This site is for informational and educational purposes to help patients become more proactive and effective at oral health using effective and natural techniques and products. The goal is to lessen the need for invasive dental procedures. Oral/dental conditions can only be definitively diagnosed by your dentist.
The videos below illustrate the basic ways to use various devices to remove plaque and biofilm. Every mouth and set of teeth are different so the devices, techniques, and sequence need to be modified for your own situation. Our hygienist coaches patients in the devices and methods that work best for them. For a suggested daily routine and sequence, click HERE.
The key is holding the brush at a 45-degree angle so the bristles slip under the gums and in between the teeth, wiggling in small circles to disrupt the plaque and swishing up on the lower teeth and down on the upper teeth. Vigorous back-and-forth scrubbing can harm gums and roots. A soft toothbrush is all that is needed. I personally like the Sea Turtle Bamboo toothbrush.
Electric toothbrushes are great too. I personally like and recommend Sonicare. The sonic vibrations are better than a spinning head.
Flossing is an important part of daily oral hygiene. It removes the plaque/biofilm from the teeth surfaces that touch each other. This is an area where cavities can form - called "interproximal" cavities. Flossing after brushing with a remineralizing toothpaste helps clean and remineralize these surfaces.
Note in the videos that the floss is wrapped forward and back around that surface and gently slid under the gum till you feel resistance. Then slide up and down 3 times to thoroughly deplaque. I prefer to avoid Teflon-coated floss because it can be a toxic substance.
When there is gum recession - and this is a common thing, I see this in over 90% of patients - roots and spaces between the teeth become exposed. Root surfaces are convex making a regular brush and floss sometimes ineffective at cleaning these areas. The SulcaBrush works great in these areas because it is a small tuft of bristles able to get in tight areas and the head is angled so it is better able to reach around corners.
When there are large spaces between the teeth, the ProxaBrush, and a version of the ProxaBrush called SoftPic, are excellent at cleaning these areas. These devices are especially effective at applying remineralizing products to these hard-to-reach areas.
Check the effectiveness of your daily oral care routine. Chew tablet when you're done - any remaining plaque will be stained so you can see if/where you may have missed. Buy Plaque Disclosing Tablets Here
The WaterPick is an excellent intra-oral cleaning tool. It helps rinse and flush all areas of debris, especially from under the gum and in between the teeth. When one has gum issues, especially periodontitis where there are deeper pockets and bone loss, it is especially helpful to use ozonated water rather than just tap water. Ozonated water is a natural disinfectant so when used with the water pick it not only cleans and flushes but also decreases the periodontal disease-causing bacteria from all those hard-to-reach areas.
The Oratec Packet Care Irrigator is a good adjunct to the Water Pick for deeper periodontal pockets. Used with ozonated water, slip the cannula under the gums and gently flush the pocket to get rid of the periodontal disease-causing bacteria. Make sure it is the "end port" so it gets to the bottom of the pocket. Have your dentist give you a road map of the pockets to be irrigated.
Keep the pulp healthy - and therefore the entire tooth - with a good diet, natural remineralizing products, and Vitamin K2. And when dentistry is done, it should be the kindest, most tooth-conserving procedure possible. The more aggressive the procedure, the harder it is on the pulp.
If the pulp becomes inflamed (pulpitis) it can be overly sensitive and even painful. We try to determine if it is reversible or irreversible. If the tooth is sensitive to cold and stops right away, that's normal. If it lingers for some time, that means there's more advanced inflammation. Hot sensitivity that lingers is even more. A tooth that hurts by itself may be irreversible inflammation. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT, cold laser, red light laser) can decrease inflammation and stimulate healing...if it is reversible inflammation.
Root surface cavities are the most difficult kind of cavity to treat. Once restored, the chances of future problems and re-treats are high. So the best thing is to avoid them with proper daily care and remineralizing products (BioRepair Advanced Nighttime and Tooth Putty) especially if there is a lot of recession. Ozonated water in a WaterPick directed at the cavity is very helpful. You can also apply ozone gas directly with the flexible tubing with the bubbler removed. And if it does need to be treated, be even more diligent to avoid future problems. See the Ozone Info Sheet Here
Modern dental X-rays are digital and very safe. The number and frequency should be based on patient history and needs and only after a clinical exam is done to determine necessity. For new patients, since we do photos, we need less x-rays.
