The Weekly Thread: leveling up your brushing, essential oils for better oral microbial health, and how oil pulling could help prevent disease.


First and foremost, there’s nothing noteworthy to report on the base level of traditional recommendations of brushing and flossing regularly. 

It’s recommended that you brush more than once per day, however, if you do brush only once per day, and as mentioned when discussing demineralization, it’s actually best to brush and floss before bed, as you produce less saliva at night while you sleep, and are thus more likely to enter states of demineralization, as your natural saliva production balances the pH of your mouth. 

If you go to sleep with food and debris in your mouth as a result of not brushing and flossing, that pathogenic bacteria Strep. mutans can feed on it, and will make it even more likely that you enter prolonged states of demineralization while sleeping, which of course leads to tooth decay and can lead to gum disease. 

But we’re discussing oral health here and its impact on overall health, which differs from basic oral care. Depending on the oral care products one uses, you can actually disrupt the markers of true oral health. 


Okay, I might just blow your mind with this plant-based compound if you’re not familiar, and even if you are, what I’m about to discuss may still blow your mind, as you may not know the true entirety of just how amazing of a compound xylitol is. 

For starters, xylitol is a low-calorie, natural sweetener found in fruits and vegetables. So at minimum, it serves as a good alternative as a sweetener to sugar, much like stevia and monk fruit. 

However, that’s just the beginning…

Remember from all the way back to the very first segment on oral health where I discussed Strep. mutans, that nasty pathogenic bacteria that causes tooth decay?

To quickly recall, S. mutans loves sugar! When it consumes sugar, it emits byproducts that increase the acidity of your mouth, which then puts it into a state of demineralization (de-min), and it’s in this state of de-min where tooth decay, and over time, cavities can occur. 

Interestingly enough, S. mutans really, really loves xylitol. 

So much so, that in the presence of xylitol, it will consume nothing other than xylitol.

But S. mutans emits an acidic byproduct when it consumes anything right? So why is this a big deal?

When S. mutans consumes xylitol, it does not emit its typical acidic byproduct or gas that makes the environment of the mouth more acidic. 

Furthermore, (and here is where it gets really rich) when S. mutans consumes xylitol, which is all it will do when xylitol is present in the mouth, the xylitol actually inhibits S. mutans from proliferating and producing more, nasty, pathogenic S. mutans. 

Whoa, so let me get this straight, as xylitol almost seems too good to be true. 


✔️ Is a natural, low calorie sweetener, and great alternative to sugar.

✔️ Is the most choice food source for S. mutans, however, when consumed by S. mutans, it does not emit the same acidic gas that typically puts your mouth into a state of demineralization.

✔️ Inhibits the proliferation and reproduction of more S. mutans, thus, helping to keep a more healthy microbial balance in your mouth, which helps prevent dysbiosis (an unhealthy balance of pathogenic bacteria to beneficial bacteria). 

✔️ Some promising research even shows that xylitol acts as a prebiotic for your healthy gut microbes as well. 

So, at this point you’re probably wondering how you can get more xylitol into your life.

I know I was as I started learning more about all of its benefits. 

I find the easiest and most refreshing way is to chew xylitol gum a few times per day. Remember, xylitol is also a natural sweetener, so when chewing xylitol gum, you can’t even tell the difference between gum with artificial sweeteners or sugar in it. 

If you drink any acidic drink that can put your teeth into a state of demineralization like coffee, tea, or wine, especially if you sip for longer periods, it’s best to give your mouth a really good, and true rinse with water, and then chew some xylitol gum to instantly reset the homeostasis in your mouth. 

I will also chew xylitol gum after meals as of course you are most likely not just feeding yourself, but also feeding the S. mutans in your mouth, and chewing xylitol gum after a meal will again, make the xylitol the primary food source of the S. mutans. 

Xylitol gum is a true win/win, as you’re able to chew on some gum that freshens your breath, AND provides all of the above outlined benefits. 

I also use a toothpaste that contains xylitol, however, I’ll touch on that a bit more later. 

A Next-level Approach to Brushing

As mentioned above, it’s no real surprise that regular brushing is core to maintaining proper oral health. 

But this newsletter blog is about optimizing for better health, and brushing is definitely an area where one can optimize for better health, and it requires no extra time. 

The way I see it, is you’re spending the time to brush regularly regardless, so why not optimize your brushing to get the most out of the time you’re already spending brushing. 

Most commercial brand toothpastes contain fluoride and synthetic ingredients, and even have warnings on them to call poison control if ingested. 

My personal philosophy is to not put anything in my mouth that requires a call from poison control if ingested, so I opt for a natural toothpaste that contains hydroxyapatite instead of fluoride. 

Last week I did a deep dive on fluoride, and merely tried to arm you with more information to empower you to make a more informed decision on what you think is best for you and your family on fluoride consumption, and/or determining how much fluoride is a safe and healthy amount for you and your family. 

