Is it safe to go to the dentist yet?

Is it safe to go to the dentist yet?

Is dental treatment safe during the pandemic?

Covid-19 prompted national and regional dental associations to advise dentists to close their practices and/or postpone elective and non-emergency treatment during lockdown periods.

This advice has not been followed consistently, because the dental profession in most countries is dominated by private practices with little regulation. Some dentists have chosen to stay open and offer standard services even in hot spots of high community transmission.

Through the first half of 2020 there’s been a wide range of responses from most dentists closing up shop completely to some dentists urging their patients to continue with non-essential treatments as usual. As restrictions ease in many regions with continued community transmission, there’s ongoing conflicts within the profession about how to practice safely.

These inconsistencies have contributed to public uncertainty about how to manage our oral health during the pandemic, and what to expect from dentistry in the long-term. 

The pressures of Covid-19 on the current dental model has been (sometimes literally) painful for individual patients and dental professionals. However, it’s possible that the pandemic could be a catalyst for transformation.

I hope that we emerge from the pandemic with a more holistic, humane, equitable and prevention-focused version of dentistry.

In this article I’ll explore some immediate and long term questions from a patient’s perspective:

  • the risks of attending the dentist during the pandemic
  • keeping your mouth safe when the dentist isn’t safe
  • what does the future hold for dentistry
 
When will the dentist be safe?

Risks at the Dentist 

Dentists are an intrinsically high risk environment for Covid-19 exposure, in addition to all the usual risks of public spaces where there is community transmission of Covid-19 (such as sharing an enclosed space and close physical contact). 

 The crucial problem is that there are many common dental procedures, including hygienist’s cleanings and drilling cavities, that create an aerosol spray of saliva particles into the air (Aerosol Generating Procedures – AGPs).  There are also procedures (including x-rays) in the dental chair that cause patients to cough, which release a spray of saliva droplets

If a patient has Covid-19, their saliva contains microscopic virus particles. Droplets of their saliva from coughing can travel up to 2 metres (6 feet) before falling almost immediately to the surface below. Aerosol saliva particles generated by AGPs may travel much further (up to 8 metres or 27 feet) and may linger in the air for 2-3 hours before settling on surfaces below [link].

The greatest, and most immediate risk from a patient with Covid-19 are dental workers, especially hygienists whose main task of cleaning generates aerosol saliva spray. However, anyone who enters the dental office within 2-3 hours could be potentially at risk of inhaling virus-contaminated droplets inhaled in the air.  Further exposure could come from exposure to surfaces that were cleaned immediately after the treatment but continued to collect virus contamination from suspended saliva spray for up to three hours.   

Dental safety standards

Dental practices already had very high standards for sterilization and PPE, however Covid-19 and it’s airborne risks requires even greater vigilance.

When you book your next dental appointment, ask what extra measures they are taking to address the serious, life-threatening risks of Covid-19. Are their social distancing, screening, cleaning,  PPE and AGP reduction practices good enough?

Social distancing

It’s become fairly standard for dental practices to ask patients to wait in their cars, wear masks and use hand sanitiser. Empty waiting rooms and contactless payments help to reduce the risk of virus spreading. 

Screening

Most dental practices are attempting to screen out patients (and staff) with Covid-19 with questions and temperature tests. These measures are both unreliable, but may catch someone who is symptomatic, has tested positive, or who knows they have been exposed to the contagin. However, the real risk of transmission lies with asympotomatic or presympotomatic patients.

Asymptomatic individuals (who have Covid but never develop symptoms) and presymtomatic individuals (who have contracted the disease up to 14 days ago but not yet developed symptoms) are both highly contagious to anyone who is exposed to their saliva droplets.

A few dental practices are require everyone to take a Covid-19 test immediately before their appointment. However Covid-19 tests are of limited use because results are not available instantly and are not 100% reliable.

Cleaning

Dental practices should allow a sufficient break between an AGP and entering the room to clean it (a ‘fallow period’), to allow droplets to fall to surfaces so they can be cleaned. The recommended fallow period is one hour, however arguably may take 2-3 hours for aerosol particles to fall out of the air.  [link]

This fallow period is reduced for negative pressure rooms with powerful extractor fans, vacuum units or filtration units. These types of air cleaning systems are necessesary for the safe removal of amalgam fillings, so biological and holistic dentists are more likely to already have them in place. 

PPE

Dental workers have been using personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and surgical masks since the AIDS epidemicIn the early weeks of the pandemic, many dental practices donated their stocks of PPE to frontline staff working with Covid-19 patients due to global shortages. 

The Covid-19 epidemic brings a new safety standard that layers a face shield over an N95type respirator masks covered by a disposable mask, ie three layers of face protection. Washable or disposable caps and knee length gowns complete the dental PPE needed for safer (but not completely safe) work with AGPs [link].

Ideally, dental workers should change their PPE gear between every new patient they treat, especially after AGPs. 

However, due to the cost and sometimes ongoing difficulties of aquiring PPE, not every practice is supplying adequate PPE to meet recommended safety standards.

