual shift for the ten or so years before that, and I feel like dental health is one of my final frontiers. I just don’t know much about natural options for teeth and oral care, especially when it comes to going to a dentist.

I know I’ve had braces.

I know I recently have developed sensitive teeth, for which I tried oil pulling (and should get back to it).

I know that my father, brother and I have no eye teeth, so I grew up with a big space between my two front teeth (which the braces took care of more or less).

I wrote some natural toothpaste reviews last fall, but I want to get beyond just what ingredients should and should not be in the tube.

I hear folks talk about finding a naturally-minded dentist, about the risks of fillings, about using a proper diet to improve bone structure in young children, and I am filled with so many questions!

I don’t have a clue what to avoid at the dentist’s office, beyond declining fluoride treatments and being wary of X-rays. I wonder what a naturally-minded dentist does differently than a conventional dentist.

I wonder about my own sensitive teeth, which weren’t always this way (at least not with the intensity of biting into a dried date and feeling a shooting pain that won’t go away until the date is history):

  • Is it caused by multiple pregnancies and havoc that can wreak on one’s teeth? (My old dentist says that gingivitis and sensitive gums are par for the course with pregnancy and somewhat with breastfeeding too; I’ve participated in one or the other for the last 8+ years.)
  • Is it my own fault for skipping brushing every so often when I’m chasing children and don’t even realize it until dinnertime?
  • Am I just getting older?
  • Is there a hereditary tendency?
  • Or is there something simple about my dental or dietary habits that I’m missing?

I wonder about the calcium buildup on my son’s teeth, which our old dentist said was just part of his genes and not harmful, and the new dentist pointed out a great deal of plaque.

I wonder why my 4-year-old has an overbite and an overjet (I think that’s what the new dentist called it), when we eat a pretty darn traditional diet, although I admit to more sugar than the zero we should be eating and far fewer organ meats than some recommend. Will she grow out of it and have perfect bone structure, or am I missing some information about diet and oral health?

The new dentist told me he firmly believes that braces cause people to suffer from TMJ for the rest of their lives. I wonder if my adolescent braces are the cause of my jaw angst or if it’s related to teeth grinding – and why am I grinding my teeth?

I wonder if there’s any link between fluoride in water and facial blemishes, and I wonder who’s right about fluoride – the folks who put it in our water or those who recommend we avoid it at all costs?

I have a sample of the Orawellness brushing system, and I wonder many things about that – most of all, I wonder when I’m going to make the time to watch the 20-minute video to learn the Bass brushing technique and how well my kids will be able to do it.

I’ve even seen something recently about flossing being a bad idea – I know, I know, it seems like nothing we were told to do to "be healthy" our entire lives is without questions anymore! So of course, I’m wondering why.

If you are in the boat with me and wondering about non-toxic options for oral health – all that stuff that is probably not in the mainstream – grab your oars and row over to the Orawellness HealThy Mouth Summit. It’s an online event that is totally free and includes 20 different talks plus a live Q&A during the week of January 13th. So yes, you can listen in your jammies. Winking smile 

Some more information:

Whether you are dealing with tooth decay, bleeding gums, or have ‘questionable’ dental restorations like root canals or crowns, we all have something going on in our mouths that we would like to see healthier.

This is an opportunity to listen to the solutions from the leading experts from 6 countries around the world in the fields of biological dentistry, nutrition as it relates to oral health, along with medical doctors, naturopathic doctors and acclaimed authors. You’ll even hear from ‘in the trenches’ moms who have applied these healing ideas in their own homes and get to hear what worked and what didn’t for them and their children.

Here are just a few of the questions the summit will cover:

  • How to raise cavity free kids
  • What to do about old dental issues like mercury fillings, crowns, root canals, etc.
  • What materials are the safest for dental fillings
  • The safest protocol to have mercury fillings removed
  • How to determine if a filling material is biocompatible with your immune system
  • The foods to eat (and not eat) to create optimal oral health
  • The TRUTH about mercury and fluoride
  • How to keep your teeth AND your health for life!
  • What to do about common issues like tooth decay, bleeding gums, bad breath
  • How to safely detox mercury from the body
  • The questions to ask a dentist to discern if they are really suited to help your family
  • and on and on…

The organizers say "don’t make another appointment with a dentist until you’ve heard this information!" So of course, I finally found a new dentist, 8 months overdue, and the whole family has just gone. But I feel like that just fueled my fire to learn more so I’m super prepared next appointment.

