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I had to give my basic dental care spiel recently. Since I have zero cavities at middle age, I am a minimally-qualified layman. That inspired this post.
Freedom from medicinal cigarettes
I have no cavities despite the fact that I've smoked for years, which increases cavity risk, I hear. I recently found a way to eliminate the need for smoking, by the way. Partly it was meditation and medication for my long-term Accutane gut damage, and gradually improving my dietary-circadian discipline.
The last mile was a combination of factors. Vicks Vaporub provided an alternative means of sinus decongestion and rhinitis reduction. CBD oil reduced rhinitis from gut permeability. It also reduced the side effects of Claritin, giving me another counter to gut-exacerbated rhinitis. A humidifier countered the drainage cough caused by the Vicks Vaporub clearing sinuses.
I've tried cannibis before, of course, but it didn't work until this attempt. I had to push through a rough adjustment period, and needed a combination of treatments to stabilize it. Rhinitis from new foods triggers a failure cascade of insomnia, stress and gut irritation that is difficult to counter. This time I pushed through it.
This allowed me to eat more foods than just the lean beef, white rice, garlic, lean shrimp, plain wheat bread and olive oil that I was subsisting on. Ending semi-starvation eliminated the need for tobacco's appetite suppression.
With no further medical reason to smoke, I found it to be an unrewarding hassle and automatically tapered off to cessation. It wasn't even a goal. To be fair, I'd already stopped lung inhaling long ago, it no longer being necessary to counter extreme illness.
I've been told I have an addictive personality, so it was nice to see that lie laid to rest. I suspect I have a very low propensity for drug addiction. I am too mission-oriented to care about the hedonic appeal. Smoking was always for performance improvement.
Smoking for medical reasons is never supposed to happen, according to current politically-correct medical orthodoxy, but it is still quite common, because tobacco has many medicinal properties. But of course smoking has a health cost, especially processed cigarettes, especially when inhaled into the lungs.
Anyway, this digression should establish that I've had to think outside the box to avoid succumbing to an ugly chronic illness, that I only care about results, and that stupidly superficial advice is unlikely to help.
My basic dental advice spiel
Go to a dentist at least once a year. He may order lots of work done. If he does, get a second opinion. If one or both dentists lie to pad their billing, the lies are unlikely to match.
Dentists order excessive work done anyway. That's their incentive. They won't tell you, for example, that it's possible to heal cavities and regrow enamel. There are tooth rinses and vitamins (K2) that help with that.
Gums are even easier to heal than teeth, regardless of dentist denials. Look into paleo health, but don't totally avoid starches unless you understand your ketogenic goals like Tim Ferriss does. And don't chew so much tough meat that you damage your gums.
Dentists used to be unnecessary. Hunter-gatherers didn't get cavities, normally. The first wave of dental disaster came with the advent of agriculture. People ate lots of grains. The starches stuck to their teeth and rotted them. Their bones didn't develop properly, making crooked teeth.
Dental health worsened dramatically again with the advent of bulk dietary sugar, caused by international trade with sugar plantations. The sugar stuck to teeth and rotted them, causing many other health problems as well. Postmodern processed food is even worse.
The most important time to brush your teeth is after feeding cessation and before bed. Otherwise you leave bacteria to fester on your teeth all night. The mouth dries at night, and stops washing this bacteria away. That's why your mouth feels disgusting in the morning if you drink sugar before bed.
Use an electric toothbrush every night. If food is stuck between your teeth, floss before it sits overnight. Floss at least once per week.
If you want super-white teeth, go ahead, but ensure you're not doing damage. Hire a reliable pro, or else use only gentle home remedies.
Never get mercury fillings. It'll travel to your brain and lower your IQ.
Dental problems can kill you. Open festering wounds are bad. Those germs can travel through your circulation to anywhere in the body.