Can Listerine reverse tooth decay

Cure tooth decay? A dentist unpacks! Tips for healthy teeth

At the moment I am working a lot on the subject of dental health. I am very happy, Dr. To have met Karin Bender-Gonser - I not only really like her right away, but I also appreciate her valuable knowledge very much. She worked as a dentist from 1992 to 2014 and, because of a diagnosis of illness, steered her way onto a completely different course. So it came about that she quit her job too. On their website, Follow Yourself, there is a nice sentence: “Never follow anyone. When you follow someone, you only see their back. And it blocks your view. Do not go behind another, but walk by his side. ”How true! After watching at least 30 videos on her YouTube channel Follow Yourself (or rather, sucking it up!), I couldn't wait a minute longer and contacted her. We talked on the phone for a long time and Talk about dental health, tooth decay, xylitol, children's teeth and sugar.

Dear Karin, you worked as a dentist for a very long time. Can you tell from your own experience whether existing tooth decay can be cured without dental treatment? Or did you experience that a carious spot just went away on its own?

Karin: For a very long time I had a patient under treatment who had a carious spot on the tooth that needed treatment - from a conventional medical point of view. However, this point has not gotten worse over the entire period. During the check-ups, the patient always said to me: “No, as long as I have the feeling that this area is okay, I will not have it treated.” She made a conscious decision against the treatment I recommended at the time. I got to know the patient at the very beginning of my dental career. That's when I gained my experience. During the controls, I usually thought, “Oh dear, it'll be bad if we don't treat it.” But every time she came to the controls, I was amazed that this area didn't get worse. And the patient was right to listen to her feelings and it was good that we did not treat. In general: As a dentist, I haven't seen caries go away in my practice. However, I have seen that areas that must be treated from a conventional medical point of view do not change to the disadvantage. But you can't say that across the board. I think that with such things it is very important to be aware of the problems and to deal with them very consciously. In the last 10 years of my dental practice, more and more people have turned down certain treatments. In the past, most patients simply let themselves do everything that the dentist “prescribed” for them. In retrospect, I think it's good that there were a few patients in the past who refused my proposed treatment. Because when they came to me again and I looked into my mouth with my fears, I was very surprised. And I was happy that I didn't have the treatment after all. Because you have to know that during a dental treatment I first damage or traumatize the tooth in order to e.g. B. to make a filling.

I recognize myself a little there. Even before my pregnancy, I had a small area, almost next to the old filling - because it was probably not worked properly - that actually had to be done. Every time I tell the dentist that I would like to leave the job as it is. Each time I've been told that this is a bad decision and that my tooth will soon die. I get a guilty conscience. But I don't want to have the treatment because, for example, B. still silent. I do not want to have any residues from narcotics, fillers, adhesives and other aids in my breast milk. Also, I really have the feeling that I'm doing pretty well, even if this position is there.

Karin: I see many things very differently today than when I was still in my job. The problem is, if you are stuck in your job and the system, you will only be provided and confronted with the same information. You think you are informing your patients well. You think that's good what you're doing. But as soon as you step out of this system, you think to yourself, “What did I actually do there?” A lot of things are really not healthy. But if you're in the system, you don't see it. I would have said earlier that you should definitely take very thorough prophylaxis during pregnancy. Tooth decay is contagious and that is dangerous for the child. Most children are infected through their mothers. Back then I used prophylaxis for pregnant women. B. done with professional teeth cleaning. I wanted to make sure that there are generally no caries bacteria in the mouth of the expectant mothers. But from today's point of view, I don't think that's so good anymore: When cleaning teeth, pastes that contain a lot of fluoride are used. Then I pumped things into the bodies of the expectant mothers that had no place there. Very few doctors ask whether you want a fluoride-free pasta for cleaning. To be honest, I don't know anybody without fluoride. Most just get started. This is how fluoride gets into the body and also into breast milk. And that should be avoided as much as possible, not just during pregnancy. In my opinion, as long as you are breastfeeding, you should try to stay away from all the dental treatments, as harmless as they may sound. If you have complaints, it is clear - you should go. But I wouldn't go to the dentist again until the child is no longer breastfed.

