There has been a recent rise in interest in natural dentistry–sometimes referred to as biological dentistry or holistic dental care–which is a good thing. But when it comes to holistic dentistry, there can be a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings.
In this article, we’ll share with you a personal journey of one of our clients and her discovery of what lay beyond conventional dentistry…
Note: We’ll refer to this client as Holly (pun intended) but this is not her real name in order to preserve her confidentiality.
Why did Holly turn to natural dentistry?
Holly was experiencing a range of general oral health issues, including tooth decay, sensitivity of her teeth and gums, and persistent bad breath. (Also called halitosis.)
Tooth decay is the destruction of the tooth structure and is mostly caused by acids produced by bacteria on and around the tooth. Left untreated, cavities can develop and in worst-case scenarios, teeth may need to be extracted.
Tooth sensitivity can range in severity. For some individuals, there might be a slight discomfort when consuming either hot or cold food/beverages. In other instances, there can be serious levels of pain. Often, tooth sensitivity is linked to tooth decay, gum recession or worn-away enamel.
What did she do?
Poor Holly had tried without success to keep up her oral hygiene practices. While she knew the importance of twice-daily brushing her teeth and flossing, she wasn’t quite as consistent with these healthy habits.
To make matters worse, Holly had very little understanding of what sorts of toothpaste and toothbrushes were better. She simply purchased the ones that were advertised most enticingly or were marked down in price.
Even her brushing technique wasn’t quite refined. There’s both an art and science to teeth brushing but without an understanding of best practice, our client found herself in a bit of oral trouble.
Importantly, Holly’s delay and lack of professional dental treatment only served to make matters worse over time.
A Holistic Dentistry Approach
Luckily, Holly became exposed to the concept of holistic dentistry or natural dentistry while researching her struggles with teeth
sensitivity and bad breath online.
In short, this approach to dental care is about considering one’s overall health and well-being. Oral health affects more than just the mouth and can impact the entire body. Holistic dentists focus on dental habits, treatments and procedures that align with the following key principles:
- Focus on whole body healthy
- Forming good oral health habits to prevent problems
- Minimising the use of harmful materials or invasive procedures
- Prioritise natural treatments and products that are effective
While perhaps a little unsure at first, Holly began to dive deeper into client testimonies and professional dental articles outlining the benefits and core approaches of holistic dental care.
The Key to Oral Health: Keys Dental
It was at this point that Holly came into the team here at Keys Dental. Luckily, it was before the situation got out of hand. While she was drawn to our team thanks to our wide offering of dental services, from restorative to cosmetic dentistry, what really caught her eye was our focus on biological dentistry. (Of course, our average Google review rating of 4.4 from 156 reviews probably impacted her decision as well!)
We helped Holly to understand how our holistic, gentle treatment plan and approach to oral health worked. Together, our dentist worked with her to develop an understanding of what sort of oral care practices she could sustainably incorporate into her daily routine. This included oral hygiene but also general diet, alcohol consumption and other lifestyle habits.
Instead of waiting for problems to arise and then dealing with them through invasive and extensive dental treatments, the holistic dental care approach allowed Holly to confidently take control of her oral hygiene and ensure that she prevented issues rather than rely on a future cure.
How can you incorporate a holistic dental approach into your life?
As Holly found out, a biological dentistry approach doesn’t have to be overwhelming or difficult. In fact, it can be quite simple, easy and manageable.
1. Brush Consistently
We’ll start with the obvious one. Brushing consistently is probably one of the most basic yet important oral hygiene habits. Not only will brushing keep your teeth clean and healthy, but the right technique reduces gum swelling too!
Here’s a rundown of how to brush your teeth properly.
- Brush twice a day – morning and evening.
- Brush your teeth for a minimum of two minutes.
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles.
- If you can, try using an electric toothbrush.
- If manually brushing, always brush your teeth in a circular motion rather than back and forth.
Choose a toothpaste without fluoride or sodium lauryl sulphate. If you can find one that has hydroxyapatite in it, for remineralising your teeth, that’s preferred too.
2. Floss Daily
One pivotal habit in holistic dentistry is flossing. Unfortunately, a lot of people–such as Holly–view flossing as less important. But flossing is
critical and should be done daily to remove plaque and debris buildup. Move the floss up and down between each tooth.
Ideally, use non-toxic and non-coated dental floss. If you find flossing hard, you can use floss picks.
3. Use a Mouthwash
Mouthwashes, which are non-toxic and dentist-approved, are great for inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria as well as leaving your mouth feeling more healthy and fresher.
4. Scrape Your Tongue
Scraping your tongue can feel a little weird at first but it can be hugely effective in reducing your bad breath, removing leftover food, and getting rid of dead cells, bacteria and fungi.
Many toothbrushes now have little tongue scrapers on the back, but you can also purchase tongue scrapers.
5. Try These Extra Good Habits
Beyond the basic practices above, truly excellent holistic dental care includes:
- Oil Pulling – Swish 1 tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 20 seconds to help remove bacteria from the spaces between your teeth and from around your gums. Spit the oil out afterwards: Don’t swallow!
- Saltwater Rinses – Rinsing your mouth will saltwater is a simple but effective way to help reduce acid-producing bacteria that cause tooth decay and even some other oral diseases.
- Eat a Balanced Diet – Avoiding excessive sugary and acidic foods will reduce your tooth decay. A balanced diet that ensures you get the right vitamins and minerals is important. (Vitamins D3 and K2 are especially important for holistic dental health.)
When you need a hand, Keys Dental is here!
As Holly found, dental health care can be overwhelming when you’re not sure what you’re doing. Developing effective, sustainable and easy oral hygiene is always harder than it sounds, but fortunately with regular support from the team here at Keys Dental Holly managed to undergo a truly game-changing holistic dentistry journey. And you can too!
So, if you’d like to find out how you can improve your oral health, reduce symptoms you’re experiencing, improve your overall well-being or just find out more about biological dentistry, contact our team today!