8 Tips to Reduce Your Exposure to Fluoride

8 Tips to Reduce Exposure to Fluoride

1. Get a Water Filter

A home water filter can be an affordable and effective way to remove fluoride from your tap water. However, most water filters will not effectively remove fluoride. For instance, common filters such as Brita and PUR will NOT remove fluoride. You may have to investigate a few options from sources like Pure Water Freedom or Berkey Water Filters.

2. Upgrade Your Toothpaste

Most toothpaste contains fluoride. Consider switching to a non-fluoridated alternative (which you can find at most health food stores). It is recommended especially for young children, who don’t have well developed swallowing-reflexes, as they often swallow a lot of toothpaste when brushing.

3. Avoid Preparing Food with Tap Water

When preparing food or drink such as tea, avoid using tap water. Instead use the filtered water from your water filter in tip 1.

4. Avoid Processed Food & Drink

While minimizing consumtion of processed foods and beverages is good for your overall health, it will also limit your exposure to fluoride.  Drinks like soda and juice are made from concentrate and are often manufactured with fluoridated tap water.

5. What’s in Your Wine?

If you regularly drink non-organic consider buying only organic varieties. Many pesticides may contain fluoride.  The residues of this pesticide can result in high levels of fluoride in wine or grape juice. In the case of wine, if you don’t want to spend the extra money buying organic, consider purchasing a European brand instead of a Californian brand.

6. Check Your Prescription Medications

Check to see if any prescription medicines you are taking contain fluorine. If so, ask your doctor if there are any appropriate alternatives.

7. Non-Fluoridated Anesthetic

If you are going to have surgery, ask your doctors if they can use a non-fluorinated anesthetic. Fluorinated anesthetics such as Enflurane, Isoflurane and Sevoflurane will produce high peak levels of fluoride in blood for up to 24 hours.

8. Avoid the Use of Teflon-Coated Pans for Cooking

Teflon-coated pans may increase the fluoride content of food.

I welcome your feedback. You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Until next time,

Kathleen

Could a Chinese Herb, “Galla Chinesis”, Prevent Tooth Decay?

Chinese herb to prevent tooth decay

Just this week, while reading Dr. Joe Mercola’s daily newsletter, I learned about a recent study done by Chinese researchers showing that a Chinese herb, Galla Chinesis shows great promise at preventing tooth decay.

What is Galla Chinesis?

According to lead author Xuelian Huang and his team, Galla Chinesis (also known as Chinese gall or Chinese sumac) was found to have “strong potential to prevent caries due to its antibacterial capacity and tooth mineralization benefit.”

 “Galla Chinesis water extract has been demonstrated to inhibit dental caries by favorably shifting the demineralization/remineralization balance of enamel and inhibiting the biomass and acid formation of dental biofilm”.

In layman’s terms; the herb appears to be able to inhibit the formation of bacterial plaque and its acid attack on teeth as well as making teeth stronger.

What Does This Mean for Dentistry?

Unfortunately, a commercial product containing this herb could be years in the making as the team has yet to identify the active ingredient responsible for the anticaries claim!

Having Healthier Teeth Starts with a Healthier Diet

In the meantime, please remember as Dr. Mercola so eloquently points out “your best answer is already at hand.  If you want to have healthy teeth, you must start from the inside out, and that means cleaning up your diet”.

As we head into the Christmas season with so many sugar-laden foods at our finger-tips please remember that the highly-addictive, “white death” sugar has been implicated as a major player in more than just tooth decay.  According to webmd.comEating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few hours after downing a couple of sugary drinks”.

Educating ourselves should always be the first step in understanding why we should or should not do certain things and if we know why, it helps us to own and embrace a good habit.  I know how difficult it is to say no, especially with the many tempting holiday goodies everywhere we go!  Be smart, and try to always remember the health effects of everything you put into your mouth during the holidays.

On that note; I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas season and may joy and peace be with you and yours throughout the coming New Year.

