Have Healthier Teeth & Gums by Following These 5 Wellness Points!

Wishing for a healthier mouth in 2017? Want to put an end to gum disease, cavities, and other oral health issues? Take control of your own oral health. You can achieve Ultimate Oral Health this year by understanding these 5 Oral Wellness Points.

5 Oral Wellness Points

  1. Bacteria Transfer
  2. Eating Causes Acidity
  3. Saliva is Your Best Friend
  4. The Mouth’s Nightmare
  5. Mouth Health  Body Health

Bacteria Transfer
Mouth bacteria are both good and bad. There are substantially more good ones than bad, but the bad ones cause big problems like cavities and gum disease – so they are not welcome visitors in our mouths. These bacteria – good or bad – do not just stay on teeth, they can travel and reach places like our toothbrush bristles. This is why it is vital to clean your toothbrush as often as possible – ideally every day. Also get a new brush as often as possible, especially if you have cavities or are fighting gum disease.

The great news for families and friends is that when your mouth is healthy – you will be sharing healthy bacteria with the people you love. Early childhood is a time when the mouth bacterial composition is designed, and the input from family is very important in this process. Parents can clean their mouth health and feed good bacteria by consuming small amounts of xylitol at the end of every meal. Baby teeth can also be cleaned with a small amount of xylitol, rubbed or wiped over teeth.

Eating Causes Acidity
Every time we eat we can almost assume that acids are generated in our mouths. There are a few exemptions to this, but most foods contain natural or added sugars, carbohydrates or some form of acid. Organic, healthy foods can be as damaging as processed foods for teeth. Green smoothies often rate as some of the most damaging for teeth since kale and spinach contain oxalic acids which can destroy tooth enamel.

Acidity pulls minerals from teeth and also promotes the growth of unhealthy mouth bacteria. The longer the mouth remains acidic, the more damage is caused. Waiting for an hour before cleaning your teeth is allowing damage for too long each day. Eating a little xylitol mint or piece of pure xylitol gum after every meal, snack or drink will take away mouth acidity and also help to mineralize teeth and repair any defects.

[Read more about acidity and your teeth]

Saliva is Your Best Friend
Today there are a number of expensive “re-mineralizing” pastes and gels sold to repair soft, weak or sensitive teeth. Your own saliva contains the ideal mix of minerals and is far better than these artificial products for this job of mineralizing teeth. The problem is that minerals will only go into teeth when the mouth is at a specific and alkaline pH of around 7.4. Fortunately xylitol generates a flow of alkaline saliva in most mouths to bring it to this pH.

When saliva interacts with the surface of teeth, it will help the teeth to harden and become smoother and stronger. It’s important to give your teeth enough time to interact with saliva. Constant snacking and sipping is detrimental to this process and is the reason many people experience sensitive teeth. Saliva quality varies throughout the day and mid afternoon is the ideal time to stop eating and drinking and allow your teeth time to interact with your own natural saliva.

The Mouth’s Nightmare
The most difficult time for our mouth health is while we are sleeping. The mouth automatically becomes drier and our saliva more acidic – two conditions that wreck havoc on our teeth and gums. This is why it is so important to prepare our teeth before we go to sleep, helping them to overcome the difficulties of the hours while we are asleep. It’s no use thinking that you can clean your teeth in the morning and make up for ignoring them at night: it just doesn’t work that way.

It’s vital to clean and protect your teeth before going to sleep each night. Many products today are too acidic for mouth health, especially all the products made to whiten or control plaque in the mouth. Many toothpastes are equally poorly designed for the care that teeth need during the night.

My Complete Mouth Care System was designed specifically to care for teeth and protect them during the night. In fact, it does its job so well, your teeth may be stronger, shinier and look better in the morning than they did when you went to bed!

[Download my free “how to” guide for my Complete Mouth Care System]

Mouth Health  Body Health
Many studies point to various connections between mouth and body health. Body health also affects mouth health in a number of ways. Diet and good nutrition is vital if you are trying to correct a problem in your mouth, and I often talk with clients about their digestive health and the need to consider a good vitamin and mineral supplement in addition to a good digestive probiotic supplement.

