Dental visits are the most dreaded experience for both the parents and the child, but starting your child at an early age (1 to 2) to have regular yearly visits to the dentist and initiating oral hygiene habits at home (brushing and flossing), is the best way to practice preventive oral and dental maintenance for your child. The American Dental Association says that early childhood caries is the number one chronic disease affecting young children. Therefore, it is extremely important in young developing bodies to identify and treat oral decay and disease in childhood and adolescence because there can be long term negative effects on the child’s health getting older. Sometimes, it is very difficult for parents to always recognize oral and dental problems, so in addition to frequent check-ups to the dentist, it is also very crucial to focus on preventative oral and dental care of your child’s teeth, gums and mouth to ensure positive outcomes and to prevent pain and complication in the future.

What your dentist will tell you about your child’s oral/dental health?

Most family or pediatric dentists suggest bi-yearly cleanings as a maintenance protocol for your child which includes fluoride treatments or fluoride supplements as extra protection against tooth decay. Dentists will tell you that fluoride protects the tooth enamel and can reverse low levels of tooth decay and keep new cavities from forming. In the case of tooth decay, cavities are most often filled with composite (“white”) fillings but occasionally mercury amalgams are used.  Mercury amalgams may contain as much as 50% mercury, but mercury amalgams are still accepted by the ADA (American Dental Association) as safe.  The ADA has stated that there is insufficient evidence to show mercury release from a dental amalgam. Your child’s dentist may also apply sealants, a composite protective coating, to protect your child’s back molars from decay. Pediatric dentists feel that flossing is important because it removes food and plaque lodged in between the teeth.  Gingivitis is a gum disease that can also affect children and your child’s dentist will tell you that yearly gum exams and brushing and flossing your child’s teeth will prevent that problem.

If your child is an infant, a pediatric dentist may suggest an infant oral health exam which includes a risk assessment for caries in the mother and the child. In addition, pediatric dentists warn against giving babies and toddler’s sippy cups and bottles filled with sugary juice, soda or other sweet liquids. They will also mention that thumb sucking, once the permanent teeth are in, may cause dental or speech problems. Your child’s dentist may also tell you the teeth grinding or “bruxism” is usually not harmful and will eventually stop when the permanent molars come through.

The dentist will be focused on keeping your child’s teeth, gums and mouth healthy with dental maintenance checkups and oral cleanings.

Another way to think about oral/dental health:

Dr. Weston A. Price DDS wrote in his book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” about his discovery that cultures with the best dental health were always synonymous with excellent overall physical and nutritional health and a healthy diet and way of life. So what is most important for parents to know and to do? Find a biological dentist or a dentist trained in integrative/holistic health. Biological dentists apply a ‘whole body’ approach to oral health. A biological dentist knows that there is a symbiotic relationship between your child’s physical health and immune system and what is going on with your child’s teeth, gums and mouth. Oral and dental practices should not be isolated from the total body health and the state of your child’s immune system. Any mercury in your child’s mouth may negatively impact your child’s neurological functioning in addition to a large array of  symptoms that can be caused by mercury exposure. Biological dentists also understand that decay, injuries, infections or other imbalances in your mouth are closely tied to imbalances in other parts of the body. Therefore, a biological dentist will stress the importance of a healthy diet, including nutritional supplements, using environmentally safe products at home and following safe dental practices. Here are some common dental practices of a biological dentist that will can a difference in your child’s overall health and well-being:

Biological Dentists:

  • will not use mercury amalgam fillings because of toxic exposure of mercury affecting neurodevelopment of a child; instead will use porcelain fillings.
  • will not use fluoride because of its neurotoxicity.
  • will not put sealants which are made from hormone disrupting Bisphenol A (BPA) in a child’s mouth.
  • are very conservative with their drilling practices and avoid crowns on a cavity by using inlays or onlays.
  • will use digital x-rays sparingly due to the rise in brain tumors from dental x-rays (for more information, see research of Elizabeth Claus PhD, MD of Yale University).
  • will test patients first with applied kinesiology, blood serum or darkfield microscopy and be mindful of the child’s health status and medical history to select the most appropriate filling materials.
  • will use natural alternatives to antibiotics whenever possible including: homeopathy, vitamin C, goldenseal, Echinacea, xylitol, stevia, ozone and other natural antimicrobial treatments.
  • will use infrared devices for healing after surgery to speed up the healing and reduce discomfort and pain.
  • will not recommend extracting wisdom teeth unless they are inflamed and causing a problem for the child.
  • will try to avoid root canals by using homeopathy, herbs, ozone and other natural remedies to fight tooth abscesses.
  • may tell you that teeth grinding or bruxism may be due to parasites (and can often be treated with homeopathic remedies such as Cina).
  • will tell you that teeth decay, gingivitis and plaque have to with the child’s diet, unhealthy blood cells and level of toxicity in the body so that it may be necessary to test for heavy metals, yeast overgrowth, parasites and other pathogens that would be compromising oxygen in the child’s cells and leading to the onset of gum disease and tooth decay.
  • will tell you that every tooth is connected to a meridian organ as seen in the Acumeridian tooth organ relationship found in a traditional Chinese meridian organs chart.
  • may remove mercury amalgams appropriately and safely with ozone therapy and a dental dam to ensure that the patient does not risk any further mercury toxicity.
  • will tell you that a mother’s microbiome can affect her infant and probiotics should be given to help restore good microbial balance.
  • may use a darkfield microscopy to test saliva in the mouth for parasites.
  • may recommend and use non-abrasive natural toothpastes, natural mouthwash, dental floss, other dental hygiene products.
  • may recommend specific supplements to improve oral and dental conditions.