I encourage anyone with any oral issues to sign up HERE for this FREE online event! You do have to register to get access to the talks, and you’ll get some email reminders. When you register, you’ll receive Dr. David Kennedy’s movie titled Smoking Teeth, discussing the science behind mercury fillings.

I’ll see you at the summit!

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If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.

Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate for OraWellness and will receive commission if you end up buying anything, but the summit is free, no strings attached. See my full disclosure statement here.


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35 Comments so far ↓

  • Natasha

    I just recently was having a cavity filled and my dentist announced that we were getting too close to the nerve and I would need a root canal. I have had no symptoms so I decided to get a 2nd opinion, because I have heard root canals can be bad for you. My new dentist is holistic( and in Grand Rapids, mi) if anyone is interested. He said there was no urgent need for a root canal and recommended to watch it and try to remineralize with oil pulling, bone broth, FCLO, etc. Natural dentists are out there, you just have to find them.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Natasha,
    Do you mind saying who it is? Thanks!!
    :) Katie

  • Mrs. K Hewett

    I too had sensitivity issues until I stopped using both sensitive toothpaste & flouridated toothpaste. First I found a non-flouride toothpaste and my sensitivity dropped within the first couple days and disappeared within a couple weeks. More recently I’ve made a coconut oil/baking soda paste and use that at least once a day. I’ve tried oil pulling but am still trying to get past my gag reflex on that one. Hope you find something that helps. Blessings!

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Thank you! I haven’t used fluoridated toothpaste in a while, and it’s definitely improved, but I am still nursing, so maybe that isn’t helping…

    :) Katie

  • Susan

    I too had extremely sensitive teeth until I stopped using flouridated toothpaste. Now I have no issues. I like Nature’s Gate non-flouride toothpaste ;) Thanks for posting this! Looking forward to getting more info. about natural oral health!

  • Lacey @ KV Organics

    Oh, Katie. This is great. I’m not sure I have time to listen to all 20 talks in one week though – yikes! Do you know if registrants will have access to recordings for future listening and resource?

    My one pesky dental question is “black stain” – we all seem to have it in my family and it stinks. Thankfully, it’s more in the back of the mouth, but we’re always excited by the time our 6 month cleaning comes around. I think it has gotten better since we switched to truly natural toothpaste, but it’s still there. I wonder if it’s something in the water (getting a good filter has been on my list for a while and I just need to get around to doing it! Ugh!), or…?

    My not particularly holistic dentist says it’s curious and annoying but not harmful or something to worry about. But I still wonder why we all have this when our teeth and gums are otherwise in great shape – no cavities or sensitivities, etc… So weird.

    Hmm….

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Lacey,
    I’m not exactly sure on the specifics, but I don’t think they’ll be available for free beyond 24 hours or so…that’s the upgrade, to buy the whole thing. I might have to; this topic fascinates me!
    :) Katie

    Lacey @ KV Organics Reply:

    Thanks, Katie. I might just have to wait to read your digested reviews of the info. Next couple weeks are crazy busy for me – good busy, but just not sure I can really fit this in… Hugs. :)

  • Julieanne

    For some reason, the link to sign up for this is not loading up the new page. Do you think there’s something wrong with the link? Maybe it’s just my own computer issues, although everything else seems to be loading up just fine.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Julieanne,
    Hmmmmm… I’ll include the link here for you again, and maybe from your email it will do better. Sometimes some registration programs don’t play nicely with mobile devices, but I haven’t heard anything about this one in particular.
    https://cs151.infusionsoft.com/go/summit/kitchenstew/
    Hope that helps! :) Katie

    Julieanne Reply:

    Thank you, Katie. I was using my computer, not a mobile device, but the link didn’t seem to be working properly this morning. It works now! I

    I do have another question, though. The video that I watched at their site after registering was a quite old video; much of the content was probably around 10-15 years old. Do you know if newer information and research will be presented at this summit? Old doesn’t necessarily mean “bad”, but I am curious to see if it has been updated. Thanks.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Julieanne,
    Not sure which video you got to watch, but all the summit content will be brand new, mostly live I think. In fact, the summit was supposed to happen in the fall, but one of the speakers was caught in Hurricane Sandy and his dentist’s office was destroyed. He was going to try to call in from a cell phone or something, but they delayed it for everyone.