The ideal time to develop mouth health is during the early years of childhood. In many countries xylitol is given to preschool children as xylitol candies during the school day. This has been a public health measure in Finland for about 50 years to prevent cavities, and prepare the mouths of children before the eruption of adult teeth. Healthy adult teeth require less treatment, no sealants and less maintenance care. Healthy teeth and gums will promote better general health and hopefully allow us all to live longer, healthier lives.

Xylitol for Seniors: Keeping Teeth Young and Ageless

iStock_000019825373LargeXylitol isn’t just for young people! Many seniors accept dental problems, thinking they simply happen as teeth age.

Xylitol helps to keep teeth young and ageless – by preventing damage caused by plaque, mouth acidity or dry mouth. Xylitol can help protect the oral health of denture wearers– by protecting the mouth and lips from infections like thrush, oral sores or angular cheilitis.

Thousands of studies on xylitol confirm wide-ranging general health benefits for patients with diabetes, hormone imbalance, osteoporosis, cavities, gum disease, ear infections, sinus infections or allergies. Xylitol will help seniors protect themselves from the spread of dental infection that happen when they move from independent living into group or community environments.

Beware the confusion between xylitol and other sweeteners with similar sounding names! Sorbitol is never recommended for oral health yet it is often mixed into products that claim to be made with xylitol. Sorbitol causes gastric discomfort in very small amounts. Studies show that even young children tolerate xylitol well and that introducing it slowly is best –starting with a few grams per day – divided into half -gram or one-gram amounts – ideally enjoyed after meals.

Xylitol gum and mints are familiar to many, but it is also possible to use xylitol effectively in its granular, crystalline form. A few crystals can be eaten directly from a spoon or sprinkled onto fruits as an ending to a meal. Crystals may be dissolved in water to sip during the day or night to help keep gums healthy, and this may be an ideal way for a denture wearer to enjoy some xylitol. Dissolving xylitol in water is not as effective as eating mints or gum if you want a method to strengthen your teeth or protect you from the build up of plaque or calculus .

Are Cavities About Zip Code?

fluoride in drinking waterMy book, Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye, was written when Dr. Richard Carmona was Surgeon General of the United States. Dr. Carmona was concerned about the state of oral health in America and he graciously gave my book a glowing testimonial and his personal support. In chapter eight I explain why “community” water fluoridation (adding fluoride to drinking water) is so different from the use of a well-formulated fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse. Some fluoride in oral products can have a beneficial effect on the outside of teeth – but then we spit it out.

Children with good teeth do not need fluoride. Young children are in the most danger from “fluorosis” – something that happens to enamel when fluoride in drinking water is ingested. It can create voids in tooth enamel that are seen as brown or chalky white spots in the enamel. More important is the concern that drinking fluoride can harm a young child’s thyroid. I believe this may be a great risk for young girls, potentially impacting their fertility as adults.

Fluoride cannot prevent cavities, although it can help repair already-damaged teeth. Fluoride is like a “pill” to “fix” but it does nothing to prevent the “illness” of cavities. If you need a “fix” then sodium fluoride appears to be the safest topical fluoride, and a tube of Crest Cavity Protection Paste at WallMart costs $2/ tube for a year’s supply! apply to the damaged tooth and then spit it out!

Cavities are caused by harmful bacteria – and these are easy to eliminate from a baby’s mouth with a few xylitol crystals wiped on erupting teeth daily. Xylitol feeds healthy bacteria in a baby’s, toddler’s or adult’s mouth. Once healthy bacteria gain a foot-hold, they protect teeth from plaque and this will prevent cavities.

Remember these important facts:

1. Cavity “disease” is  a completely preventable bacterial disease.
2. Cavities are not genetic. Harmful bacteria travel from mouth to mouth by kissing and sharing food and utensils.
3. Fluoride has no effect on cavity-causing bacteria and does not prevent unhealthy germs from spreading to friends and family, and potentially building plaque to damage teeth and gums.
4. Fluoride can help rebuild damaged teeth as a “fix” – but fluoride is not a solution for plaque or plaque’s health-damaging effect.
5. Studies show daily xylitol eradicates 98% of plaque from teeth.
6. When baby teeth are “cleaned” with xylitol, healthy bacteria become a barrier – offering long-term protection to erupting teeth.
7. The Center For Disease Control (CDC) self-reports fluoridation as “one of the greatest .. achievements of the 21st Century”. They completely ignore the fears and dangers of fluoride consumption.