For best results, these are done with a 35mm camera and mirrors. It requires 2 people to do them properly. Many offices use what is called an "intraoral" camera. It is a wand-type device - it is quick and easy and can be done with one person. But quick and easy is not always better. The photos are not as good a quality and are somewhat distorted. The views are all very close up and don't show the broader perspective such as the way the teeth bite and arch form. You can't diagnose what you can see. And we don't need near as many X-rays!
Teeth clenching and grinding is a habit - and it can be a bad one! Chewing generates 75 psi. Grinding at night can generate 250 psi! The typical treatment suggested is a "mouthguard" to cover and protect the teeth. It can protect from damage but you still clench/grind...just on the mouthguard. It is also often suggested to "rebuild the bite" by crowning all the teeth - A MAJOR AND INVASIVE UNDERTAKING! It may improve the bite but it still may not stop the clenching/grinding as it is a habit ingrained in the subconscious mind. And that can be changed by getting the right message to the subconscious mind, as described in the info sheet, via biofeedback/self-hypnosis. To access the bio-feedback/self-hypnosis audio described in the info sheet CLICK HERE.Listen to it as you fall asleep...you'll be amazed. What if you really do need a mouthguard? READ THE "MOUTHGUARD" INFO SHEET HERE
To manage jaw joint or jaw muscle pain you can useLOW LEVEL LASER To Manage actual jaw joint internal discomfort use MERCOLA JOINT SUPPLEMENTS
Watch this video on the hazards of mercury. When removing silver/mercury, the patient has wrap-around eye protection, nasal oxygen mask, special mouthpiece (purple) that wraps around that quadrant of teeth and seals off the cheek/tongue/throat, a suction device (white tube) that has a tip that wraps around the individual tooth, and an overhead vacuum...the ultimate protection from the silver/mercury removal.
Patients are often told that removing the silver/mercury will weaken the tooth and that the tooth will always look grey. Obviously not the case! And they also are often told that because of the cracks in the enamel, crowns are needed. Again, obviously not the case! Done properly these can be a great restoration...conservative and kind to the pulp. Also, that are MANY restorative materials available to dentists. If a patient's medical status includes material sensitivities or immune response issues, we have them get the LRA (Lymphocyte Response Assay)Dental Materials Reactivity Test to be sure the materials used will be biocompatible. For more information CLICK HERE
Today's modern dental composites are long-lasting and wear resistant. When the cusps are weak but the circumference is intact a direct bonded composite can be done that "onlays" or covers the entire chewing surface. Way more conservative than a crown and done in one visit so the dental pulp is not subjected to additional trauma. It is very technique sensitive and time-consuming to do. The restoration has to be done in small segments to optimize bonding and minimize shrinkage which is why a lot of dentists don't do them. And you cannot delegate any of the steps. It has been one of my favorite restorations to do. Sometimes the strength of porcelain is needed - Click here to read about "A Porcelain Onlay".If a tooth really does need a crown, lab-processed zirconia is the thinnest, strongest, and therefore kindest to the tooth. Click here to read about"Zirconia Crowns."
Root canals are accepted as appropriate and safe treatment by mainstream dentistry. Holistic dentists feel otherwise. It is a specialty in dentistry called endodontics and the specialists have years of extra training and many are Board-Certified which is a grueling process so the root canal process itself is precise - specialists actually use a microscope to do the treatment. The big concern is that the internal anatomy of the roots - the millions of microscopic dentinal tubules - cannot be sterilized and sealed even with the best techniques so they can be a breeding ground for pathogens. Read the infosheet noted above for a more indepth discussion. TOP
It's essential to understand that not everything that falls short of the "ideal" in dental/oral health necessarily requires treatment. The crucial question to answer is whether the issue is causing a problem. If it is indeed causing a problem, then you have a valid rationale for pursuing treatment.
In our dental practice, we have witnessed a growing trend among patients who are actively seeking holistic and conservative approaches to their dental care. These individuals are not only concerned about their oral health but also value the integration of dentistry with their overall well-being. They are eager for relevant information that empowers them to make informed decisions aligned with their best interests. Through our conversations with these patients, it has become evident that their holistic approach extends beyond dentistry, encompassing broader aspects of medical care, nutrition, and lifestyle choices.