Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holistic Dentist - what to look for

I've been a patient at 5 different holistic dentists (hey, it's my job to check them out ;-). While they had appropriate equipment and protocols for removing mercury fillings, their routine care was far from what we think of as holistic.

Most of them are still using toothpaste with flouride. I was able to request flouride-free toothpaste, but they also could not tell the other ingredients. Since most toothpastes are made with sugar, I remain cautious and slightly uncomfortable with having my teeth cleaned.

Several of the dentists asked me to use mouthwash. These are the same products on the shelves at supermarkets and drug stores. They are bright blue - surely not a color existing in any food. One dental assistant told me that the dentist absolutely would not see me if I refused the mouthwash. Interestingly when I asked the dentist about that, he said if I didn't want to use the mouthwash that was fine. Always be responsible for your own health.

A few of the dentists handed me a "mainstream" brand of toothpaste and new brush after my cleaning. The toothpaste had sugar, artificial colors and flouride in it.

Certainly use a good holistic dentist to have your mercury fillings removed and for regular dental care, but also be aware of their practices and with what you are comfortable and not comfortable. In the end, we are each responsible for our own health.

So what do I use if not toothpaste? Mostly I use hydrogen peroxide to brush my teeth. A few times per month I'll also use baking soda. Sometimes I use Doc Bronner's soap. Lately I've also been doing what's called oil pulling in the morning. Before anything goes in my mouth, I take a teaspoon of coconut oil and swish it in my mouth for about 20-30 minutes. For a while I was spitting it out, but now I'm experimenting with swallowing it in order to test some information about coconut oil that I've been reading. I'll post that another time.

So, regular care:
-- hydrogen peroxide (3%, which is what you can buy at any drugstore or supermarket is fine. It doesn't need to be food grade which is usually 8%)
-- baking soda a few times per month (if you have gum disease, you may not want to do this. It is abrasive.)
-- clean (unadulterated) soap


Christina said...

Hi Sharon!
I find this very interesting. I have wanted to find another dentist, mainly because I am vegan, but also for my own health and safety and being more conscious about how the chemicals we use affect our health (in what we eat, cleanse ourselves with, and even clean with). I also have some old mercury fillings I would like to have removed. Can I ask you what type of pain medication holistic dentists use when they fill cavities or drill out mercury fillings, and is it affective?

always having fun! said...

Such a great question! They use the same pain meds as anyone else AND a good holistic dentist will also work with you to use the least amount possible.

Personally, I've never taken novacaine. Fillings, crowns, replacing my mercury novacaine. I did have some meds when I had a root canal but he put in a minimum until I was a little numb. He said if I needed more to let him know and he could always give another dose.

When no meds are administered, I use deep breathing and imagine myself somewhere tropical. Or sometimes I get relaxed as if I'm going to sleep and simply ignore what's going on. Music helps - you can wear ear plugs. Really, the pain is only a few seconds. Most people react to the sound of the drill.

If you're considering having mercury fillings taken out, be sure they use a safe ventilation system. Breathing in the fumes is the most dangerous part. I recommend juicing and eating as much cilantro as you can. It binds to heavy metals and will safely escort it out of your system.

Hope this helps!

marya said...

I have a question about the Dr. Bronner's soap that you use for your teeth. Do you use the liquid or the bar form? And do you use the mild baby one?

Also, do you think that hydrogen peroxide is safe for children to brush with? My little one is 5.


always having fun! said...

I use the liquid and my boyfriend uses the bar. Sometimes I use the bar, too, though we like different flavors (he uses plain, I like peppermint). I think either is fine.

I don't know of any contraindications for children using hydrogen peroxide.

thanks for checking out my blog! It'll be more active very soon - been busy writing a whole bunch!