Our current US Surgeon General appears to take the ADA’s traditional position on drinking fluoride. Notice when you listen to Dr. Murthy’s video that he never says “fluoride PREVENTS cavities”. The truth is fluoride can only “fix” existing weakness (to reduce the prevalence and severity of cavities – it does nothing to eliminate plaque or prevent infection – which continues). Listen as he infers poor people have worse teeth because of their zip code. Remember thyroid health, fertility effects in girls, and fluoride’s lack of effect on plaque, are never mentioned.

Here is the You Tube Video of US Surgeon General, Dr Vivek H Murthy on water fluoridation:

Our Priorities in Preventing Cavities

Preschool_in_a_CircleWe agree about the need to prevent cavities, but how much more important is it to prevent cavities in children? Perhaps one of the most important groups to target with prevention are children with disabilities – those with compromised health or physical disabilities. Included in this group should be kids who are adopted and or who live in foster care. These children often have special social needs and should not have to endure additional burdens from painful cavities.

About half a million children in America live in foster care and a recent report indicates many of these children do not visit a doctor or dentist regularly. The error of the report is that it equates a lack of visiting to resultant health problems. The conclusion of the report is that health care providers must refer more children for dental and medical care. This will not end their problems – since no dentist in the world can stop dental disease.

Far more important, but less politically correct, is the idea of teaching families who welcome adopted or foster children into their homes, how to prevent cavities with xylitol. If they simply wipe erupting teeth with xylitol granules or eat a few delicious mints or gum each day at the end of meals, they can reduce the incidence of cavities by 98%.

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Turku sugar studies. V. Final report on the effect of sucrose, fructose and xylitol diets on the caries incidence in man. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/795260

Global Dental Health

A number of my friends are dental missionaries and visit countries where problems from dental disease are intense. They see adults with many lost teeth and visible tooth damage that can be overwhelming. These dentists provide emergency extractions and care, but wish they could offer long-term help. Some take toothbrushes while others teach nurses to apply fluoride varnish. Any concept must be simple and sustainable since complicated or costly programs will not continue after the team leaves. All this effort is admirable, but we have a gigantic problem, and need ideas that will work for every community around the globe.

American Teeth

Awful statistics that tell us that here the U.S., there is an epidemic of decay in preschool children and 90% of older adults have decayed, missing, or filled teeth. Of course we usually don’t see these problems because they are masked by skillful dentistry. Imagine if we took off the veneers, crowns, fillings, bridges, implants and dentures. We would be shocked by the horrific damage this progressive disease can cause in sixty years. This is not just a problem for distant countries, but something we must all consider. I believe 5 simple steps can help children grow up cavity free, anywhere on the globe.

No More Cavities

This preventive strategy is split into 3 categories. Each will make a difference, but when used in harmony will give greater results.  The concept is to prevent initial transmission of infection, promote healthy bacteria to protect teeth, and apply topical fluoride to strengthen new erupting adult teeth.

Prevent transmission:

1) Prevent mother-child transfer of cavity bacteria

2) Limit infection from toothbrushes or promote other methods of care

Promote healthy bacteria with xylitol:

3) As teeth erupt

4) During preschool years

Apply fluoride varnish:

5) On erupting permanent molars

 

1. Prevent Mother-Child Transfer of Cavity Bacteria

Regular use of xylitol reduces harmful bacteria and cultivates healthier ones in the mouth. Mothers are usually the carriers of dental infection that transfers from their mouth to their baby’s teeth. Studies show that mothers who consume 5 grams of xylitol daily, during the first years of their baby’s life (as baby teeth erupt) will reduce the chance of decay in their child’s teeth by 80%.

2. Limit infection from toothbrushes by promoting other methods of care

Toothbrushes are infected by a single use, and dirty toothbrushes spread infection. Brushing adult teeth can improve gum health, but not if brushes are infected. Let’s promote brush hygiene and, when appropriate, consider locally available tools, like chew sticks. The Miswak is recognized in many parts of the world as an effective tooth-cleaning device. This chew stick contains fluoride, silica, and resins to help teeth. A chew stick can massage gums and be discarded, or the end of the stick cut off to prevent re-infection at the next use.

