I signed up at a new dental surgery this week. The dentist there runs a high-end, state-of-the-art kind of practice. The space is more like an Art gallery than a dental surgery – and it has a car park. Around here, parking spaces are like unicorns.
After the examination the dentist exclaimed how incredibly clean my teeth were despite my last hygienist appointment having been 7 months ago. He said there was no point attending a hygienist appointment now as there was nothing for her to do. So, he asked me, out of curiosity, how I did it.
Alan Never Cleaned His Teeth
I am not one of those people blessed with great teeth. However, I once knew someone who had incredible teeth. Let’s call him Alan as I do not want to identify him by using his real, rather unusual first name.
I used to work with Alan and one day at work I must have been talking about the dentist or something similar, when he told me with a huge grin, that he’d never cleaned his teeth. I was astonished. He must have been around 35 years old at the time.
Alan ate chocolate and sweet stuff and the food that most people eat, yet he had no cavities and no decay. He’d never needed to use a toothbrush or toothpaste. We were working at an American multinational company at the time. Alan had presented at interview as an experienced, polished and accomplished software developer, and as a result his hourly rate was huge. Not counting our manager, he was the highest paid member of the team.
Curiously, though after a few weeks, Alan became Head of Tea. Originally, his job was to perform the same function as everyone else. But it turned out that he’d given the wrong impression at interview. We found out very soon that he was extremely bad at writing code. Our manager Paul, during an uncharacteristic moment of whimsy, rather than ask him to leave, simply suggested that Alan took charge of tea.
Alan was a lovely chap, and we all benefited from his tea runs. It meant the work ran smoothly and we got beverages delivered to our desks, by the happiest guy in the office, with unbelievable teeth.
I Clean My Teeth All The Time
The point of the story is that some people, despite not being very good at stuff, do well in life just because they make everyone else feel good about themselves. The other point is that unlike Alan, I have awful teeth.
I don’t know if it is my personal microbiome (that gets the blame for most things at nowadays), or what I eat, or genetics. I have loads of fillings.
Every single time I went to the dentist in the past, I had to have another filling. This was despite the fact that I cleaned, and cleaned an cleaned. I used Colgate, I used Oral B, I used whatever there was. None of it made any difference to the outcome of my dental visits.
Then one day 11 years ago, I was asked to help a small business with their website. The website sold a soap product for cleaning teeth.
After speaking with the owner and having to review her website content, I of course became familiar with her ideas about tooth care. She wrote about the benefits of using soap to keep teeth clean and healthy. It sounded mad. But I tried it. She was so right! I found there is no better way to clean your teeth.
As soon as I started using soap to brush my teeth, I stopped getting cavities. It was practically immediate such was the impact of soap on my dental health. I’ve only had one problem in recent years and that was a wisdom tooth that was hard to reach. But apart from that, nothing. For someone like me, that was nothing short of miraculous.
The Effects Of Using Soap
There are lots of aspects to using soap on your teeth. Using a special soap to clean your teeth will over a short time, eat away at the hardened plaque on your teeth. If you use ordinary toothpaste you probably have a lot of hardened plaque – the stuff that the hygienist has to scrape away, every six months.
Run your tongue around your teeth now. Feel along the gum line. Feel the surface of the teeth. Is everything super smooth with no hardened line around the gums? Are you teeth so clean they feel squeaky (you’ll know what I mean by that if you use soap).
Using special tooth soap will mean that these problems go away. It will minimise the number of germs multiplying in your mouth and so minimise the damage their excretions do. (Yes, their excretions).
You cannot use any soap on your teeth. You need to use a very pure and mild soap – on especially made for use in the mouth. Yes, it tastes like soap but it is not unpleasant and the taste is very mild.
The soap is extremely efficient when it comes to cleaning. It’s like a high intensity spring clean of the mouth that happens twice per day. You may be saying but Liz, you are only supposed to spring clean in the, like, literal Spring. No – not when it comes to your teeth and mouth.
You eat all sorts of things, you drinks all sorts of things and you may even smoke all sorts of things. Your mouth is subjected to daily abuse.
Further, if you eat meat you are literally filling your mouth with microscopic particles of decaying flesh and fecal matter that lingers and putrefies in between your teeth and under your gums. You’re going to need a bigger boat, to deal with that.
Let Your Teeth Speak
In my appointment this week, I let my teeth do the talking. They were so squeaky clean the dentist remarked on it. He was simultaneously fascinated and sceptical. But because my new dentist is a proper dentist (scientist), he was not prepared to ignore evidence just because it flew in the face of everything he previously believed. He is not a lazy thinker.
He also spent a few minutes explaining how bad breath forms in the mouth. I sat through this feeling awful. Was he working up to telling me I had a problem? He’d been poking around in my mouth, close-range, for an 45 minutes.
I needn’t have worried. It turns out I had very fresh breath and that made him doubly interested in seeing what this soap was all about. I also got the impression he wasn’t used to patients with fresh breath. I got excited. If he tries the soap method it could change some aspects of his advice, and the people of Bath could benefit from better teeth and mouth hygiene.