Dental workers in large practices such as dental schools and hospitals have voiced their complaints about inadequate PPE publically. It seems likely that it is even more a problem in small, private practices where staff feel unable to speak out. 

Reducing aerosols (AGPs)

Some dental practices are working with alternative techniques and tools that reduce the saliva spray from aerosol generating procedures (AGPs).

Hygienists can clean teeth manually instead of with an ultra-sonic scaler, but hand cleaning is much slower, and more uncomfortable for both patients and hygienists [link].

Low speed drills produce less aerosol than high speed drill but take longer and are more uncomfortable for most patients.  Using dental dams, high tech suction devices or intra-oral negative vacuum can all reduce the spread of saliva [link].

Immunity and your gums

In addition to these risks in the dental office, there is another risk which you may want to consider when deciding whether its safe to go back to your dentist yet. 

Any procedure that cuts into the gum might lower your body’s immunity. This includes standard hygienist cleanings, periodontal deep cleanings and tooth extractions. If you go ahead with one of these procedures, take extra precautions to build up immune resistance and avoid exposure to Covid-19.

If you are in severe or ongoing pain, or have swelling in your mouth, you should seek emergency treatment even where there is a risk of Covid-19 transmission. 

When will the dental hygienist be safe?

At home oral health

If you weigh up your personal risks vs benefits and decide that going to the dentist isn’t worth it for you right now, there is actually quite a lot you can do at home to prevent teeth and gum problems from developing or getting worse.

Nutrition

Nourish your teeth and gums with the best quality fresh vegetables and protein you can access. 

Good oral health comes with a nutrient dense diet that is rich in minerals and fat-soluble Vitamins A, D and K2 consumed as fresh, local, inseason, minimally processed food rather than in capsules or powders. 

You probably know that sugar is not good for teeth. If you are craving sweets, try to avoid sticky, chewy candies and soda drinks of any kind.

Even kombucha may be harmful for teeth because the phosphorus in the bubbles can draw out calcium from your enamel making them vulnerable to harmful bacteria.

Avoid popcorn as well, because it can break weak teeth, knock out fillings and cut your gums.  

Hygiene

The mouth plays an important role in the body’s immune system. Poor oral hygiene can increase your risk of Covid-19 infection [link].

Brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once a day, and rinse your mouth out after eating to help maintain a clean healthy oral cavity. 

Brush and floss gently to avoid damaging your gums. Bleeding gums can potentially compromise your immunity.

Rather than brushing straight after you eat, when your enamel is soft and vulnerable, try rinsing with a salt water solution after every meal or snack. 

These simple habits can help prevent or stabilize decay or gingivitis until it’s safe to visit the dentist.

For more oral health habits for prevention and healing, watch Holistic Oral Health at Home, my free online workshop. 

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

What can we anticipate for dental services going forward?

 Like pretty much everything else right now, it’s difficult to predict what the future holds for dentistry.

My speculations below are based on current information from the industry, which assumes a 1-2 year minimum before returning to ‘normal,’ along with my own analysis of opportunities for long overdue changes to the way we think about oral health.

Regular services limited

Almost everywhere that’s been locked down, dentists were closed to all but emergency treatments.

In regions where a second wave of Covid-19 is emerging regular dental services may be restricted even further.

Dental hygienist cleanings are likely to be the last services to return to normal because of the greater risk involved.

However, because dentistry is privatised and minimally regulated in most regions, decisions about who returns to work and when are left up to individual practice owners, who may prioritise financial concerns over the safety of their staff, their patients or even themselves.

This is leading to high levels of stress and anxiety among dental professionals [link].

Reduced demand

Switzerland was one of the first European countries to ease restrictions. Swiss dentists experienced a rush of patients seeking urgent dental treatment after six weeks in lockdown. The backlog of emergency and urgent dental treatment had severe consequences for some people, who have lost teeth that might have been saved under normal circumstances.

Wherever dental services are available, people will go for emergency and urgent treatment. However, it’s likely that widespread economic hardship and unemployment will lead many to postpone elective and non-urgent dental treatments for at least the next couple of years.

More people may start seeking out alternatives for the first time, searching for self-help approaches to manage non-urgent issues and to prevent urgent issues from becoming emergencies.

We can expect to see increasing demand for home remedies and oral health coaches, so it’s important that effective products and services become available for every market, and in every language.

Fewer dental practices

Many dental practices are in such a financially precarious position that they may not be able to reopen after lockdown restrictions are lifted [link] [link].

This is likely to lead to increasingly widespread dental apartheid aka dental deserts ie areas where few, if any, dentists practice, such as in rural and tribal areas of the United States.

Without access to conventional dental services, it’s a matter of social justice to make effective preventative care and home remedies widely available in unconventional ways.

Online coaching, mobile and pop up clinics, community and peer educators are some of the possibilities worth exploring.

Rising Cost

We can expect to see increased charges for professional dental services; primarily to cover the costs of extra PPE, and in some practices Covid-19 diagnostic testing and updated sterilisation equipment.