3. Promote healthy bacteria as teeth erupt – with xylitol

A pound of xylitol is relatively inexpensive and these granules can be dissolved in water to wipe on erupting baby teeth. Studies show this can lower decay by 90%. This form of prevention is most effective before baby molars erupt (at 18 months). Xylitol promotes good bacteria in molar grooves, where they become reservoirs of bacteria to dominate the mouth. Children with healthy baby molars are more likely to have healthy adult molars.

4. Promote healthy bacteria during preschool years – with xylitol

Regular use of xylitol will help promote healthy bacteria in a child’s mouth. As children eat xylitol candies, like Zellie’s Polar Bears, they ensure their mouths have healthy bacteria before adult teeth erupt during Kindergarten years.

5. Apply fluoride varnish on erupting permanent molars 

Fluoride is last on this list because it has no power to adjust or promote healthy bacteria. Topical fluoride can, however, help strengthen enamel. Even healthy adult molars are soft as they erupt, and at risk for cavities. To give protection, a coat of fluoride varnish will encourage minerals to harden new molar teeth.

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Want to learn more about oral health? Click here to sign-up for our monthly e-guide!

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Download our latest guidebooks for Ultimate Oral Health:

Zellies Xylitol Booklet Cover     Zellies CMCS Booklet

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For more information on oral health and xylitol, please visit all of Dr. Ellie’s web-sites:


Zellies.com – learn more & order Zellies Xylitol Mints, Gum and Candies
Dr. Ellie.com – a great resource for learning more about oral health & Dr. Ellie
Dr. E Oral Health Coaching – articles, resources and videos to help you learn more

Join the conversation online on the Zellies Facebook page!

Changing Viewpoints

shoe-fitting fluoroscopeWhen I was a child there were X-ray machines in shoe stores. As we were fitted for a pair of shoes it was customary to stand in a machine so the store clerk could take an X ray and check your toes had adequate room to grow. There was no protection from the X rays and because my father had bad feet, he always insisted I had “pictures taken” to avoid ill-fitting shoes. I tell the story to illustrate how an idea that was lovingly embraced 50 years ago, seems shocking today. I believe we will look at sealants in a similar light, wondering why we exposed our children to plastics and BPA.

My goal is to help patients enjoy ultimate oral health and avoid unnecessary treatments. People are usually amazed how easy it is to prevent, and even reverse cavities. They understand probiotics are good for gut health, so it makes sense that good bacteria are necessary for mouth health. The advantage in avoiding fillings is that pristine teeth are preserved. Once a tooth is filled, even with a small filling, its strength is compromised and it has a greater chance of needing repairs or being damaged in the future.

I recently consulted with a lady who was told by her dentist she had a small hole (about the width of a needle) in a back molar. It was so small the dentist needed his magnifying glasses to see it and said there was no decay, and it wasn’t deep. He put a composite filling in the tooth and suggested similar treatment for two other molars with deep grooves that he said could turn into cavities. When the patient tried to ask questions, her dentist “brushed her off”. Her concerns were why, if the tiny hole wasn’t a cavity or decayed, did it need a filling? The patient regrets the treatment and asked me if she should have the fillings removed. My reply was that many dentists think cracks or fissures are problems. In a healthy mouth, molar grooves can actually be useful footholds for good bacteria and reservoirs of probiotics that protect the mouth.

I did not recommend she remove the fillings, but explained this was a good learning experience. I suggested the next time her dentist wants to fill a tooth (providing it is not an emergency) she gets up from the chair and discusses why, postponing any decision to consider pros or cons. Only agree to treatment when you are eye to eye with your dentist, and never be afraid to ask for time to resolve the problem. Ideally you want re-evaluation in a few months to determine if treatment is still necessary. Frequently tooth and gum problems can be reversed with Zellie’s products and the Complete Mouth Care System. Your dentist may be amazed, particularly if he or she has not witnessed natural healing before. Wishing everyone happy dental visits!

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Want to learn more about oral health? Click here to sign-up for our monthly e-guide!

——

Download our latest guidebooks for Ultimate Oral Health:

Zellies Xylitol Booklet Cover     Zellies CMCS Booklet

——

For more information on oral health and xylitol, please visit all of Dr. Ellie’s web-sites:


Zellies.com – learn more & order Zellies Xylitol Mints, Gum and Candies
Dr. Ellie.com – a great resource for learning more about oral health & Dr. Ellie
Dr. E Oral Health Coaching – articles, resources and videos to help you learn more

Join the conversation online on the Zellies Facebook page!