I Stopped Talking About Soap
I’ve been using soap to clean my teeth since 2008. I’ve told loads of people but they’ve never shown much interest. I can only assume they already have outstanding teeth, a bit like my ex-workmate Alan.
But that can’t be the case for everyone. This post is my latest attempt to get everyone who needs it on the tooth soaping regime. For your convenience, I will describe my routine and link to the products I use.
How I Clean My Teeth
If you want clean teeth, no decay and amazing fresh breath, you can follow my routine and use the products I use. I’ve linked to each item so you can get them from Amazon. You probably already have most of the things you need for an amazing teeth cleaning experience. You just need to add soap!
First floss your teeth. Use dental floss to clean between all teeth, making sure you move the floss tight against each tooth and way inside and under, the gum line. This dislodges any bacteria lurking there. Bacteria really hate being disturbed.
You can use any dental floss you are comfortable with. I like using Wisdom Dental Floss.
Next, use an interdental brush and push it, in between each tooth near the gumline. This gets rid of anything that the floss missed.
I use the orange brushes, but they come in a number of sizes. Each size is colour coded. My teeth are quite close together and the orange interdental brushes just about fit.
A Clean Tongue
Some people always have clean tongues and other people don’t. It can depend on who you are, and what you’ve eaten. If you consume a lot of dairy you may have a frequently furry tongue. (Gross!!). Or, it might be because the natural texture of your tongue’s surface means it catches and holds onto food particles more readily than you’d like.
In cases like this, or the rare occasions when your tongue might become coated, a tongue scraper can come to the rescue. The germs on the tongue are another cause of bad breath, so don’t ever let it happen in your mouth.
I first heard of tongue scrapers when one of my Indian friends at university told me about them. In India they are very commonly used. In certain regions of India, people eat a lot of dairy products. Large numbers of people in that continent also happen to be lactose intolerant. Result? Plenty of furry tongues.
I have this tongue cleaner. It’s an Indian style one and is a lot more effective than the ones produced in the US.
You could buy a tongue cleaner made here, but go instead for the real deal and get an Indian style one. Please note the Indian style ones are also longer lasting. The plastic tongue cleaners break and the ones with plastic handles are unhygienic.
This particular toothbrush I use has a nice soft brush – don’t let that put your off. It’s vital for your gum health. But due to the superior products I’ve recommended here, and the speed of the electric toothbrush, you’ll not suffer the gum damage you might get from over-brushing with a harder toothbrush, and you’ll have beautifully clean teeth.
An electric toothbrush is essential if you do not already use one. I bought one for my friend Alicia in 1982, and she always jokes that it changed her life! I use a Philips Sonicare.
Clean Your Teeth With Soap
I’ve used this soap to clean my teeth for years. It comes in a number of flavors but peppermint is as good as any. Be aware that the mintiness of this soap is not very strong at all. In fact it is barely there. So don’t expect a strong minty aftertaste.
When you use soap instead of toothpaste you are getting superb cleaning power. All the germs and bacteria you’ve just dislodged from your mouth using floss and interdental brushes, will now be overcome and eliminated by soap.
Wet your brush and rub it in a circular motion over the surface of the soap for a few seconds.
Brush your teeth well, and do it twice. Your teeth will be left feeling squeaky clean. After a week of consistent use you will really feel the difference. If you have been to the hygienist recently and you start cleaning with soap, your teeth will remain as clean as the day they were professionally cleaned, for many, many months.
What Soap Does Not Do
The one thing that soap will not do, is whiten your teeth. You must use a toothpaste for that purpose. However, I urge you not to use a conventional toothpaste as you run the risk of coating your teeth in the added chemicals these toothpastes contain, which could prevent remineralization.
As stated by Gerard F. Judd, Ph.D, a dental health researcher, and many others, the glycerin in everyday toothpastes is sticky. It takes 27 washes to get it off. Teeth brushed with any toothpaste containing glycerin (nearly all of them) are coated with a film of glycerin and therefore cannot remineralise. The result is you always seem to have cavities.
The answer it to use the recommended toothpaste below, or any toothpaste you like that contains the fewest necessary ingredients.
A friend of mine called Katrina suggested that you could make up for the lack of mintiness in the soap by adding a few drops of peppermint extract. This is a great idea for everyday use. But also use the toothpaste at least three times per week to keep the teeth as white as possible.
Clean Again With Toothpaste
If, after cleaning with soap, you do not feel your mouth is minty enough you can use a toothpaste. Whatever you do, do not use your normal toothpaste to provide the minty taste you are used to. If you do, you could end up negating much of the good work done by the soap. Toothpaste will also whiten the teeth, but it may be important to choose one that does not contain glycerin.
Use the toothpaste I recommend which whitens and contains no nasty chemicals to harm your teeth. Your teeth will start to remineralise assuming your diet is healthy and you use soap to clean them as described.
I recommend The Dirt All Natural toothpaste. You can get it in a number of flavours. It contains no glycerin and will help to whiten teeth.
The products, used this way in conjunction with soap and flossing as described above, will give you the freshest, most kissable, amazing mouth. Enjoy!