Rising prices will widen the gap between those who can afford regular dental care and an increasing proportion of people who will go into hardship or debt for urgent or emergency treatment.

Now is the time for communities to invest in preventative systems of food and housing security and grassroots health care to help prevent oral health problems becoming emergencies as well as bolstering our immune systems and increasing resilience to many other illnesses.

Tele-dentistry

Dentists are already experimenting with video and phone consultation services, and some may continue to offer tele-dentistry into the future [link].  

Because dental hygienists are being forced to adapt to so many challenges, I am offering a short course to help dental hygienists get started offering oral health coaching online. 

Dental hygienists already have preventative knowledge and skills that they haven’t always gotten to a chance to share with patients in their chair, due to time pressure.

Now is a wonderful opportunity for hygienists to either add online coaching to their in person services or pivot to be able to work from home in the future. 

I also want to see more online health practitioners integrate effective oral health support into their practices (and I’ll be looking at adding a course for natural health practitioners eventually).

Get Started as an Online Oral Health Coach

A professional development course for dental hygienists who want to work from the safety and comfort of home. 

Can you help meet worldwide demand for safe home based oral health coaching?

 

There are genuine opportunities for radical transformation!

Almost every type of industry and organisation is going through a crucible of change this year.

There are intense pressures causing great harm at the same time as creating opportunities for radical change in every aspect of our lives.

It will be fascinating to see how it all unfolds and what the future of dentistry and oral health becomes.

In the meantime, please take good care of your teeth and gums at home with the tools you have available to you. 

When will the dentist be safe?

Has a dentist told you that your cavities or receding gums are your fault because you are drinking too much Coke, you don’t floss enough or you need to stop breastfeeding your baby? And you know that isn’t true!

I’m not going to blame you or shame you.
The underlying causes of your oral health issues are not your fault!

Nature or nurture, ancestry or environment, free will or systemic oppression, unconscious emotions or the degraded food system

These are the factors that make your teeth and gums vulnerable to disease.

Even though your tooth decay and gum disease is not your fault, it is within your power to change.

You can turn your oral health around with natural strategies and healthy habits.

Get Started as an Online Oral Health Coach

A professional development course for dental hygienists who want to work from the safety and comfort of home. 

Can you help meet worldwide demand for safe home based oral health coaching?

 

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Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Root Cause is the Netflix documentary stirring up root canal concerns

I had to write this Root Cause review because root canals loom big in my life. I’ve had six root canals in five teeth, I still have three in situ. Their origins are, without exception, memorably traumatic, but their current status in my body is relatively benign.

Avoiding what would have been my 7th root canal by changing my diet seemed like a miracle that opened my eyes to the wonderful and wacky world of alternative oral health (or alt-oral as I like to call it).

In the seven years since healing that root naturally, I have become very familiar with the experts and arguments presented in the recently released Netflix documentary Root Cause.

Books by several Root Cause featured experts are on my shelves, but I don’t agree with everything they say. Particularly when their tone veers into fear-mongering, exaggerated extremes and conspiracy theories. Theories which aren’t part of the documentary, but are easy to find in most alt-oral discussions of root canals.

On one hand, it’s exciting to see the root canal debate enter mainstream awareness. Root canals are problematic and the dental profession’s excessive use of the procedure needs to be challenged, particularly when cavities or abscesses are not present.

The flip side to this is the manipulative way that director, Frazier Bailey, presents a mixture of facts, opinion and distortions lacks nuance. These very qualities are what make Root Cause so slick and watchable actually undermine the credibility of its central argument, that root canals can cause harm. And don’t even get me started on the film’s objectification of women – I’ll save that discussion until the end of this review.

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Watch ‘Root Cause’ until the end

The best part of Root Cause is the second half, where some of the more sensible and balanced information and practical advice is presented. Although the ‘sexy dental hygienist’ trope was quite unnecessary.

My highlight was Dawn Ewing and Mark Briener‘s explanations of how every tooth sits on two or more meridians, which is the main mechanism for the whole body health impacts of root canals. This is incredibly useful information to apply to any oral health problem, not just root canals. I was thrilled to see it explained clearly in a mainstream context.

Almost as an aside towards the end, the Netflix documentary mentioned that everyone processes root canals differently. Some people are much more susceptible than others to being affected by toxic root canals.

Let me repeat that, because it wasn’t emphasized enough in Root Cause: not everyone gets sick from root canals.

The dangers of root canals which are explored in such great depth were eventually put into the context of the toxic overload that everyone of us is subjected to. Sustained, cumulative and insidious exposure to environmental toxins, toxic emotions, EMF (electro-magnetic frequencies including wifi), pathogens and of course junk food, overload the body which is already burdened with a root canal.

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

Recoiling in fear

By half way through the Root Cause documentary, my cortisol was so elevated by the graphic, gruesome root canal footage paired with a barrage of cancer statistics. So much so that it was hard to actually hear those quiet voices of reason at the end.

