The following article was written by Cyn Boudreau in completion of requirements to become an IABDM Certified Biological Hygienist. Congratulations, Cyn!

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Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping one’s mouth clean and free of disease. We can inspire our patients by teaching them about dental biofilm and how to remove this from their teeth using a natural approach. There are many great products on the market for toothpastes without fluoride that have anti-inflammatory, antioxidants and antimicrobial benefits for the oral cavity. A few I will discuss are Magnolia bark extract, ozonated toothpaste, arginine bicarbonate, calendula oil, tea tree oil, and juniper berry extract. Teaching patients about different ingredients in toothpastes that pertain to their needs is more important to me than just giving them a general toothpaste.

For my patients with diabetes, I would suggest a toothpaste with Magnolia bark extract. Magnolia bark extract helps with controlling glycemic levels, which will decrease inflammation of the gingiva. According to “Pharmacokinetic and Metabolic Profiling of Key Active Components of Dietary Supplement Magnolia officinalis Extract for Prevention against Oral Carcinoma,” Magnolia bark extract is used as a chemo preventive dietary supplement. Its antioxidant properties aid in preventing cancer in the oral cavity, as well as antimicrobial properties that help with halitosis. If a person has a problem with allergies to toothpastes, this would also be a good choice since it’s known to have anti-allergic agents.

If I am looking for an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant toothpaste for gingivitis and periodontal inflammation, there are a variety of choices to choose from. However, my favorite is ozonated toothpaste made by PurO3. It contains very simple ingredients: peppermint oil for flavor, stevia to help stop the development of plaque, the highest quality organic hemp oil with no THC, and unrefined organic extra virgin olive oil. This toothpaste is ozonated with medical grade oxygen. This product helps heal mouth ulcers and helps with whitening teeth. Hundreds of dentists in the US are now treating patients with ozone. Ozone is good for periodontal therapy, decay therapy with remineralization of early lesions, root canal treatment, canker sores, cold sores, bone infections, and dentin hypersensitivity. Ozone kills acid-making bacteria.

When working with patients with teeth sensitivity, I would suggest Tom’s of Maine Rapid Relief Sensitive toothpaste. It has arginine and calcium carbonate. Arginine is a natural amino acid in plants. When dissolved in pure water and then treated with carbon oxide gas, it forms an arginine bicarbonate solution. Combining arginine bicarbonate and calcium carbonate, it seals open dentin tubules so there is less hypersensitivity and reduces caries. A new study exposes additional oral health benefits. For children who are teething and have decay, I would recommend Jack and Jill with calendula oil and xylitol. Calendula oil comes from a type of marigold. It has antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It contains no SLS, parabens, GMO ingredients, color, fluoride, sugar, or artificial preservatives. It is safe to swallow and known to sooth gingiva.

For my patients with herpes simplex virus, aphthous ulcers, candida infections, and gingivitis, tea tree oil is the best option. Melaleuca alternifolia, otherwise known as tea tree oil, has antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. It comes from a tea tree shrub in Australia. According to RDH Magazine, when Dr. Kate Hammer tested the tea tree oil, it showed weakend P. gingivalis and fought against periodontopathic and cariogenic bacteria. So it kills germs upon use and prevents their growth for days afterwards. I always remind the patient the importance of buying pure organic essential oils. If they are not in a dark bottle and are very cheap, they are probably not pure oils.

A common recipe I give my patients t make their own mixture for herpes simplex or aphthous ulcers is

  • One drop of tea tree oil.
  • One drop of peppermint oil.
  • 1/8 tsp coconut oil.

This can be applied to the area with a Q-tip.

Juniper berry extract is my number one ingredient of choice in a toothpaste for adults because it has antibacterial, antifungal, inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It inhibits the production of interferon, which are proteins that protect your immune system from viruses and fight off cancer cells. According to Today’s RDH, juniper is full of monoterpenes that are responsible for stopping candidiasis in the mouth. One contraindication for juniper berry is that it should not be given to pregnant women. Its oil is linked to miscarriage, and breastfeeding should be avoided, as there is not enough research to prove safety.

As we all know the oral cavity is the dirtiest part of the body. We need to educate and explain to our patients that when buying toothpaste – whether in a grocery store, online, or pharmacy – that the toothpastes on sale or being marketed on the television might not necessarily be a good product for you and your family. Choosing the right toothpaste for you will not only help your oral cavity, but your body as a whole.

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