Oral/dental checklist to start:

  • Make dietary changes. Eat whole foods; buy organic. Remove all GMO, fast and processed foods and those with colors, artificial ingredients, preservatives, phenols, salicylates and inflammatory foods such as casein, gluten, soy. Strictly limit sugars, salt, and white refined carbohydrates. Join the Feingold Association to learn more.
  • Include plenty of good quality fats, such as coconut and olive oil, avocados, wild salmon, organic chicken and turkey, ghee, eggs, etc. plus essential fatty acids.
  • Heal the gut with GAPS, PALEO, or (GF/CF) Gluten Free/Casein Free, Body Ecology Diet, Modified Atkins Diet (replaces the Ketogenic Diet) are all possible diets depending on the needs of the child.
  • Clean up your environment. Remove animals (both live and stuffed!), carpets. Use non-toxic cleaners, building materials. Green your home!
  • Ask your pediatrician to run some laboratory tests that give information about possible food sensitivities and allergies, Test for Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) IgG,IgA,IgE and IgM. Other testing could show deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, bacterial overgrowth and gluten and casein sensitivities.
  • Use homeopathy specific for oral/dental (arnica for trauma, hypericum for pain, aconite for fear, belladonna and silica for abscesses, chamomilla for teething and irritability, hepar sulphur for pus, and nux vomica for swollen gums), cell tissue salts such as calcarea fluorica to improve tooth enamel, ferrum phos for bleeding can be effective as well. Sequential Homeopathy can also be specific for oral/dental symptoms if needed.
  • Add fermented foods and probiotics daily to keep the gastrointestinal system and microbiome healthy and strong which in turn will keep the immune system strong. Eat keifer yogurts and fermented vegetables, umeboshi plums(very alkalizing) and miso soup. Some good probiotics are VSL#3, Gut Pro, Dr. Ohirra’s Live Cultured Probiotics, Garden of Life, and Culturelle.
  • Use herbs, essential oils and natural supplements such as propolis, myrrh, coconut oil, tea tree oil, neem, bloodroot, goldenseal, Echinacea, red clover, aloe vera, colloidal silver, white willow bark, thyme, lavender, peppermint, clove oil, xylitol, stevia, elderberry, witch hazel, fennel, anise, hydrogen peroxide, salt, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, CoQ10, grape seed extract, turmeric, cucumin, and folinic acid .
  • Digestive Enzymes such as betaine hydrochloric acid, Vitalzyme Complete with DPPIV for gluten and casein intolerances, proteolytic enzyme, BiCarb, bromelain and papaya
  • Take Vitamin D3, Vitamin C and sulphur – N’acetylcysteine (NAC) (sulphur) helps with detoxification process and healing of the G.I. tract, MSM transdermal cream and Epsom Salt Bath.
  • See a well-trained acupuncturist to help treat dental pain and inflammation. 
  • See a NAET or Bioset practitioner for an allergy elimination treatment to eliminate food allergies.
  • Ionic foot baths can help detox unwanted pathogens and are easy to do with children

If you’ve addressed these issues and are still dealing oral/dental:

  • Test OAT (Organic Acid Test) by Great Plains Laboratory for yeast overgrowth and Candida, oxalates, and other microbial infections
  • NutrEval by Genova Diagnostics Labs covers the following areas: malabsorption & dysbiosis; cellular energy & mitochondrial metabolism; neurotransmitter metabolism; vitamin deficiencies; and toxin exposure & detoxification need.
  • Comprehensive Stool Analysis by Genova Diagnostic Labs to identify malabsorption, maldigestion, altered G.I. Function, bacterial/fungal overgrowth and chronic dysbiosis
  • Homeopathic or Naturopathic physicians can treat oral and dental issues naturally so that the child’s immune, sensory, neurological and nervous systems develop without being compromised.

Still looking for answers? 

Visit the Epidemic Answers Provider Directory to find a practitioner near you.

For further references:

Breiner, Mark. Whole-Body Dentistry: A Complete Guide to Understanding the Impact of Dentistry on Total Health. 2011