I became really interested in Holistic Dentistry because all my life- I’ve had problems with my teeth. I got lucky not needing braces but man have I had my share of cavities. 🙁 It’s so crazy to me because I floss like it’s my job and brush like it’s my job and even do additional care like oil pulling (although I’ve been slacking this past year) and yet– I still get cavities from time to time.
I wanted to write this article because I know a lot of people are curious about what they don’t know about teeth. Like what else could be impacting their teeth that doesn’t have to do with common factors like too much sugar, too little brushing, etc.
When I moved to Austin, Texas, I wanted to find a Holistic Dentist. One that performed traditional dentistry but used a holistic base to get to know me as a patient.
–If you’re in Austin and you’re curious as to where I go- it’s 12 Oaks Dental in North Austin. I love them!! Such a pretty office and honestly, the sweetest staff I have ever met. They are so thorough and when I told them I was writing this article, they were more than happy to take the time to hear my questions. My dentist there is Dr. Barron and she is the best! She’s so dang good and really listens to you as well as explains what she’s doing. Also, my favorite dental hygienist there is DEBRA. She is so kind and makes you feel SO comfortable! And Carrie at the front desk- so nice!! Really an excellent staff. (They also have “laughing gas” if you get anxiety at the dentist, which I appreciate!) ANYWAY…. 😛
With holistic dentistry (at least my experience at 12 Oaks Dental) you can expect a huuuuuge intake of questions all about you. Everything from how to sleep, to how you wake up, to your diet, line of work, your posture, etc. They consider all these things! Not just your x-rays.
Here are 5 things I learned during my visit:
1. Even if there is no pain in your mouth- something could still be wrong. Dentists should be able to see cavities forming before they get to the point of worry. Also- many dentists are quick to jump into filling them before they really need to get filled. Find a dentist who will keep “close watches” on specific spots before they go straight into filling them. Also- they should give your proper techniques for keeping it as healthy as possible- in regards to foods, brushing techniques and flossing. They can also spot growth and gum problems!
Best yet- a great holistic dentist will take up close PHOTOS for you (beyond the x-ray) to show you what they are seeing and what you need to be concerned about.
2. Your toothpaste could be WAY too abrasive. Many holistic dentists will have lists of types of toothpaste (some that are super popular!) that can actually cause more harm than benefit you. I loved that my dentist asked me what toothpaste and toothbrush I used and then actually took the time to go look it up and check to see where it stood on the abrasiveness table. (If your enamel is feeling weaker- check your toothpaste!)
3. Your tongue length matters. Did you know if your tongue is shorter than normal (something my Holistic Dentist checked- which I’ve never had done before) then you are more likely to experience things like mouth breathing, snoring, speech problems, and sleep apnea? SO INTERESTING. My tongue is normal length but it oddly got me thinking about how half the time I fall asleep with my mouth open (lol) and that’s actually not a good thing! (Think: dehydration and not at all good for your teeth.)
4. Teeth misalignment can cause headaches. I say this because I have a few girlfriends who suffer from headaches and I’ve heard them mention everything from diet to hormones to medicine to supplements…. and I haven’t heard them mention teeth. Something as simple as correcting your “bite” could make the world of a difference. A holistic dentist asks you these things, what your health is like outside of just oral care.
5. One thing that can help prevent tooth decay is getting enough trace minerals. We are lacking many minerals in our water (hope you’re using filtered! :-P) so it’s important to make sure we are getting them. An easy fix is simply adding minerals to your water throughout the day. I started using Trace Minerals (and I love them!! Not sponsored) and I feel confident that they are going to help in the prevention of tooth decay in the future.
Hope you learned some things! If you are in Austin and need a new dentist, I highly recommend 12 Oaks Dental! They are awesome!!