Root Cause uses horror genre film-making techniques (e.g. structure, filters and music) to manipulate our emotions.The sunshine and humour of the first act, contrasted with the dark intensity of main act, are all very effectively scary and disempowering.

Unfortunately fear and powerlessness, along with anger and grief, are toxic emotions which may actually exacerbate the impact of root canals on our health.

Many Netflix viewers are urgently seeking ways to remove their root canals safely because it’s almost impossible to watch and not feel scared. Unless you reject everything Root Cause says.

There’s plenty of dental professionals (a majority) who are using Root Cause’s dodgy statistics and misquotes to dismiss the whole argument about root canal risks. Mainstream dentists are publishing mocking reviews and associations of dental professionals worldwide are lobbying Netflix to take it down on the basis of poor science. Update: it appears that Netflix has now taken down Root Cause*, though it’s still available on Amazon.

And that’s the real problem, because important information is half-hidden in amongst the dramatic license of Root Cause. Root canals are to frequently recommended with little regard to the risks they may carry for some people.

Balance and tolerance

The Root Cause documentary didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know from seven years of research into root canals. I was already familiar with many of the experts that were selectively quoted. Having read widely and in-depth enabled me to put the documentary’s messages in context that many viewers lacking background knowledge would miss.

Root canals can contribute to serious health problems for some people. Most root canals contain bacteria, and along with cavitations, may be a contributing factor with some cases of chronic degenerative and/or autoimmune conditions.

However, everybody is different. We all have a different ability to tolerate a root canal. 

Most people will not develop heart disease, cancer or chronic fatigue from their root canal. But for some people, removing the root canal may help you to recover your health.

Many people are able to tolerate a root canal without health problems for many years. Comparing a root canaled tooth to a toe with gangrene that must be amputated is inaccurate and unhelpful.

Not every case of breast cancer can be blamed on a root canal. The commonly quoted statistic that 90-something percent of breast cancer patients have a root canal on the same side cannot be traced to any published research. Even where a cancer patient does have an infected root canal, it not necessarily the cause.

Review of Netflix Documentary Root Cause

A broader holistic context

I’m a holistic oral health coach. When clients come to me with concerns about their root canal we also take into consideration the non-physical and energetic impacts of getting, removing or keeping it.

In addition to oral and whole body health impacts, we may explore:

  • family history
  • emotional issues
  • dental trauma,
  • social/professional consequences of extracting a tooth
  • the cost and accessibility of the procedure.

Root Cause follows the story of the director, Frazier Bailey. A white Australian man with the privilege of trying dozens of alternative therapies in his search for a cure to his mysterious malaise (the film includes a montage which seems to cover every new age modality- in mocking rhyme).

Once convinced that his root canal is behind his symptoms there seems to be no practical obstacles to getting it removed. Bailey never mentions the cost, or any difficulty in finding a co-operative dentist.

A safe removal and replacement of a single root canal can cost $10,000 and it’s common to need multiple appointments over 3-6 months. The removal process can also include:

  • the preliminary scan
  • tooth extraction
  • ozone cleaning of the jaw
  • rebuilding the jaw bone (if needed), and
  • installing an implant 3-6 months later.

That’s if you can find a dentist who will do it!

Not many dentists are willing to do this kind of procedure without evidence the the root canal has failed, so it’s not unusual to have to travel, sometimes internationally, if you are determined to have your root canal tooth extracted.

Removing a root canal safely is not an easily accessible option for many people, and this documentary has left them feeling scared for the root canals they have little choice but to keep.

There are holistic strategies, including herbs, homeopathics and energy healing that can help to mitigate the physical and metaphyscial impacts of root canals, so that the body can tolerate them well.

In conclusion

Admittedly, Root Cause set my teeth on edge from the very beginning with its sexist montage of women in bikinis. I tried to put aside my objections to the objectification of women’s bodies that cropped up all too often throughout the film… because what does the gratuitous male gaze have to do with root canals?  

I squirmed to see another condescending montage, as the main character rhymed his way through alternative therapies with no regard to the cultural context from which many of modalities have been extracted… because all those therapies weren’t the point of the documentary either.

Nonetheless, I kept watching, despite my discomfort with Root Canal‘s tone, because I want to know why so many people have suddenly started requesting my Root Canal Decision Checklist. This checklist is a free resource available on my website that didn’t get much attention until Root Cause was released on Netflix.

But in fact, the casual sexism and cultural insensitivity of Root Cause are completely aligned with its fear-mongering central message presented through a lens of privilege.

Mainstream dentist’s patronising and negative Root Cause reviews find plenty of material in the film that is deserving of valid criticism. So by itself the documentary is unlikely to sway any dental professionals currently committed to root canals.

The only way that the dental industry is ever going to look critically at the consequences of root canals is if a sufficient mass of their customers expect their concerns to be taken seriously.

Thanks to Netflix, mainstream dental practices are experiencing an increased number of patients refusing root canals, requesting removals and ultimately seeking more sympathetic providers.

