Inevitably, this series has to jump the gun. This installment should be the second. But, last week, the Printer’s Devil was at work, and the first part of the series was mistakenly published as the second. If the series has to maintain the natural sequence, today’s installment will pass, also, as the second, and that would create confusion. The Printer’s Devil has created enough trouble with the misnumbering of the first as the second installment.

Thanks, Mr. Erondu Obisike an agro-consultant of Aba, for calling me on the telephone to ask about when the first part was published. So, to avert new confusion, this second part of the series now goes as the third.

Last week, this column, on the international discussion of the terrible poison toothpaste has become, and of how, in countries enlightened about this travail, many people are making their own toothpastes at home or switching over to more expensive and safer toothpastes made with natural products and not poisonous man-made chemicals. The public castigation of fluoride and other poisons in popular toothpastes underscores how science and medicine lead humanity to the ruin of human health today, only to discover their folly tomorrow, cry wolf the day after and try to salvage the wreckage they have caused. Many toothpastes are still advertised on Nigerian televisions as the best for dental and oral care whereas, in the countries from where flouridised toothpaste came into Nigeria, such toothpastes have been named as the culprit behind many diseases. These poisons are said by scientists to raise blood sugar, and lower insulin blood levels, thereby predisposing some people to diabetes, damage the endocrime system, cause hormonal imbalances, damage or discolour the teeth, cause canker sores and, in some cases, set the stage for cancer. One of the readers of this column said that, when he discussed the column with a medical doctor, the gentleman dismissed such possibilities with a wave of the hand.

At a group meeting where we discussed this issue with the aim of reviving interest in Nigeria traditional ways of cleaning the teeth, gums and mouth, almost everyone who spoke felt sorry for this doctor. For it was either that he was an unbalanced person, a professional jingoist, pathologically indisposed to, or opposed to Alternative (or natural) Medicine or simply, an “educated illiterate”. It is disturbing to imagine that this is a doctor thousands of people depend upon to stay healthy.

Why would he not examine the claims and investigate them before jumping into conclusions? Is he saying leading researchers and doctors in those countries whose views have influenced government and legal decisions are sub-professionals? Thankfully, many Nigerians now know that we live in a world poisoned by man-made chemicals, and that, it is better to return to Mother Nature in every matter which may affect their health.

Natural Options

Our discussion group recalled the good, old Nigerian chewing stick. Of the pack of many varieties, I remember four :

   Ijebu chewing stick

   Calabar chewing stick

   Orin ata (r:m … r:r), the Yoruba name kagara, the peppery chewing stick from which medicinal extracts have been made for ameliorating symptoms of sickle cell disease.

   Dongoyaro (neem) chewing stick.

The discussion group wondered why these chewing sticks cannot be commercially produced and powderised.

If you googlePakoIjebu (Ijebu chewing stick), it should present you with a study on this chewing stick and Orin ayan (r:m: .. d:m), also called Orin ata. The study involved 60 primary school children aged 12 years old. They were divided into three groups. One group was given toothpaste and toothbrush. Another group was given PakoIjebu (MassulariaAcuminata)The third group was placed on Orin ayan (benthamianus). The experiments to find out effects on the different mouth, gum and teeth cleaners ran for six weeks. At the end of it all, toothpaste exhibited no superiority over the others. The best results were achieved in the group which chewed Orin ayan.

Mr. Azeez Oyeniyi from Ogbomoso, who lives in Lagos, reminds me that some people chew sticks from the stem of the mango tree or from that of Jathropha (IgiLapalapa, Yoruba). When I was a university student in the 1970s, I chewed the twigs of Neem tree whenever I had no toothpaste. Neem is medicinal. The French wife of former Senegalese President Wade once told me she made anti-malaria syrup for Senegalese children from the ripe seeds of Dogonyaro (Neem) tree. When Dogonyaro leaf powder is sprinkled in the corners of a room, the aroma chases away pests and rats. Dogonyaro soap clears skin blemishes and is antiseptic.

According to www.m.webmd.com/…/neem/sources, “Neem has medicinal properties useful for bleeding nose, eye disorders, leprosy, fungal and viral infections etc. In 1992, the United States National Academy of Sciences published a report on neem tree ‘for solving global problems’ Neem is anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-pyretic, hypoglycemic (lowering blood sugar), anti-gastric ulcer, spermicidal (sperm killing in contraceptive) etc.

