Holistic dentists: Beyond daily flossing


Brushing? Check. Flossing? Check. Twice-yearly cleanings? Check and check. You may think you've got good oral health in the bag, but an article in Whole Living may make you think again.

The magazine takes a look at holistic dentists, practitioners who view the mouth as "a barometer of the body's overall health." Holistic dentists treat all the usual problems, but they also look at inflamed gums and infected teeth as part of broader health problems, and they prescribe healthful diet, sleep and exercise alongside mercury-free fillings.

Not sure you're ready to switch to the holistic approach? Whole Living offers "unorthodox" oral health tips to add to your dental hygiene: Brush twice a day with a soft bristle brush. Choose a toothpaste free of fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate. Eat alkaline foods such as beans, fruits, and greens.

Rinse your mouth with warm sea-salt water and a few drops of clove or mint oil. Clean gums with an oral irrigator. Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Absent from the list: daily flossing.