Ugh! Your Dentist Says You Have a New Cavity!

Ugh! Your Dentist Says You Have a New Cavity!Decay never targets one tooth. Cavity-forming germs live all over the mouth and even in saliva. If you have recently had a cavity, or been told you have one, it means cavity-forming germs are attacking every surface of every tooth, all day, every day (and particularly at night). These germs do not go away by themselves and worse yet, you can kiss them to others – especially to babies and kids in your family.

The really bad news is that a “filling” does nothing to get rid of these germs. In fact, they will attack the new filling, and probably erode its edges within a couple of years (this is called recurrent caries by your dentist).

Fight Back

If you want to stop a cavity or reverse one, you must do more than brush and floss. You need to:

  1. Eradicate cavity-forming germs
  2. Eat and drink well
  3. Protect your teeth from acidity
  4. Use products that strengthen enamel
  5. Help teeth re-build themselves
  6. Use an oral care system that makes teeth more acid-resistant
  7. Know what may put you at greater risk

1. Eradicate Cavity Germs

The only way to naturally eradicate cavity-forming germs is with xylitol. You only need 1-2 teaspoons a day (in small doses), but you need xylitol at opportune times –when cavity bacteria multiply. Mouth germs flourish after meals or when your mouth is dry or acidic. Xylitol can eradicate 92% of cavity-forming germs in an effective, progressive way.

2. Eat and Drink Well

I focus a lot on the fact that teeth need correct care and protection, but it’s also important to remember diet is important. Try to limit your total intake of sugary foods and drinks. I suggest keeping drinks to meal times as much as possible and avoid sipping on drinks for extended period of time. Select snacks that are tooth friendly, like cheese, nuts, or vegetables. You will feel better on a healthier diet, and some people benefit from additional whole-food vitamin supplements and digestive probiotics for a few months – at least as they begin or change to healthier life habits!

3. Protect Teeth from Acidity

Acidity weakens teeth by dissolving minerals out of them. This process is usually at its peak after eating, snacking, or after drinks that are acidic or contain sugar.  When teeth are sufficiently damaged, they will crumble into holes – known as cavities. The simplest way to protect teeth from acidic damage is to eat Zellies Mints or Gum after every meal, snack, or drink.

4. Use Products that Strengthen Teeth

It is possible to naturally repair a tooth. Minerals are easily eroded out of a tooth, but there is also a way for them to be replaced back again. Re-mineralization is the name for the “putting back of minerals” into a tooth. The sooner you begin to re-mineralize a cavity, the quicker it will reverse. If a cavity is ignored it becomes more difficult to stop, because bacteria travel deeper into the tooth. Xylitol and the correct use of fluoride can strengthen and re-mineralize teeth.

5. Help Teeth Re-build Themselves

Saliva in a healthy mouth is super-saturated with the exact minerals necessary to repair teeth. It’s good to let teeth interact with saliva, but the quality of our saliva varies. Saliva is diluted when you sip liquids and stress, hormones, pregnancy, medications and a variety of health problems affect its mineral content. Saliva is least helpful when we are sleeping at night, and is at its maximum capability to mineralize teeth in the afternoon. Try eating a healthy lunch, followed by some Zellies, and then give your teeth a few hours when you do not eat or drink during the afternoon.

6. Use an Oral Care System that makes Teeth More Acid-Resistant

Certain products can speed up the transfer of minerals from saliva to enamel. Used in a specific way, these products can help the new enamel become stronger and more resistant to acidic damage. We recommend Zellies and the Complete Mouth Care System.

7. Know What May Put You at Greater Risk

Some people have a dry mouth or saliva problems – often damage from radiation, mediations, chemotherapy, or disease. These people have no saliva to protect or repair their teeth. It is crazy to think that in the past doctors recommended people with a dry mouth suck lemon candies – which would be the worst thing for their teeth! Xylitol can greatly help a dry mouth and research shows that eating xylitol mints can reduce the risk of tooth decay by 40%.