When I survey with a bird’s eye view, the opportunities which abound in Nature for keeping the gums and teeth healthy without resorting to poisonous toothpastes, I cannot help wondering how stupid we are in this country. A lot of money is stolen every year from the public treasury. Maybe the thieves can be forgiven if they spend the loot to improve the wellbeing and health of the people they trample.

In Lagos and some other Nigerian cities, local initiative is handsomely paying off. Two brands of powder mouth cleaners rule the dental and oral care market. One is called MAYOWA. The other is JIMS. On the product label, Mayowa is described as made from Calcium, Alligator pepper, Saccharin etc.

Saccharin serves as a sweetener. How I wish it is not a part of the formula. For Saccharin is one of the ingredients naturalists object to in the regular toothpaste, for which reason some toothpaste manufacturers go for another sweetener which, unfortunately degrades into formaldehydes, a cancer-causing agent. JIMS is made from natural substances, as the product label says. There are alligator pepper and Aloe Vera in the formula.

Any Nigerians should remember wood ash and charcoal. Charcoal is a wonderful teeth whitener. Our mothers cleaned our teeth with it when we were children. If you wish to know how powerful against germs charcoal can be, watch Nigerian women. When they grind pepper in the market for cooking back home, they recognize that, in the time lag between when they leave the market and when they arrive home, germs can degrade the pepper puree. Evidence of this is the altered taste and aroma, in addition to a foam over the puree. Experienced Nigerian women would place a piece of wood charcoal on the pepper puree, and this would inactivate any degrading germ action. For mouth and dental care purposes, I would recommend Activated Charcoal. Activated Charcoal is purified charcoal. It is “magnetic” and attracts germs, wastes, poisons etc which it drags out of the body when it is consumed internally. Charcoal is not digested by the body. Thus, it is used as a marker to test digestive system efficiency. If it comes out in the stool about 18 hours after ingestion, the digestive system is said to work well. Many years ago this column suggested it be kept in the family medicine chest. When anyone complains of “stomach” pain and is given a charcoal capsule to swallow, or the capsule is unscrewed and the content is poured into the mouth and washed down with water, the trouble often subsides. Thus charcoal is a good oral health agent. It may be suspended, say, in coconut oil, another antimicrobial, and brushed across the teeth.

According EDMARK

“95 percent” of the world’s Toothpastes are Fluoride Toothpastes.

Is Fluoride Harming Your Teeth?

2007 – American Dental Association first warned the public that infants should not use fluoride due to fluorosis.

2010 – Journal of The American Dental Association published a story that “fluoride is actually bad for your teeth”.

U.S Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state:

‘In children younger than 8 years, of age, combined fluoride exposure from all sources-water, food, toothpastes, mouth rinse, or other products-contributes to enamel fluorosis’.

RISKS FROM INGESTING FLUORIDE TOOTHPASTE INCLUDE:

   Permanent Discoloration (Dental Fluorosis): Dental fluorosis is defect in tooth enamel caused by excessive fluoride intake during the tooth –forming years (age 0-8).

   Stomach Ailments: poison Control Centres received thousands of reports in US alone due to excessive ingestion of fluoride toothpastes and other fluoridated dental products.

Fluoride ingestion can cause a range of gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea, pain and vomiting. In 2006, National Research Council in US called for research on the level of fluoride in the stomach to cause these symptoms.

   Acute Poisoning: children who swallow too much fluoride toothpastes can suffer acute poisoning, even death.

In the early 1990s (prior to FDA warning), 1,000 poisoning reports received each year from fluoride toothpaste.

Today (after FDA warning), 23,000 reports a year are received from fluoride toothpaste.

Skin Rashes (Perioral Dermatitis): The use of fluoride toothpastes my cause or aggravate perioral dermatitis (a rosacea-like skin rash around the mouth. In addition, it may also cause Stomatitis (Mouth ulcers, “canker sores”).

Impairment in Glucose Metabolism: The use of fluoride tooth paste can cause an increase in glucose levels in the blood, and decrease levels of insulin. Increase in glucose levels can contribute to Diabetes.