Before the interview continues, I would like to recommend my free newsletter to you. There you will regularly receive all new blog posts about my latest findings on dental health and care. So you won't miss any valuable tips or expert interviews!

You might also be interested in: New article about my current dental care and this article on the topic: Our dental care routine

Dr. Karin Bender-Gonser on an aid project in the Philippines

That's exactly how I'm doing it right now. I stay completely relaxed and watch my body and my teeth. I check my teeth and gums regularly, but I also go to the dentist for a check-up. So I know what is currently going on in the mouth and can make a very individual decision.

Karin: To be completely honest: The health system works with patients' fear. Perhaps not consciously, I don't want to assume that the doctors do that. But all prophylaxis or preventive measures - whether at the dentist or another doctor - work primarily with fear. The patient thinks that something bad can be or happen if he does not go to preventive care. Something may be overlooked that you don't want to risk. You no longer trust yourself and your body. Few of them say to themselves: "I am healthy, I live healthy, I eat well, I find out about alternatives, I try to let as little chemistry as possible in my life ... - what should happen then?" that with a conscious mindset, the body can stay healthy. My personal experience and attitude is that this is possible. But I cannot name any studies or investigations on this. I want to encourage people to listen to their feelings and to trust themselves. Don't be intimidated or even scared. That is counterproductive.

As parents, we take great care that our daughter does everything right when she brushes her teeth. She is 2 years old and of course she swallows every toothpaste. We brush her teeth with xylitol. What do you think of that?

Karin: Great. Really really good. In general, xylitol is helpful because it eradicates the caries bacteria. If, for example, a caries bacterium has found its way into your child's mouth - and it doesn't have to have happened through you - it is enough for the grandma to briefly touch the spoon with her mouth to test whether the food is too hot or another child has offered your child something to try. Tooth decay is not something that falls from the sky and no child is born with tooth decay. The child becomes infected with tooth decay, e.g. B. licking with pacifiers and similar things. If you do not put the caries bacteria in your mouth, there will be no caries. Because only the sweetness alone does not cause tooth decay. Now we come back to xylitol. It's great for making the caries bacteria go away. Because they cannot metabolize it. So if you use xylitol regularly, you can permanently scare away the caries bacteria from your mouth. This means that your xylitol solution is not used to mechanically clean the teeth, but primarily to prevent tooth decay. Toothpaste has many different functions - it contains antibacterial ingredients, cleaning materials or abrasives and other elements. For a two-year-old, that's completely sufficient. If you see plaque on your teeth, you could also make a child-friendly and natural toothpaste including xylitol. The toothpaste must also taste good to the child, so you would have to try it out a little. And it is very important that, as a parent, you brush the teeth of a toddler - until around the age of 9. Preferably before going to bed.

Article on the topic: Brushing Teeth for Toddlers - Our Alternative Tricks

The subject: sugar. I would be interested in the following: I know parents who give their children fruit very sparingly. B. there is a lot of fructose in it. How is your experience with fructose?

Karin: I think that's pretty stupid, to put it in good German. :-) I have a different perspective. I am of the opinion that we should strengthen our children's bodies with a good and healthy diet. This also includes fruit. To just leave it out is just stupid.

It would not be easy for us to leave out fruit. My daughter is a passionate fruit eater and asks for it.

Karin: My experience z. B. with my children is that there are always phases. It's always changing. I wouldn't worry as long as it's unprocessed, fresh, organic, and healthy food. From this range of groceries, I would give the child anything they asked for. And if the child wants to eat apple three times a day, it gets apple three times a day. But if the child wants to lick a honey pot three times a day, I would say - stop! I would be careful there. The sugar is dangerous. You should also be careful with a sweet porridge with cinnamon and sugar, even if it is raw cane sugar. That's just too much sugar that we don't need. It over-acidifies our body. And that's just another way of looking at tooth decay. It is not only the local effects of sugar in connection with caries bacteria that cause tooth decay. We also get tooth decay, from over-acidification of the body, which results from poor nutrition and deprives the tooth of the bone minerals. When the body is acidic, it tries to neutralize the acid. In doing so, it mobilizes the minerals from the body, which are found in the bones and teeth. The tooth substance is weakened and can be demineralized more easily. Insofar as the extra sugar that you add when you honestly admit that your child receives gummy bears or sweets several times a day is bad for your teeth. This feeds the caries bacteria locally and acidifies the body. But when the body gets the sugar through fruit, you have to see the whole thing a little differently. By fruit I mean a whole fruit - with a peel, possibly small seeds - only this "whole" combination, with its associated components - is healthy for our children and optimally usable for the body. As soon as you peel the fruit, separate certain parts - it is no longer so healthy. I am of the opinion that what nature gives us unprocessed cannot be harmful to us.