    All new! :) Katie

  • Karen

    I’ve been reading “Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food” by Catherine Shanahan MD. She doesn’t talk about dentistry, per se, but she does talk about nutrition before and during pregnancy, and natural child spacing, and the potential consequences of certain behaviors. It may give you some insight. Way too much focus on the definition of “beauty” in my mind, but in there is some pertinent information on healthy people and making and raising healthy babies.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Karen,
    Well, we definitely are pros at the natural child spacing… ;) How interesting! : ) Katie

  • Lizi

    you do have a gorgeous smile Katie! right now I am agonizing over going to the dentist, because I am 6 months pregnant but I have s bad tooth ache from a mercury filling that partially feel out a few months ago. I hoped so hard I could at least edit till the baby was born, but now I have a baby with its growing brain and the thought of blasting mercury particles inside my mouth is not sitting well at all. they are no holistic dentists in two hours of me, though some that are at least hip to bring mercury free and having some mercury safety protocols. I am turning to prayer to calm my fears.

    I really do recommend ramiel nagel’s cure youth decay book. though get it on kindle or friend it to your computer because it’s like$30 otherwise. he really brings the message home about not just a traditional diet, but the specifics of that diet that supports your body and specifically your parotid gland which is the crux of Denmark health

    Lizi Reply:

    sorry kindle malfunction… crux of dental health. it really opened my eyes.
    also Sally Fallon does a great job of highlighting the absolute importance of naturally occurring vitamin a,d,e,k from animal fats that it ancestors knew was crucial to healthy well formed children. I know Katie you are already on fermented cod liver oil, which is a great source. in my . opinion deep nutrition totally missed the boat on the day soluble vitamins. she recommend a so called traditional diet but leaves way to much to the imagination, which can have dangerous consequences if you . are not f
    ocusing on the fat soluble vitamins, which are also of course crucial for proper parotid functioning along with a low grain very low sugar diet. check it out :)

    Lizi Reply:

    I am so sorry for all those typos

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Lizi,
    Oh, tough situation! Nagel is one of the speakers at the summit, so maybe I can get his Cliff’s notes there! :) Katie

  • Lynn

    Read Cure Tooth Decay. Great book!!!!

    Ashley Reply:

    Just read it myself and I agree!

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Lynn,
    Yes, he’s one of the speakers and I’m interested to hear more! :) Katie

  • Melanie

    Thanks for this resource, Katie!

    After 8 years of traditional eating, I have to say that tooth/mouth health has been the area where we have seen the least amount of success. All of our kids don’t have big enough jaws for their teeth and are all going to require significant dental worth to grow and change their faces. Here’s a website for a holistic dentist, Dr. Hang, that explains it well: http://www.facefocused.com

    I feel like we would have to eat zero sugar and bad stuff and take 10 CLO pills a day each (we’re a family of 6) in order to reach the optimum health that is described by guys like Ramie Nagel and Dr. Hang.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to this information. But we’ve also been having to chill out and lower expectations that often come with thinking you’ve found the “key to perfect health.” Always trying to find the balance…

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Melanie,
    Good reminder! There is no bodily perfection this side of Heaven, so cutting ourselves some slack is important. :) Katie

  • Cory

    I’ve been wondering this myself recently. Seminar should be good.