WILL YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH WITH LEAD?

Then why are you using fluorides?! Fluoride is more toxic than lead, and only slightly less toxic than arsenic.

Replacing Fluoride with Xylitol and Chlorophyll

Another recipe comes from everydayroots.com; teethwhite.com, offered by CLAIRE GOODHALL. He suggests strawberry, sea salt and Baking Soda with Coconut oil. Another is Baking Soda and lemon juice paste.

Proprietary Blends on the Nigeria market today, there are some factory formulated natural toothpastes oil claiming to be fluoride free. They are sold on the network marketing. They may be obtained at cheaper costs by any-one who wishes to permanently change over to them one of these days. Aloe BRIGHT TOOTPASTE was introduced to me by Mrs MonilolaAiyesimoju. It comes from Forever Living Products in a formulation of Aloe Vera, the specialty of FLP, and Bee Propoles with spear mint and pepper mint for freshening flavor. Aloe Vera hardly needs any introduction as an anti-microbial, tissue regenerator and rehydrator. Propolis is the antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal substance, the honey bees coat their hives with, to keep infections agents away. This toothpaste certainly is much more health promoting than commercial toothpaste.

When eternal network came to Nigeria, I gave the link to Pa Akinjide Shoboyede who should be Seventy Eight (78) or thereabout next year. From eternal he buys eternal toothpaste which he informs me has helped many people to stop their gums from bleeding. He told me last week: “Eternal toothpaste is the one I use.” The product literature says; it’s one tooth paste, but with triple cares!

he first care is CIFC-free and moth-proofing: white Tea Essence CaGP Calcium glycerophosphate) + Xylitol (xylitol) compound Ingredients, which strengthens the tooth root and solidify the tooth. Thereby preventing teeth cavities.

The second care is deep Cleanness: antibacterial TCS + high-quality clean tooth both abrasive, which make your oral cavity healthy and clean.

The third care is consolidating the gums: strontium chloride + Aloe extract compound ingredients, which can strengthen the tooth root and toughen the tooth.

The constituent ingredients are: Water, scorbic sugar alcohol hydrated silica, glycerin, sodium lauryl sulfate, xylose alcohol, essence, polyethylene glycol-32, cellulose gum, xanthan gum, saccharin sodium, tea, (CAMELLIA SINESIS) leaf, extract, aloe extract, triclosan, glycerin calcium, phosphate, chlorinated strontium hexahydrates mint kefone glycerin ketal, trisodium phosphate, mentol and sodium benzoate.

ARGUABLY, SPLINA CHLOROPHYLL TOOTHPASTE FROM EDMARK is the latest natural proprietary blend in town. Among EDMARK’S well-known products from which this tooth-paste factored is SPLINA LIQUID CHLOROPHYLL. This product is made from ALFALFA (Arat) word which means father of all plants because it has about the longest root system (250 ft) which brings to the plant some of the rarest nutrients not found in other plants.

Alfalfa is one of the richest plants in chlorophyll, a cleanser, detoxifier, antimicrobial e.t.c

Xylitol is a chemical categorized as a polyalcohol or sugar alcohol.

It is a 100 percent natural, safe and convenient sugar substitute with long lasting benefits. Xylitol-containing toothpastes have been adequately studied and have the potential for use in specific or generalised health programs to promote oral health and reduce tooth decay.

The World Health Organisation has even given Xylitol its safest rating for food additives.

In dental plaque prevention, xylitol has been shown to have an active protective effects by reducing tooth decay.

Xylitol reduces the levels of mutans streptococci in plaque and saliva, thereby limiting the level of enamel-demineralizing lactic acid produced by these bacteria.

Xylitol is superior to sorbitol (found in other toothpaste) in that it is completely non-acidogenic and non –carciogenic. It has actively prevented tooth decay.

BENEFITS OF CHLOROPHYLL

Chlorophyll helps improve oral health

Aside from improving bone structure, chlorophyll can actually help improve the strength of your teeth.

Chlorophyll can help kill bad breath “Halitosis”. It is rich in Magnesium and Iron that helps to reduce foul smells.

Clears up pyorrhea (infection of the gums) and Gingivitis (bleeding gums).

Chlorophyll reduces destructive acids which caused bacterial growth and tooth decay.