Root Cause, for all it’s many flaws, is provoking a new wave of consumer demand that dentistry continues to dismiss at its own peril.

___________________________________

*Update: On the day I published this post, Root Cause was suddenly removed from Netflix. It was unexpected; Root Cause was not included in Vulture’s list of 42 movies planned to be removed from Netflix in February 2019. As yet, there is no explanation for this removal. Why did Netflix take down Root Cause? Was it responding to pressure from dental associations?

 

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

Has a dentist told you that your cavities or receding gums are your fault because you are drinking too much Coke, you don’t floss enough or you need to stop breastfeeding your baby? And you know that isn’t true!

I’m not going to blame you or shame you.
The underlying causes of your oral health issues are not your fault!

Nature or nurture, ancestry or environment, free will or systemic oppression, unconscious emotions or the degraded food system

These are the factors that make your teeth and gums vulnerable to disease.

Even though your tooth decay and gum disease is not your fault, it is within your power to change.

You can turn your oral health around with natural strategies and healthy habits.

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Raw milk alternatives

Raw milk alternatives

Raw milk and Vitamin K2

This article offers some effective raw milk alternatives for integrating the essential teeth healing nutrient Vitamin K2 into your diet.

It doesn’t take very long when looking into nutritional teeth healing advice before you find out that raw milk is one of the most common and valuable recommendations for healing teeth and gums. 

However, raw milk isn’t an option for people can’t, or choose not to, eat any dairy products and even many people who are willing to consume dairy have difficulty accessing raw milk because of strict laws banning its sale.

My first raw milk alternative suggestions are for people who are willing to eat dairy but can’t access raw milk reliably.

The rest of my raw milk alternatives are completely vegan, for people who can’t or won’t eat any dairy products, whether raw or not.

Vitamin K2

All good quality dairy milks contain teeth-nourishing calcium but only unpasturized, raw, milk contains Vitamin K2 (aka Activator X) because K2 is destroying in the pasteurization process.  Vitamin K2’s presence in milk helps your body to utilize milk’s calcium content.

Vitamin K2 is found only in some animal products and a few fermented foods, all of which are rare in Western diets today.

One of it’s functions is to activate proteins that regulate calcium deposits in your body to build strong teeth and bones and prevent calcification in blood vessels and your kidneys.  It also helps to prevent heart disease and osteoporosis.

Young bodies are much better than older bodies at generating Vitamin K2 in the gut, or converting it from Vitamin K1 plant foods. I think this is probably because young bones and teeth are growing so fast that they need more Vitamin K2, so growing bodies are programmed to prioritise the nutrient. 

Broad spectrum antibiotics are believed to contribute to Vitamin K2 deficiency which I think explains why exposure to antibiotics in the womb or after birth is sometimes associated with severe decay in babies’ teeth.  

 

Raw milk alternatives: dairy

Raw milk is very inaccessible, and even illegal, in many countries including most of the United States and Australia. For example in New Zealand, where I live raw milk can only be sold directly from the ‘farm gate’ so it’s expensive and complicated for urban dwellers to buy. Even in countries where raw milk is not legally restricted, it’s usually rare and expensive because it is a bespoke product with a short shelf life and low demand.

If you are willing to eat dairy but you don’t have access to raw milk, I recommend milk kefir.

Milk kefir mimics raw milk

Milk kefir is a tangy, fermented milk product similar to yogurt but with a unique SCOBY* that mimics the nutritional profile of raw milk, essentially reintroducing the Vitamin K2 lost in pastueurization. 

*A SCOBY is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast that causes fermentation

If you buy ready-made kefir,  make sure that it’s organic, free from additives and unpasturized after fermentation.

Try making your own milk kefir using milk kefir grains (the SCOBY) with the best quality, full cream, grass fed, pasturized milk you can find, (preferably organic).

I don’t recommend using the powdered starter culture for milk kefir which contains fewer probiotics.

Milk kefir grains produce more Vitamin K2 and can be reused indefinitely, unlike the powder. You can find milk kefir grains through whole foods communities, buy it online, or in your local health food store, where hopefully you can buy good quality milk as well.

More Vitamin K2!

  • If you have access to raw milk, you can turn it into milk kefir and boost the intrinsic level of Vitamin K2 even more.
  • For meat eaters: other sources of Vitamin K2 are liver (especially cod liver oil) and other organ meats; and shellfish.
  • Genuinely free-range, grass-fed, poultry produce egg yolks are high in Vitamin K2.

But what if you don’t eat any animal products?

 

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

Raw milk alternatives: plant-based

Teeth nourishing Vitamin K2 can be a challenge to integrate into a plant-based diet.

Vitamin K1 is found in dark leafy green vegetables such as parsley, collards and kale. Vitamin K1 is not known to support teeth health in the same way as Vitamin K2. 

When we are young, our bodies easily converts Vitamin K1 into some of the Vitamin K2 we need but conversion becomes less efficient as we age. But our body’s demand for Vitamin K2 is much greater while we are still growing. 

