How to Best Care for your Oral Health: Tips from a Holistic Dentist
This is a recording of “How to Best Care for Your Oral Health: Tips from a Holistic Dentist,” a Zoom presentation held on March 7, 2023.
Below is an excerpt of a presentation given by Dr. Yasmin N. Chebbi, a graduate of Harvard School of Dental Medicine, founder of The Flossery, a holistic and integrative dental office in Waltham, MA, and author of Eat, Sleep, Breathe Oral Health: Why Your Mouth Matters, which is available on Amazon.
Dr. Chebbi is passionate about mouth/body connection and preventative dentistry. In this presentation, she discusses the best and healthiest home care products for your oral health, what a Holistic Dentist screens for in a dental exam and amalgam fillings and how to remove them if needed.
I am a holistic and integrative dentist, so basically what that means is I’m looking for root causes of disease. That’s kind of what integrative dentistry does. We go beyond brushing, flossing and avoiding sugar, and we look at the whole mouth and body through the mouth and try to identify any diseases in the body or in the mouth that could be indicative of other things going on. That’s how we approach care.
One of the most common questions that we get is what toothpaste to use. The ones that we usually recommend in holistic dentistry or in integrative dentistry is hydroxyapatite toothpaste. That’s a healthier alternative to fluoride. In the past, fluoride was good for making teeth strong but there have been some issues or some questions about using too much fluoride. Hydroxyapatite toothpaste is a really good alternative because that’s what we already have in our teeth to make them strong. It’s a mix of calcium and so we’re just putting that back on our teeth. It’s a really good way to keep our teeth healthy.
I also get a lot of questions about what floss to use and for that I usually say whatever is most comfortable for you. Some people like using the string floss and some people like using the water flossers. Here’s a little bit of science for you – it takes about 72 hours for bacteria to stick on teeth and start making their home and their colonies, so usually I recommend this to patients – even if you floss at least every three days, then you are avoiding that buildup of bacteria. So don’t worry if you can’t floss every day. Try at least flossing every three days to prevent that buildup.
People also ask me about floss picks and I’m not a very big fan of floss picks…the ones that go in and out that way because you really can’t get in between or underneath the gums. So really using a wide floss or water flossers would be really good for that.
To continue learning about caring for your oral health, watch the full presentation.