teeth

  1. Cocoa vs. fluoride

    Cocoa-based toothpaste works better than fluoride

    Who needs fluoride when you've got cocoa?

    Yes, cocoa -- the main ingredient in chocolate. On its own, cocoa is a powerful protector of both the brain and heart. And now, new research shows how a compound inside cocoa can protect and strengthen teeth better than brain-rotting, cancer-causing, bone-cracking fluoride.

    In just one week of twice-a-day brushing, a fluoride-free toothpaste containing the cocoa compound theobromine was able to repair damage to sensitive teeth. And in just a few days, it managed to completely seal up dentinal tubules, according to the study.

    That's the part of the tooth that gets exposed after years of wear and tear, leaving you with sensitive and even painful teeth -- but the cocoa-paste managed to not only close it up, but it did so far better than several leading fluoride-based toothpastes.

    Now, I'm thrilled to hear about fluoride-free options for dental care. Fluoride is actually a toxic waste byproduct that can make you dumber (which is why the authorities LOVE to put it in water) and has been linked to a long list of major diseases.

    And for all that risk, it's not even very good at protecting teeth. In fact, it could actually DAMAGE your teeth.

    That said, the new study was funded by the makers of the cocoa-powered toothpaste, so you have to take it with a grain of salt (or a hunk of chocolate if you prefer).

    Plus, the cocoa toothpaste sure ain't cheap -- and that's if you can even find it at all.

    So let me give you a better option -- a proven way to protect your teeth for just pennies a day: baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

    Use a small amount of each to form a paste, and then work it into your teeth and gums (you don't even need a toothbrush). Rinse with the peroxide, don't forget to floss and you'll have the cleanest, strongest, whitest teeth in town.

  2. The 'routine' exam that'll up your tumor risk

    Dental X-rays linked to brain tumors

    Here's a quick and easy way to up your tumor risk: Visit the dentist!

    Dentists shoot radiation at anything that moves. They call it a "routine" X-ray despite the fact that there shouldn't be anything routine about exposure to radiation.

    Now, a new study shows why -- because people who get suckered into "routine" annual dental X-rays have a dramatically higher risk of brain tumors.

    Researchers from a who's who of top institutions -- including Yale and Harvard -- say data on nearly 2,700 people finds that yearly bitewing X-rays double the risk of meningioma, or a tumor in the lining of the brain.

    Worse still, those who got regular panorex dental exams starting from age 10 or younger had five times the tumor risk.

    But this is another one you can file under "obvious and unsurprising." In fact, you can even file it under "best-case scenario," because at least meningioma tumors are nonmalignant and often cause no problems.

    Many of the people who have them don't even know it.

    But dental X-rays can also dramatically raise the risk of all kinds of other tumors, including the cancerous tumors than can hurt or even kill you.

    One study found that 10 or more dental X-rays over the course of a lifetime boosts the risk of thyroid cancer by 5.4 times when compared to people who avoid getting zapped.

    But do we really need more research to know that radiation brings all kinds of bad news? It's RADIATION, after all -- and any exposure comes with risk. Even Homer Simpson knows that.

    If you do need a dentist -- and we all do from time to time -- find one who won't use fluoride or mercury and will limit the X-rays to only when you really need them.

    Along with a lead apron, make sure the dentist provides a thyroid collar (and if your dentist doesn't have one, find a dentist who does).

    And limit your time with the dentist by caring for your teeth the Douglass way: Skip the toothpaste and mix plain old baking soda with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Work it into your teeth and gums with your fingertips, and rinse with the peroxide.

    You'll have the best smile in town.

    I'm not done with teeth yet -- and if you wear dentures, I've got news for you. Keep reading!

  3. Your soda habit is killing you

    If you're still drinking soda, there's not much else I can say at this point. You don't have to be a regular Dose reader to know this stuff is bad for you, and you'd have to have a hole in your head to think it's actually good.
  4. How to beat the dentist every time

    It's the kind of research only a dentist could love: People who get the most intensive dental cleanings have a lower risk of a heart attack or stroke.
  5. Killer breath

    I've told you for years that oral health affects heart health. Now, one scientist has figured out the "why" behind this cause-and-effect relationship.
  6. The cheapest way to avoid the dentist

    The Academy of General Dentistry (AGC) recently announced that the use of "a properly positioned" straw can help to significantly minimize the risk of cavities and other oral health problems.

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