    My sisters did something called myofunctional orofacial therapy. One had n underbite, which was fixed without orthodontics. Neither needed braces. One still has her wisdom teeth. Me, on the other hand…years of orthodontics. My mom calls the therapist a quack, but I’m looking into it:-)

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Cory,
    I do still have my wisdom teeth, and believe it or not, they’ve been slowly COMING IN over the last 7 or so years. For real. they’re still growing, and that slowly. Dentists hate me when I won’t let them yank them out. ;) Katie

    Carol Vander Stoep, RDH, BSDH Reply:

    No, no, no! Trust your instincts. Brazil has 29 PhD programs in myofunctional therapy and there are many studies, now being translated. The ADA is writing dental codes for myofunctional therapy as we speak because oral posture has far-reaching consequences for apnea as adults due to poor airway development – from incorrect oral habits. Think about it, what is orthodontics, but slow, gentle pressure applied to teeth over time? Incorrect pressure over time from tongue, cheeks, etc and lack of use change our face shape and how our teeth come in. Many, many countries use this. The U.S. is just slow to adopt. You figure out why. Again, I wish I had put together my chapter, “Beauty, Brains, and Body Balance” in “Mouth Matters” better, but that’s what websites are for. One day, when I get more time, I’ll update it. Still, either download the book or at least check out the part of that chapter I give away on my site. I’m fascinated by the successes I’m having as a therapist. I wish I’d come to it sooner. My oldest daughter had a lower tongue rest posture and a tongue thrust I never knew about. When I came back from my first training, I saw that her orthodontics was already relapsing due to her habits. Her face had definitely changed due to mouth breathing her whole life, leading to a recessed chin. Apnea, a forward head posture (devastating to general health), a tiny airway, a longer face (vertical growth rather than healthy, normal horizontal face-forward growth) are just the beginning. Changes in body chemistry because of the imbalance between oxygen and CO2 can be even more devastating. And by the way, face-forward growth means there is much more room for teeth! And the tongue. Less crowding of both!
    Please look into it. Dr. Mercola began therapy immediately after my interview with him and wrote about it soon after because he was excited about what he – and his girlfriend – were experiencing. Much more is to come.
    Better digestion, better sleep, less tension in shoulders and neck, less reflux, more pituitary hormone release – all of these can be results, with good explanations for each. Enough already! Check it out!

  • Anastasia @ eco-babyz

    I second Ramiel Nagel’s book Cure Tooth Decay! It takes it just a step further than Traditional Foods and yes, seemed daunting at first and we put off the diet for a year. Now that my daughter’s teeth are really falling apart we’re diving head first into the protocol and looking for some local farm for good quality raw grass-fed dairy and meat, super expensive in our area. I am curious to see what it will do for my daughter. I am documenting our journey by taking pictures of her teeth every two weeks and I’m blogging about it :) It will take time for us for sure, we’re going from eating almost an entire loaf of bread a day as a family to no grains at all. From eating my homemade cookies everyday to no sugar. It’s going to be tough!
    http://www.eco-babyz.com/2012/12/crumbling-baby-teeth.html

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Wow, Anastasia, totally fascinating! We don’t eat many grains anymore since finding that gluten sensitivity in my husband. Here’s some encouragement for you (and more following the tags on the post): http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/09/28/a-grain-free-life-menu-ideas-to-keep-it-simple/

    When and if you start seeing something happening, I’d love to share your posts. Please send me some links via FB, Twitter, email, whatever. I think it’s awesome that you’re sharing it with the world!!! (And you should be an affiliate for this summit and Orawellness…)

    I wish you grand success!!!
    :) Katie

  • Sara

    Just reread your oil pulling early last week. Then my husband broke his tooth Thursday while we were out for our anniversary (which ruined our plans of course). Very timely for our family!

  • Banana

    This is such an interesting topic to me! I have always been a bit nervous about dental check ups (bad experiences as a child…), and five years working in the dental field has only slightly helped my nervousness. Now my husband has receding gums, with no obvious cause, and it has me worried. I can’t wait to read more about some natural methods that may help!
    I am nursing, and have had a lot of tooth pain also. But I have noticed it is linked to my back pain. When my back is out of line, particularly after a night sleeping with my nursing infant, the pain seems to travel up my neck, through my back teeth, and sometimes up to my head (head ache). When my back is realigned the pain goes away. Just wanted to share in case it may help you too!

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    So kids really CAN cause headaches! ;) Just kidding…I hear you, sleeping on one side all night with a baby hanging off you can be misaligned!! Mine is balanced on my lap right now…
    :) Katie

  • Emily B

    Hey Katie! I’m really excited about this topic! I keep finding tidbits here and there about the connection between dental work and a variety of health problems. The last time my husband went to the dentist, they tried hard to sell him on a new “deep cleaning” where they scrape underneath your gum line. Even after he said no twice, they left him in the room with a video on why this cleaning is necessary!