Growing bodies, and older bodies, on a plant-based diet need to eat additional sources of Vtiamin K2 found in some fermented foods.

Teeth healing natto

Natto has the highest levels of Vitamin K2 in a plant based food.  Natto is a Japanese fermented vegetable that has a very strong flavor which challenges many Western palates.  Some people describe it as a combination of marmite and old socks, while other people compare it to Camembert or Brie cheese.  It should be eaten in small quantities and tastes best when seasoned, for example with salt, sesame oil, soy sauce or mustard.

Many Vitamin K2 supplements (aff) are made from natto so if you can’t access natto (or can’t stand the flavor) then supplements are a good idea.

Coconut Milk Kefir for teeth

Many people find a more palatable source of plant based Vitamin K2 is coconut milk kefir. The coconut milk should be unpasturized and of high quality, the SCOBY must be milk kefir grains.

Coconut milk kefir doesn’t have as much Vitamin K2 as dairy milk kefir, but it’s the second best plant-based source after natto. Every little bit will help to nourish your teeth towards better health.

Other plant based sources of Vitamin K2

There are small proportions of Vitamin K2 in other kinds of fermented foods like miso, kimchi and sauerkraut. I recommend eating fermented foods every day. 

There is a tiny amount of Vitamin K2 in unpasturized kombucha. However, the phosphorus in kombucha bubbles binds to the calcium in your teeth and weakens the enamel. It’s a poor tradeoff for the small quantity of K2 it contains. (All bubbly drinks contain phosphorus and can damage teeth in this way).

 

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

Has a dentist told you that your cavities or receding gums are your fault because you are drinking too much Coke, you don’t floss enough or you need to stop breastfeeding your baby? And you know that isn’t true!

I’m not going to blame you or shame you.
The underlying causes of your oral health issues are not your fault!

Nature or nurture, ancestry or environment, free will or systemic oppression, unconscious emotions or the degraded food system

These are the factors that make your teeth and gums vulnerable to disease.

Even though your tooth decay and gum disease is not your fault, it is within your power to change.

You can turn your oral health around with natural strategies and healthy habits.

How to heal decaying baby teeth

As a parent you want to do whatever is right to keep your baby healthy. You can feel so guilty to see brown spots or cavities developing on your baby's teeth. Yet, discoloration and dental decay can start very young, sometimes within hours of a new tooth erupting!...

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Asking your intuition about your toothache meaning can put you in touch with the subconscious feelings and thoughts that influence your oral health. The metaphysics of the mouth can also include meridians, chakras, dreams, ancestral influences, family and cultural...

Metaphysical teeth: Self-help strategies for oral health

Metaphysics is the study of abstract ideas, concepts and systems.  There is more to teeth and gums than their existence as physical objects within our bodies. Economics, aesthetics, psychology, spirituality, meridians, family stories and cultural myths are just a few...

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Spiritual Reasons for Gum Disease

Understanding the spiritual meaning of gum disease The spiritual meanings of gum disease symptoms are often overlooked, yet working with these messages often holds the key to effective healing.  Gingivitis, periodontal or gum disease often begins with gum recession or...

Political Teeth

What do Nazis have to do with your teeth? A holistic approach to oral health doesn't stop at the boundaries of our bodies (or even at the edge of our aura).  We exist in communities that are connected globally in real time and our mouths are not separate from what is...

My 5 Best Websites for Natural Oral Health

As soon as you start searching for information about oral health on the internet you can quickly become overwhelmed by thousands of choices, most of them fronting small dental practices or large toothpaste manufacturers. Almost all offer the same tired mainstream...

Spiritual Meanings of Teeth

Root cause vs immediate cause  The biggest difference between holistic oral health coaching and mainstream dentistry may be coaching’s consideration of the spiritual meanings of teeth.  The spiritual meanings of teeth can help you to identify the root cause of your...

How to get rid of cavities naturally, for FREE

I believe in empowering you to be your own teeth healer, no matter how much cash you've got left after visiting the dentist. I'm not holding back some powerful secret behind the paywall of my coaching services. It is completely feasible that you can learn how to heal...

Is your jaw clenched right now?

If you had to stop to evaluate whether or not it was clenched, noticed that it was, and then had to manually un-clench it – this article is for you!We are in an unprecedented moment.  Not only are we adapting to a complete change in daily life, but we are in a time...

Gentle toothbrushing for healthier gums

Gentle toothbrushing for healthier gums

Healthier gums need gentle brushing

In this video I demonstrate how to brush your teeth correctly so that you can clean the enamel thoroughly, without hurting your gums in the process.

Incorrect toothbrushing technique can contribute to receding gums, bleeding gums and even gum disease so brushing the right way does more than just clean your teeth, it protects your gums.

Choosing a toothbrush

Electric or manual, the most important quality is the softness of the bristles. Always choose the softest bristles you can find.

An electric toothbrush will exaggerate the risks of poor brushing technique so I recommend practicing correct brushing with a manual toothbrush before you start using an electric.