I welcome your feedback. You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Until next time,

Kathleen

IST – Interim Stabilization Therapy – Part 2

IST - Interim Stabilization Therapy

In continuing with my research regarding the long-term viability of IST, as per an extensive literature review that was completed by the Region of Peel in May of this year:

I offer the following “Key Messages” developed by the team:

  1. Interim Stabilization Therapy/Atraumatic Restorative Treatment are effective as a single surface temporary restoration for dental caries, on both primary and permanent teeth.
  2. High viscosity glass ionomer cements should be used as the material of choice for Interim Stabilization Therapy/Atraumatic Restorative Treatment.
  3. While the quality of evidence is weak in this area, the use of Interim Stabilization Therapy/Atraumatic Restorative Treatment may be beneficial in aiding with client-provider rapport and building client self-esteem.

As a public health organization, Peel Public Health (PPH) is mandated by the Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS) to provide oral health programming to applicable populations.

The OPHS was recently updated, including the Healthy Smiles Ontario Program (HSO) protocol which now includes offering IST/ART to clinically eligible, preventive service stream enrolled children and youth.

The new HSO protocol mirrors the same parameters that I must adhere to for providing IST:

  • When access to permanent restoration is not immediate or practical
  • When there are no medical contraindications
  • When the client consents to the treatment
  • When any of the following apply:
  • There is reasonable risk of further damage to the tooth structure
  • The pulp is not exposed
  • The client is in discomfort or is experiencing difficulty in eating
  • The discomfort is due to recent trauma, fracture or lost dental restoration
  • The client has not received any medical/dental advice that would contraindicate placing a temporary restoration
  • It is in the client’s best interest to proceed

Hopefully, as this therapy becomes better utilized, we will begin to compile data supporting its long term viability.

In conclusion, I applaud the commitment of our public health institutions to offer this treatment for our underserviced and disadvantaged youth, but I am truly concerned about the lack of similar care for our at-risk adult population.

Hopefully, this treatment will be seen as a viable solution for them as well!

I welcome your feedback. You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Until next time,

Kathleen

IST – Interim Stabilization Therapy

IST- Interim Stabilization Therapy King City

IST stands for Interim Stabilization Therapy.

“IST provides temporary care for decayed teeth and teeth affected by trauma, to relieve pain and reduce the risk of further damage to the tooth structure until the client can gain access to care from a dentist.”

IST was introduced by the Ontario Region First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Children’s Oral Health Initiative (COHI). In August 2010, the region’s COHI team identified the need to provide a caries control procedure similar to that of Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART), which is provided by COHI Health Canada dental therapists in all regions other than Ontario and Quebec.

What is the Difference Between IST and ART?

What differentiates IST and ART is that the IST protocol does not allow for the manual removal of decayed tooth structure, which is within the scope of practice of Dental Therapists but not Dental Hygienists. What is particularly wonderful about the IST though, is that we “are” allowed to provide a temporary filling to a broken-down tooth without using freezing or a drill!

How Does IST Shape Up as a Long-Term Solution?

After taking an Interim Stabilization Therapy course a number of years ago, I began providing these temporary fillings on an emergency basis for my patients until they were able to get to a dentist and have a proper filling done. Interestingly, many of my patients that are without dental insurance did not go to a dentist after to have the filling re-done, so I have had a chance to observe the long-term retention of my IST fillings! Since many are still in place, this has led me to do some research into this form of treatment to see how IST shapes up as a longer-term solution!

Rather than re-invent the wheel, I actually found a study done by the Region of Peel in May of this year whose Research Question was:

What is the effectiveness and recommended use of Interim Stabilization Therapy (IST)/Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART) for temporary tooth restoration?

According to the study a grey literature search was conducted that identified fourteen documents, but since I did not know what a grey literature search was I offer this Wikipedia definition before continuing:

What is Grey Literature?

Grey literature are materials and research produced by organizations outside of the traditional commercial or academic publishing and distribution channels. Common grey literature publication types include reports (annual, research, technical, project, etc.), working papers, government documents, white papers and evaluations. Organizations that produce grey literature include government departments and agencies, civil society or non-governmental organisations, academic centres and departments, and private companies and consultants.