    One thing I’m coming to terms with is Pottenger’s cat study. From what I understand, it showed that the effects of bad eating decisions are passed down genetically to the next generation. So when I change my eating, I’m doing so despite any implications of my mom/dad’s and grandparents’ poor eating. We don’t start with a blank slate.

    I would love to hear Doctors Nagel and Hang comment on the effects of genetics vs. good nutrition!

  • janet

    My dentist is a biologic dentist. He wrote a book about the dangers of fluoride and mercury, and he even has a webcast that he and his wife do about healthy living.

    Check him out: http://www.donaldrobbinsdmd.com/clinician.htm

    Also, I love earthpaste because my kids can swallow it! But a lot of people like the burts bees because it has some ingredient that no other toothpaste has in that helps remineralize teeth.

    Finally, there is a book called “Mouth Matters” by Carol Vander Stoep that I just got (haven’t read yet). Mercola interviewed her and it was very informative. You can find it on Youtube.

  • Carol Vander Stoep

    I just found this site today, Jan. 22. It so hurts to read all of this and to know answers exist. I have been a hygienist for 30+ years and had so many questions during my career. Finally I started researching about 8 years ago and ran into answers, buried though they were. Yes, I think Janet will enjoy the resulting offering, “Mouth Matters”. It goes into much more detail than even my interview with Dr. Mercola – and certainly more than what I heard from Dr. Mercola’s interview with Dr. Tim Rainey on minimally invasive dentistry using air abrasion and hopefully, ozone that posted today. First, we MUST diagnose early, especially on our children. Traditional means just don’t cut it. Being at wits end not having the laser available that I needed to double check my 22 year old’s teeth, I picked up an air abrasion unit to “explore” the grooves in her teeth. X-rays showed nothing, the standard “pick” showed nothing (didn’t “stick”). These methods are unreliable and I know it. One tooth groove opened up displaying a deeply decayed area – like a wormhole. Thin and convoluted, it went almost to the pulp. (When that happens, the tooth dies and either needs a root canal or an extraction, neither acceptable for my child!) Air abrasion selectively removes only the decayed part. I took an x-ray to see how close to the pulp it was…. Guess what! As deep as the excavation was, it didn’t show up on the x-ray. Point made about x-rays being a very late in the game diagnosis technique. 9Ideally one cleans out the grooves lightly and uses a laser to detect what is going on in the chewing surface pits. Point 2. Air abrasion needs no anesthesia. As deep as it was, she never felt the excavation. ANYway, much more can be learned on my site and yes, in the book. I recommend the downloadable version so you can search for subjects that interest you. I definitely talk about oral health’s influence on general health and inflammatory disease, dietary roles, spirochetes, ozone, prevention, etc.

  • Carol Vander Stoep, RDH, BSDH

    Continued… Overbite and overjet. Often oral posture has everything to do with facial development and orthodontic issues. Where does your child’s tongue rest, floor of the mouth or roof? How does she swallow? Does the tongue stay in the roof of the mouth or does it move forward against the front teeth? Does she maintain a lip seal and breathe only through her nose? What about the frenum under her tongue, is it long enough to allow her to move her tongue around and keep it where it needs to go? These are critical issues dental professionals should be assessing. Learning proper oral posture and toning facial and neck muscles is the domain of myofunctional therapists, of which there are too few. This subject is explored somewhat in “Mouth Matters”, though I admit I’ve learned much more since its publication. Enough that I became one. I think it is valuable to come at this therapy from a dental point of view. I hope to expand on that chapter, or at least on my website in the future. Learn what you can now however at: http://www.mouthmattersbook.com.
    Sensitivity? So many things can contribute. When I get sensitive roots, I know to apply ozone gas for a couple of minutes, then Caphasol drops. Works for many cavities, too, though it must be used in conjunction with air abrasion by a dentist so trained. This was a quick, incomplete response, but I hope enough to pique some people’s interest. This is where dentistry needs to go!

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I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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