Electric brushes are especially valuable for people who have trouble keeping their wisdom or back molars clean.  They are also helpful for people who don’t have enough strength or stamina to brush thoroughly for 2-3 minutes at a time.

 

 

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

No white knuckles

Are you squeezing the toothbrush handle in a death grip? A tight, white knuckled grip at the base of the handle means you are probably brushing too hard!

Practice holding the brush lightly between your finger tips, near the bristles. This way you have more fine motor control. 

Don’t scrub

Gently polish each surface of each tooth individually with a gentle flicking motion, moving the bristles away from the gums.

One of the ways that gums are attached to the teeth is with microscopic fibres that can break really easily, so never push the tips of the bristles into the gum line.

To clean the enamel closest to the gums place the sides of the bristles against the gum line, so the tips of the bristles are touching the enamel. Then just wriggle the bristles in place. It will be easier to understand if you watch the video!

Take your time

If this is a new way of brushing for you, take as long as you need to retrain your muscle memory to the new grip and motions of gentle brushing. Even once you have the hang of it, toothbrushing thoroughly and gently should take you at least 2-3 minutes each time.

Rather than resenting and rushing through your oral hygiene every day, treat it as a mini moving meditation where you have a chance to lavish yourself with loving attention.

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

Has a dentist told you that your cavities or receding gums are your fault because you are drinking too much Coke, you don’t floss enough or you need to stop breastfeeding your baby? And you know that isn’t true!

I’m not going to blame you or shame you.
The underlying causes of your oral health issues are not your fault!

Nature or nurture, ancestry or environment, free will or systemic oppression, unconscious emotions or the degraded food system

These are the factors that make your teeth and gums vulnerable to disease.

Even though your tooth decay and gum disease is not your fault, it is within your power to change.

You can turn your oral health around with natural strategies and healthy habits.

How to heal decaying baby teeth

As a parent you want to do whatever is right to keep your baby healthy. You can feel so guilty to see brown spots or cavities developing on your baby's teeth. Yet, discoloration and dental decay can start very young, sometimes within hours of a new tooth erupting!...

How long does it take to remineralize cavities?

How long does it take to remineralise cavities?    How long it takes to remineralise cavities, reverse decay or regrow receding gums depends on three factors. Your symptoms, how severe they are and how long you've had them for How wholeheartedly you are able to...

Political Teeth

What do Nazis have to do with your teeth? A holistic approach to oral health doesn't stop at the boundaries of our bodies (or even at the edge of our aura).  We exist in communities that are connected globally in real time and our mouths are not separate from what is...

A simple guide to online coaching

Any timezone, any place A consultation with the Holistic Tooth Fairy is nothing like going to the dentist! It's easy, empowering and even fun! All my consultations are done in online video calls which means that you can work with me no matter what country or what time...

Metaphysical teeth: Self-help strategies for oral health

Metaphysics is the study of abstract ideas, concepts and systems.  There is more to teeth and gums than their existence as physical objects within our bodies. Economics, aesthetics, psychology, spirituality, meridians, family stories and cultural myths are just a few...

Spiritual Meanings of Teeth

Root cause vs immediate cause  The biggest difference between holistic oral health coaching and mainstream dentistry may be coaching’s consideration of the spiritual meanings of teeth.  The spiritual meanings of teeth can help you to identify the root cause of your...

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Root Cause is the Netflix documentary stirring up root canal concerns I had to write this Root Cause review because root canals loom big in my life. I’ve had six root canals in five teeth, I still have three in situ. Their origins are, without exception, memorably...

My 5 Best Websites for Natural Oral Health

As soon as you start searching for information about oral health on the internet you can quickly become overwhelmed by thousands of choices, most of them fronting small dental practices or large toothpaste manufacturers. Almost all offer the same tired mainstream...

How to get rid of cavities naturally, for FREE

I believe in empowering you to be your own teeth healer, no matter how much cash you've got left after visiting the dentist. I'm not holding back some powerful secret behind the paywall of my coaching services. It is completely feasible that you can learn how to heal...

Seeking within for toothache meaning

Asking your intuition about your toothache meaning can put you in touch with the subconscious feelings and thoughts that influence your oral health. The metaphysics of the mouth can also include meridians, chakras, dreams, ancestral influences, family and cultural...

My 5 Best Websites for Natural Oral Health

My 5 Best Websites for Natural Oral Health

As soon as you start searching for information about oral health on the internet you can quickly become overwhelmed by thousands of choices, most of them fronting small dental practices or large toothpaste manufacturers. Almost all offer the same tired mainstream advice about brushing with fluoride as the best form of prevention.

When you narrow your search down to natural teeth care,  it’s a bit like entering a parallel universe dominated by alt-oral clickbait. You have to navigate through minefields of conspiracy theory and wacky home remedies to find the nuggets of gold.