Now some are probably wondering: But what about all that dried fruit? When I bake, I also like to use dried dates as a sweetener, because for me it appears to be the only under-processed alternative to conventional sweeteners. Dried fruit has at least other valuable ingredients ...

Karin: It's different with the dried fruit. Since the water was removed from the fruit during the drying process, it contains highly concentrated sugar. Another problem with tooth decay is the stickiness of the food on the tooth surface. Honey is therefore also cariogenic, even if it has great ingredients and components that can be healthy. But when sugar is sticky, it will stay on the tooth surface much longer. Then the caries bacteria have the chance to form harmful acids at this point for a very long time, so caries can develop much faster. Therefore - only fresh fruit - as nature intended - is healthy for the teeth. Dried fruit is a stopgap solution, maybe also for the winter time. If you eat it soaked in muesli, it's not that bad either. But if you take it as a snack, it's probably not so healthy for your teeth.

Do you have any advice on how to strengthen sensitive teeth - and also the tooth enamel - again?

Karin: Very, very many people have poor diets. Acidification is the issue here again. As already explained, minerals are withdrawn from the body. These people also have softer enamel. Many people then also have more sensitive teeth or tooth necks. It can also be that not only diet plays an important role, but also the wrong toothbrushing technique. You can also use the wrong technique to brush away your enamel and scrub your gums away, causing them to recede. This then has nothing to do with periodontal disease or periodontal disease. Often a lot of things are mixed up! There are many different causes, you have to be very precise with every problem and look very carefully to see what is really behind it. Sugary drinks with a lot of acid, including fruit juices, are not good for your teeth. Even freshly squeezed juices - may not be consumed as a permanent drink, but once a day is completely okay. There are some families who give the children apple spritzer all day long. The enamel is permanently loosened throughout the day by the acid and sugar in it. Then the tooth can become sensitive. You have to remove the causes, then the tooth enamel regenerates itself - as there are a lot of minerals in our saliva that ensure that our tooth surface is repaired again. Back to tooth enamel: In order to be able to answer such a question with absolute precision, you have to ask and know a lot of things. It is so difficult to simply say in general why the teeth are sensitive. I have a tip: the Sango sea coral is very helpful. You can take it on the one hand, but also apply it locally on the teeth. I put the powder in my homemade toothpaste, for example. If the teeth are sensitive, you can reduce this sensitivity directly by using this powder in addition.

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If you had to take three dental care products with you to a desert island, which ones would they be? What is particularly important to you for your oral hygiene?

Karin: Definitely my bamboo toothbrush, my homemade toothpaste and a lump of Himalayan salt. Because from this lump you could prepare a brine solution for rinsing your mouth or brushing your teeth. It is antibacterial, desifying and against bad breath - wonderful. :-)

If you could travel back in time and give your former self a tip - what would it be?

Karin: To listen to my feeling more. To feel more out of my creative power, what is right and what is not right.

Thank you, dear Karin, for all the information!


You are probably wondering what Dr. Karin Bender-Gonser is doing today because she no longer works as a dentist. She follows herself - more precisely, she does what her heart tells her to do. But she also accompanies others as a coach "to yourself". Her topics are varied, just to name a few: healthy nutrition, conscious living, wild and medicinal herbs, dental health, chemical-free living and much more. Your Lisa.

Article by Lisa Albrecht published on June 3, 2016.