Grey literature may be made available to the public, or distributed privately within organizations or groups, and may lack a systematic means of distribution and collection. The standard of quality, review and production of grey literature can vary considerably. Grey literature may be difficult to discover, access, and evaluate, but this can be addressed through the formulation of sound search strategies.

I will continue with my findings next month in my blog, but in the meantime, if you or someone you know has an emergency and can’t get to a dentist, please remember that we dental hygienists may also be able to help!

I welcome your feedback. You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Until next time,

Kathleen

Mouth Breathing: What’s Breath Got to do With It?

mouth breathing diagram

I have written about “mouth breathing” a number of times over the years but I have become increasingly concerned as of late as I realize that more and more of the patients that I see are breathing this way!

I have long known that there are both oral and systemic health problems that are a result of this abnormal way of breathing.  Because I consistently observe the disconnect between the dental and medical profession in this area, I have decided to become better informed about;

“What’s Breath Got to do with it?”

Continue reading

A Gift is Gone

heart in the sky - saying goodbye

It is with profound sadness that I write this July message.

While away on a summer holiday in June, I received notice that a friend and colleague passed away from cancer.

I have wrestled with whether to even write about this as I do not want to be disrespectful to the surviving family and to the memory of this great human being.  In the end, I figured if I wrote from my heart, without mentioning names, then I could share this sad news and what I am feeling with my family, friends and patients without violating privacy.  This way, those of you who knew and loved her will now know of her passing. Continue reading

Bee Propolis Reduces Tooth Sensitivity

bee propolis reduces tooth sensitivity

I am always on the lookout for more natural solutions to oral health care problems and this week I came across a study that was published in 2014 in The Journal of The Indian Society of Periodontology that concluded:

Propolis was more effective than 5% potassium nitrate in relieving dentinal hypersensitivity and had an immediate and sustained effect.

According to this study, the all-natural propolis was actually found to be “better” than the potassium nitrate.  I am very familiar with potassium nitrate as it is the most common de-sensitizing ingredient found in most over-the-counter de-sensitizing toothpastes on the market today. While it does work for most people by reducing symptoms I am concerned that it does not address the root cause of tooth sensitivity!  While I really feel that this should always be our goal; healing the tooth instead of masking the symptoms, there are times when temporary relief is the most immediate concern! Continue reading

Is Drinking Lemon Water Bad For Your Teeth?

10010433 - lemon water with fresh lemons and green plants

I have had an unusually large number of patients come in for their dental appointments lately complaining of sensitive teeth!  The first question I always ask is:  “Have you started drinking lemon water”?

While many well-meaning naturopathic doctors even recommend it to their clients instead of coffee, I am quite concerned that they have not also counseled these people on the possible side-effects of this daily habit to their teeth. Continue reading

New Study Indicates that Wi-Fi Could Increase Mercury Exposure from Dental Amalgams

23133811 - transmitter wi-fi on white background (done in 3d)

The Journal of Neuroimmunology recently published a study entitled “Effect of radiofrequency radiation from Wi-Fi devices on mercury release from amalgam restorations,”

Thankfully, I follow Sayer Ji’s, Green Med info website and because of this, became aware of the study. My good friend Karen Armstrong, who also follows Sayer, kindly sent me the link to this information as well, a sure sign that this was something I had to write about! Continue reading

World Mercury Project Announces $100,000 Reward

world mercury project

On Tuesday, February 15th 2017, a unique and unfortunately obscure press conference took place in Washington D.C. announcing the following challenge by The World Mercury Project in conjunction with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Robert De Niro:

“We hereby issue a challenge to American journalists (and others) who have been assuring the public about the safety of mercury in vaccines.  We will pay $100,000 to the first journalist, or other individual, who can point to a peer-reviewed scientific study demonstrating that thimerosal is safe in the amounts contained in vaccines currently being administered to American children and pregnant women”. Continue reading