I am now on my second holistic dentist after moving to another state. I don’t see myself going to any conventional dentists again. Here’s why.
Not long after I kicked fluoride toothpaste to the curb, I got a fluoride filter for my water. After listening to lengthy interviews with highly educated professionals and reading several articles, I knew that eliminating this known neurotoxin was the right thing to do. At one dental appointment, when the hygienist broached the topic, I realized that it was time for me to move on to a well-informed dentist. There is not much you can do to stave off the passive aggressive looks and remarks of a whitecoat authority figure, and the best thing to do is exit gracefully. I had been a longtime believer in the Law of Attraction, and I knew that the right dentist for me would show up soon.
Before I even put an effort into looking for a good holistic dentist, her office came into view as I drove down the coastal highway in my new town. I promptly made an appointment, and I was impressed by her extensive and up-to-date education around many topics related to dentistry. She had much broader perspective of dental health than other professionals I had known over the years. Her analysis of my teeth, jaw, sinuses, and posture was thorough and commendable. Up until that point, I had not been aware of certain issues that had the potential to worsen over time. Among them were a deviated septum, slight TMJ, and a canted smile. It was not too much of a downer for me. She was equipped with knowledge and tools to remedy these situations, and I had confidence in her. I took a sleep apnea test and received assurance that I was ok for the time being – but I knew that one day, I would have to invest the time and money in a chiropractor and ENT specialist to make things right. Sadly, my dental insurance did not cover her costly ALF appliance plan for me. I decided to put all of it on the backburner as long as I was a homemaker with small children and a tight budget. Nevertheless, I am grateful for the knowledge that I gained in a few short months, and I look forward to a time when I can ‘get with the program’.
My dentist also gave me a helpful cleaning protocol which I have been able to use for the past 2 years. Real Talk: It is time-consuming, and kind of a pain. I have not been consistent all the time. But, I know that it is a really good protocol that keeps my teeth and gums in tip-top shape when I stick with it. I will go ahead and share it.
IFBI – Irrigate, Floss, Brush, Irrigate.
She pointed me in the direction of a good water flosser that would help remove all residue that the floss and toothbrush could not reach. I had never used one before, and it was a game-changer. Before long, my gums were in better shape, and my gingivitis fears diminished. My dentist lauded me for my efforts, and I felt empowered. Mind you, it takes willpower to commit to the routine – using it before and after flossing/brushing – but the results are noticeable.
I had been a good flosser for many years, and there were no changes or tips when it came to that aspect of my routine. You do know that you have to go up and around the teeth into the gums – really get in there – right?
I had used an electric toothbrush for many years, but apparently, I had been using ‘the wrong one’. She encouraged me to ditch my old one in favor of the Rotadent, which removes more plaque than others. I immediately took a liking to it. The ultra-fine filaments spin around and reach deeper into the gumline than other electric or traditional toothbrushes. To this day, I feel grateful for the Rotadent every time I use it. I don’t take it for granted.
All of that is nice, but I want to share what excites me the most.
How did I live thirty-three years of life without knowing about this substance?
Xylitol is a natural sweetener that can be processed from birch trees or a plant fiber called xylan. It starves bacteria in the mouth and is known to dramatically reduce cavities. It has even been shown to restore enamel with consistent use. Thank you, Jesus – because stress and lack of dental care two decades ago caused enamel loss that has raised concerns with all of my dentists. I used to think that I had to just accept the damage and do my best to maintain what’s left. I used to brush with a prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste to feel a little better about the situation. Now I know that there is a well-researched sugar alcohol at my local health food store that can come to the rescue!
My holistic dentist was a huge proponent of xylitol products, and she dutifully gave me several samples of toothpaste, gum, sweeteners, etc. She also urged me to place xylitol tooth gel on my teeth with soft plastic molds every day, twice a day. I can feel the difference in my teeth when I am consistent with this stuff. I don’t rinse it out when I remove the molds after ten minutes. The gel stays on my teeth and continues to work its magic. My oral health has never been better. The gel is about 7 bucks for a small container that lasts a couple of weeks, but it’s worth it. I would ardently recommend it to anyone who is on a mission to keep their mouths free of harmful bacteria.
If you have suffered from cavities despite your best efforts to brush, floss, and use mouthwash multiple times a day, you may want to consider thinking outside of the conventional box. Many dentists in the U.S. are woefully behind the times when it comes to dental hygiene. As you do your research on xylitol, you will find that other countries have been a lot more open to studies on the topic. The results have been meaningful and worthy of our attention. Even chewing xylitol gum has been shown to reverse cavities (or caries, as they say in other countries). Why not give it a try?
Now that I’m in another state, I go to another holistic dentist who supports the protocol from my former holistic dentist. She has been incredibly kind and professional, and she thinks my teeth are in great shape! I told her that I didn’t really believe her compliments due to my long history of teeth drama. Believe me, I have cried many ugly tears over my English teeth (sorry – I am using that term. I said what I said.) She shook her head and laughed, and she told me that I have nothing to worry about. I could have cried right there on her state-of-the-art vibrating massage dental chair. My self-esteem has gone up as a result of going to holistic dentists and making informed changes to my daily routine.
All that I have shared is just one limited perspective based on my experiences in two offices. You never know what you’ll learn from your local holistic dentist. I feel that there is even more out there for me to explore. I’m sure that new tools and products will emerge in the next decade, and I am open to trying them out.