That said, one area where I did take a personal stance on was using oral care products that contain hydroxyapatite instead of fluoride. 

It does seem that it’s not debated that fluoride does in fact strengthen the bonds of our teeth, however, it is not a true nutrient, and is not the natural compound that the body uses to strengthen the bonds in both our teeth and bones. 

That actual nutrient compound is hydroxyapatite

To me then, it seems clear that when accessible, to use oral care products that contain the actual natural compound that strengthens the bonds in our teeth, and that is hydroxyapatite. 

I use an all natural toothpaste that contains both hydroxyapatite AND xylitol.

I actually use a unique toothpaste called Bite that comes in chewable “bits” almost like a mint. Each bit is a single serving for an individual brushing, and it comes in a small container that you can travel with (no need for travel sizes), and comes in a recyclable glass bottle so the packaging is sustainably sourced. 
Just chew the minty bit and start brushing!

But this is next level brushing right? The idea is to take your standard oral care, and dial it in more strategically, much as one would do with their exercise, nutrition, and supplementation over time if looking to optimize those other areas of health. 

I only actually brush with the toothpaste bits at night, which is really the one time I think your teeth need a true brushing. In the AM when you wake, you haven't been eating overnight, or consuming anything at night (at least you shouldn’t be), so your teeth don’t necessarily need what I would consider a true brushing to break up food and debris. (This is not advice, just my personal approach and routine)

Instead, in the AM, I opt for more of a polishing, and I also introduce some essential oils designed to help promote proper microbial balance in your mouth. 

So I do technically brush in the AM, however, I use a remineralizing tooth powder, which introduces hydroxyapatite into your teeth to start the day and also helps to polish your teeth for a natural whitening effect. I also drop about 5 drops of a healthy mouth essential oil blend into my mouth just before brushing/polishing with the remineralizing tooth powder. 
I will also use a tongue scraper, typically in the PM to further rid my mouth of any food or debris that could lead to states of demineralization while I sleep, as well as just getting rid of any potentially pathogenic bacteria that could be forming. There is no best time to tongue scrape, and you can do it a couple times of day if you’d like, but really, you just want to include this very simple, quick practice into your oral health care routine with consistency. 
Do rinse your tongue scraper off with water after each use. 

Could Oil Pulling Save Your Life?

And the final, and probably most difficult practice to introduce into your oral health care routine, but one that is extremely beneficial, is oil pulling. 

Oil pulling is an ancient oral care practice that involves swishing an oil. I use a coconut/MCT based oil made for oil pulling, around in your mouth for 5-15 minutes. 
During those 5-15 minutes, the oil pulls out harmful, potentially pathogenic bacteria, from deep between your teeth and in the recesses of your gums. Essentially, all the areas brushing can’t reach. 

This is why oil pulling can be so beneficial, as it gets out those nasty pathogens that nothing else can get to. 

Admittedly, this is a tough practice to get into with regularity, but the nice part about it is that you can do it whenever, there is no bad time to do it, and anything is better than nothing. I probably remember to oil pull 1-3 times per week. 

But again, if you think about it from the perspective that this is the only practice that gets those impossible to reach, harmful bacteria that can thrive in the recesses of the mouth, any oil pulling is definitely better than no oil pulling. So even if you’re not regular with it, assuming you are focused on the more consistent areas of focus for oral health, you can still benefit from this practice tremendously over time. 

Especially because the bacteria that oil pulling gets out of your mouth, are the bacteria that lead to plaque buildup, and as we’ve discussed, it’s plaque buildup in our mouth that can go systemic, and lead to plaque buildup in the brain and cardiovascular system, which increases your risk of Alzheimer’s and heart disease. 

Therefore, oil pulling could literally be looked upon as an actual disease preventive practice, and I’m talking beyond just gum disease. 

Finally, oil pulling actually is a bit of a beauty hack, and improves your breathing. 

The act of swishing oil around in your mouth vigorously strengthens your jaw line and facial muscles, and it improves facial symmetry (all of which are tied to increased attractiveness) and opens up your nasal passages to improve your breathing. 

My Oral Health Care Routine Summarized

✔️ In the AM, I brush my teeth with a remineralizing powder that introduces hydroxyapatite into my teeth to start the day and also naturally polishes and whitens my teeth.

✔️ I also add about 5 drops of a healthy mouth essential oil blend just before brushing with the remineralizing powder. These drops help create a healthy microbial balance in the mouth.

✔️ I chew xylitol gum 2-3 times per day, typically after meals. 

✔️ At night I use a tongue scraper to clear any debris and potentially harmful bacteria from my tongue.

✔️ I brush with an all natural toothpaste containing both xylitol and hydroxyapatite. 

To check out all oral health care products I mentioned, CLICK HERE