Zellies are important for oral health – because they help in so many ways:

  1. Xylitol eliminates cavity-forming bacteria
  2. Xylitol helps protect teeth from acidic damage (especially when used after meals and drinks or when your mouth is dry)
  3. Xylitol helps re-build enamel and works in harmony with fluoride to strengthen and re-mineralize teeth
  4. Xylitol stimulates healthy saliva
  5. Xylitol is protective help for a dry mouth
  6. Xylitol makes it easier to clean teeth by loosening plaque

——

Want to learn more about oral health? Click here to sign-up for our monthly e-guide!

——

Download our latest guidebooks for Ultimate Oral Health:

Zellies Xylitol Booklet CoverZellies CMCS Booklet

——

For more information on oral health and xylitol, please visit all of Dr. Ellie’s web-sites:


Zellies.com – learn more & order your Zellies Xylitol & the Complete Mouth Care System
Dr. Ellie.com – a great resource for learning more about oral health & Dr. Ellie
Dr. E Oral Health Coaching – articles, resources and videos to help you learn more

Join the conversation online on the Zellies Facebook page!

Q&A with Dr. Ellie: Looking for Data

Q&A Bubbles
Every month Dr. Ellie Phillips will answer your oral health questions as part of the Ultimate Oral Health Guide.
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Q:

Hello Dr. Phillips,

I’ve purchased the parts to your Complete Mouth Care System and have presented the program to my husband.  He is interested in what type of data you have assembled to support the use of your system.  Do you have actual data – control and experimental groups, etc?  

Sincerely, S.C

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A:

Hi S. C,

The answer to your question is in my book Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye. In the book I describe how I became interested in finding a way to control dental disease. The book describes the science of cavities and gum disease and explains why people have dental problems. Cavities and gum disease don’t suddenly or mysteriously “happen”. It’s not natural for teeth to weaken, darken, die, or fall out. There are specific risk factors that make it more likely for people to develop cavities or gum disease, and there are ways to minimize, stop, and even reverse this damage, before it ruins your oral health.

Once you understand how risk factors impact teeth, you understand why the biochemistry of my system works. I discovered the effectiveness of this routine in Continue reading “Q&A with Dr. Ellie: Looking for Data”

Pediatric Sedation & Early Childhood Caries

Pediatric sedation

Pediatric sedation is a dental procedure that is rapidly becoming more common in practices around the country. Some dentists think it’s because there are more young children showing up with decay, others say it’s because we have an ADA push to get children to the dentist by their first birthday. Personally, I think both are contributing factors, but I also believe there are an increasing number of Pediatric Dentists who recommend sedation as indisputable treatment for cavities in toddler baby teeth.

It’s a fact that the US currently has an out-of-control epidemic of decay in children’s teeth, and many kids have 4 or more cavities before the age of 2. This kind of disease in young children is known as Early Childhood Caries (ECC). The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recognizes early childhood tooth decay as the #1 chronic childhood disease, affecting over 6 million American children under the age of 6. This is a shocking statistic for anyone who knows that dental disease is completely preventable and how xylitol, in a few delicious Zellie Bears, could eliminate 98% of the germs responsible for these cavities. (learn more about how to use xylitol to prevent dental disease by reading our e-booklet: Zellies Xylitol for Ultimate Oral Health)

A scary dental visit

2115906I consult with many parents who call me in a state of desperation after a scary dental visit where numerous cavities have been diagnosed in their toddler’s tiny teeth. Everyone understands that doing traditional fillings or placing crowns on these teeth would be virtually impossible without strapping the child to the chair (which does happen in some offices). In light of this, it seems to make sense that the humane recommendation is to work under a general anesthetic in a hospital, or use in-office sedation. Most of the parents with whom I consult are distraught and ask me if there is an alternative to avoid such a serious event, and can they fix these teeth naturally?

Obviously there are cases where sedation or anesthesia is the best idea and warranted, but I believe many cases could be treated less completely, or not at all, providing the disease is stopped and preventive advice is implemented. Ozone therapy may be an option, the use of glass ionomer as a temporary cement, or simply the application of xylitol and fluoride products in a good home regimen. I advise patients that my benchmark for this is “if this were my grandchild….” In almost every case I have suggested families wait and have no treatment done, returning for evaluation in a month or two Continue reading “Pediatric Sedation & Early Childhood Caries”