Dental Habits Made Simple and Natural

– If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much we would have found the safest way to health. -Hippocrates

Dental habits go far beyond flossing and brushing —

In fact, many patients who floss and brush daily can still have active decay if other factors are out of balance.  Dr. Taylor has found that a patient’s overall health is often reflected in their oral health.  Practicing great nutrition, staying active, and staying emotionally healthy all bolster your oral health as well.  Regular home care by flossing and brushing, coupled with regular dental visits can also health keep your mouth healthy.

Nutrition —

A healthy, unprocessed diet affects our oral health in a number of ways; total oral sugar exposure, availability of essential nutrients, ability of our bodies to use the nutrients from our foods and oral pH.

A Preventative Dentist is aware that the foods we eat directly affect the health of our teeth.

When food is grown in nutrient rich soil it contains the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and organisms necessary for proper nutrient absorption and assimilation.  When we eat  foods that are depleted of any of these essential nutrients it is more difficult for our bodies to utilize the characteristic nutrients of the food. Eating whole foods, in their original or fermented form, free of pesticides, preservatives and other additives is the best way to acquire the nutrients needed to build and maintain a healthy mouth. When your body gets the nutrients it needs your teeth get the nutrients they need, allowing your mouth to  maintain the necessary balance for optimal oral health.

Food grown in a healthy, nutrient rich environment is a fundamental  building block for strong teeth, healthy mouths and whole body wellness.

Dr. Taylor can  help you critically review your diet and consider the impact of your diet on your oral health. He can work closely with your N.D. or other primary care physician to help you reach optimal whole body health.

A Balanced Amount of Exercise–

Regular, moderate exercise can help strengthen our our immune system.  Tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease are caused by an overgrowth and invasion of oral micro-organisms.  Potentially harmful micro-organisms (bacteria, yeast and fungi) live all over our bodies — including our mouths, therefore a healthy immune system can help prevent dental infections.  In caring for our whole-body health we want to try to find a health balance in moderate, regular excercise because too much exercise can depress the immune system leaving us more vulnerable to dental infections.

Daily Oral Hygiene —

Optimal hygiene would be to brush and floss after every meal! For many people this is not realistic, so bare minimum is to brush morning and night and floss once a day.  We recommend using toothpaste with natural ingredients and avoid those that contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS).  We also recommend the use of Xylitol  — a natural sweetener made from birch trees — to help prevent tooth decay.  This “tooth friendly”  sweetener can usually be found at your local health food store as an ingredient in toothpastes, gum, mints or plain to sweeten drinks with. Recent research confirms that  multiple small exposures to xylitol a day has a plaque-reducing effect by attracting and “starving” harmful oral micro-organisms.  Thus allowing your teeth to remineralize with less interruption.

Oral health means more that keeping bacteria at bay. It requires an overall healthy body for the proper maintenance of existing oral tissues and for the production of essential enzymes to deliver minerals to our teeth.

Dental Visits —

The real value in regular dental visits is that exams can find problems when they’re still small:  if tooth decay is caught early enough, it can be reversed without even drilling on the tooth!  If it’s advanced, less conservative treatment may be the only way of predictably restoring the compromised tooth.  Dr. Taylor can help determine how often you may need exams.  Some patients with excellent oral health require far less frequent exams than those with rampant decay.

Overall Emotional Health —

Stress and anxiety can weaken your immune system and overall health — including your oral health.  Unresolving grief, chronic stress, and “burning the candle at both ends” can all work against your oral health if left unaddressed.  Similarly, remaining healthily connected to self, others, nature, and something bigger than one’s self  contributes to emotional well being.  Sometimes something as simple as regular exercise, massage, or service to others can help a lot.  Dr. Taylor refers patients to practitioners of all walks — including those who specialize in emotional health — if he feels it can benefit their oral health.