Holistic dentistry may not be something you’ve heard of, but it’s a health practice that is quickly gaining popularity in today’s world of eco-minded awareness. It’s a whole new approach to dental care that keeps treatments natural, and tries to bypass all the excessive chemicals that mainstream procedures tends to use. Here are the basics, and you can find out more at this link.
A big part of holistic dentistry actually takes place outside of the dentist’ office, with better practices at home to keep your teeth and gums naturally healthy. The biggest part of this is nutrition and diet. Eating foods that promote healthy teeth can make a huge difference. Generally, you want to increase foods with high levels of vitamins D, A and E. The more calcium and phosphorus you can get, the better. These minerals will keep your dental enamel strong and help you to naturally resist cavities and infections.
Another type of treatment that is gaining popularity in the holistic world is “oil pulling“. You take about a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth, let it melt and swish it around like a mouthwash for about 15 minutes. The oil dissolved the film of plaque on your teeth to help keep them clean, and it also has anti-bacterial properties that kill bacteria.
The premise of “fewer chemicals” takes many shapes in holistic dentistry, and can impact a number of typical treatments. One big one is the use of fluoride. The pros and cons of fluoride is constantly being debated, and holistic professionals tend to err on the safe side and avoid it. You won’t get the rinses or the gels, and your dentist may even go so far as to recommend you find a fluoride-free toothpaste to use at home.
Technically not a chemical issue, but do we really need to expose ourselves to more radiation? To be fair though, getting a clear view of your teeth (inside and out) is vital to nipping cavities in the bud. So you can’t do away with them entirely, but a holistic dentist will limit their use to times when they are needed, rather than just snapping new images at every visit.
Now, that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through painful procedures with no numbing agents. A holistic approach would try to limit their use, and try other options for relaxation or pain-relief instead of more chemicals. Acupuncture is a popular option, for example.
Getting fillings is another area where holistic options differ from the usual mainstream. A cavity will need to be filled in order to keep the tooth healthy, but the materials used for that filling can vary and that is where choices can be made. The typical dental amalgam used for fillings can have traces of mercury in it, which many people would prefer not to have in their mouths.
There are mercury-free options for filling material which would be the better choice. You may also want to consider removing any existing fillings and having them replaced. That should be discussed with your dentist to see your best options though.