I try to make sure that the Holistic Tooth Fairy is one of the best websites for natural oral health. If you like this site, you might also like this personal selection of my five favorites:

Healing Teeth Naturally is comprehensive in covering natural, holistic and conventional approaches to oral health in a well-organised manner. The site is all text, few images (except of crystals) and no videos. It’s published in English but translations of some pages are available in German, French, Greek,  Spanish, Slovene and Italian. Ulla Schmid describes her site as ‘humanitarian’  and she isn’t selling anything.

Hippy friendly. 

Ora Wellness offers tons of excellent information about natural oral health, and lots of useful but low-fi videos. Will and Susan Revak have developed their own range of natural products for teeth and gums, which I haven’t tried because shipping from Hawai’i to New Zealand is stupidly expensive.

Family friendly.

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume
Wellness Mama is a natural living website with a smattering of very good blog posts about oral health, including home made toothpaste and toothpowder recipes. Katie Wells is a solid researcher backed by a team, and she has built a substantial business with her natural living blog, books and podcast (while home schooling six children). There’s plenty of valuable free content grounded in her genuine passion for natural teeth healing, just sometimes it’s buried in a mountain of affiliate promotions and advertising.

DIY friendly.

 

Cure Tooth Decay is the website of the book of the same name (which I reviewed here). The site covers a lot of the same material as the book and is easier to search, though still heavy reading. This website was my first experience of alt-oral, and even before I read the book I was able to prevent a root canal by following the dietary advice I found on the site. The book’s author, Ramiel Nagel, sadly passed away last year, yet I find it slightly creepy that his online bio hasn’t changed since he was alive. 

Carnivore friendly.

 

Any dentist can call themselves ‘holistic’ even if their practice is entirely conventional. Because it’s a coveted search term with no regulation, finding a holistic dentist you can trust can be tricky. When you are searching for a local dentist who is truly holistic, try comparing their website to Evolve Dental.  Not many dentists have a blog as good as Evolve’s but if their services and philosophy are similar (e.g. safe amalgam removal and a dietary approach to prevention), then they are probably genuinely holistic. 

‘Looking for a holistic dentist’ friendly

 

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

Has a dentist told you that your cavities or receding gums are your fault because you are drinking too much Coke, you don’t floss enough or you need to stop breastfeeding your baby? And you know that isn’t true!

I’m not going to blame you or shame you.
The underlying causes of your oral health issues are not your fault!

Nature or nurture, ancestry or environment, free will or systemic oppression, unconscious emotions or the degraded food system

These are the factors that make your teeth and gums vulnerable to disease.

Even though your tooth decay and gum disease is not your fault, it is within your power to change.

You can turn your oral health around with natural strategies and healthy habits.

How to heal decaying baby teeth

As a parent you want to do whatever is right to keep your baby healthy. You can feel so guilty to see brown spots or cavities developing on your baby's teeth. Yet, discoloration and dental decay can start very young, sometimes within hours of a new tooth erupting!...

Seeking within for toothache meaning

Asking your intuition about your toothache meaning can put you in touch with the subconscious feelings and thoughts that influence your oral health. The metaphysics of the mouth can also include meridians, chakras, dreams, ancestral influences, family and cultural...

Political Teeth

What do Nazis have to do with your teeth? A holistic approach to oral health doesn't stop at the boundaries of our bodies (or even at the edge of our aura).  We exist in communities that are connected globally in real time and our mouths are not separate from what is...

Natural solutions for gingivitis or gum disease

What is gingivitis or gum disease? Gum disease or gingivitis covers a continuum of symptoms such as bleeding gums, gum recession and gum pockets which may or may not proceed to ginigivitis and eventually periodontis.  Left untreated the consequences can range from...

Spiritual Meanings of Teeth

Root cause vs immediate cause  The biggest difference between holistic oral health coaching and mainstream dentistry may be coaching’s consideration of the spiritual meanings of teeth.  The spiritual meanings of teeth can help you to identify the root cause of your...

Metaphysical teeth: Self-help strategies for oral health

Metaphysics is the study of abstract ideas, concepts and systems.  There is more to teeth and gums than their existence as physical objects within our bodies. Economics, aesthetics, psychology, spirituality, meridians, family stories and cultural myths are just a few...

Horse teeth vs human teeth

This is a guest post written by my good friend Trisha Wren from Equine Energetics. If you don’t have a horse, or haven’t spent much time around them, you may not have given much thought to their teeth and how they differ from human teeth. There’s the obvious of course...

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Root Cause is the Netflix documentary stirring up root canal concerns I had to write this Root Cause review because root canals loom big in my life. I’ve had six root canals in five teeth, I still have three in situ. Their origins are, without exception, memorably...

How long does it take to remineralize cavities?

How long does it take to remineralise cavities?    How long it takes to remineralise cavities, reverse decay or regrow receding gums depends on three factors. Your symptoms, how severe they are and how long you've had them for How wholeheartedly you are able to...

A simple guide to online coaching

Any timezone, any place A consultation with the Holistic Tooth Fairy is nothing like going to the dentist! It's easy, empowering and even fun! All my consultations are done in online video calls which means that you can work with me no matter what country or what time...

Register now to watch the

Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording

on how to maintain oral health at home

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