I Got a Canary for Christmas!

canary-systemA dream came true for me this year, when due to a number of serendipitous events I ended up with a Canary for Christmas!

While our family has enjoyed a number of these heavenly songbirds as family pets over the years, this “Canary” is not an actual bird but a new technology.  Like the proverbial “canary in the coal mine”, this Canary is also used to detect subtle changes thereby preventing future problems.

The Canary System

Known as The Canary System, “it is a precise, low-powered laser based instrument that detects the presence of cracks and tooth decay before they are large enough to appear on dental x-rays.  When placed on the tooth, a low-powered, pulsating laser light is shone on the tooth during a 3 second scan.  Measuring the crystal structure of the tooth, the laser light can penetrate below the tooth surface and permit detection of tooth decay as small as 50 microns (20 times smaller than a millimeter) and as deep as 5mm from the tooth surface”.

Canary Number

Using a complex algorithm, The Canary System converts the information obtained into a Canary Number on a scale from 0 to 100.  The lower the number the healthier the enamel, the higher the number the higher suggestion of cracks and tooth decay.

There are a quite a number of evidence-based, peer-reviewed studies to support this new technology.  In fact, an independent clinical study led by Dr. Ben Amaechi at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, released on March 18, 2015, found The Canary System “to exhibit superior performance compared to bitewing radiography for the detection of proximal caries”.

To put this simply for the public; The Canary System is more accurate than check-up x-rays!  And in case you did not realize this yet, there is no radiation!

I have wanted to have this technology in my office for the last 4 years so that we are able to monitor remineralization therapy; the healing of teeth.   I do believe that our teeth are no different than any other part of the body.  Given the raw materials that they need and stopping the behavior that caused the problem in the first place, if it is not too advanced, we can reverse and repair the damage.  Now, we have an objective way to measure that healing.

I have signed-up for a webinar this afternoon to help me better understand how to use this wonderful, new technology and how I can incorporate it into my daily clinical practice.  Hopefully, as The Canary System becomes more widely used and accepted, it will become a standard of care in all dental offices.

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

Giving Up Coffee for Better Health

Young woman drinking coffee in urban cafe

I know that there are quite a number of scientific studies that support drinking coffee, and I for one, have often fallen back on them to justify my daily consumption of that ethereal cup of Joe!  Fortunately, a happenstance situation recently caused me to re-evaluate this habitual practice and to consider giving up coffee!

I typically drank one cup a day–a big cup mind you–and this, first thing in the morning, and I guess if I am honest, I have done this most of my adult life.  On special occasions though, and if I was dragging my butt mid-afternoon, then I would often have a cappuccino or a latte.  We have a wonderful Saeco machine here at home that allowed me this luxury if I felt like indulging.

Lately though, I have toyed with the idea of quitting when observing the throngs of people walking around with their oversized Starbucks in hand looking like permanent appendages.  My reaction these days is; be very afraid of what the masses are doing!  More important than this though, is that nagging feeling that anything I can’t do without on a daily basis may be vying for classification as an addictive behavior, and this really concerned me.

Some 6 weeks ago my convictions were put to the test when I contracted a bout of stomach flu gratis my granddaughter.  I could not tolerate even the smell of a cup of coffee let alone drink it and within 3 hours I had a raging headache that lasted the better part of the day.  I had heard that this is a normal reaction when a coffee drinker is deprived of his java jolt but it frightened me!

“Anything that can cause my body to react so negatively within a couple of hours of not having it can’t be good”!

I decided that day, that since I had already gone one day without coffee, it would be a good time to try a couple of weeks and see what happened.

I must admit, I did not have any expectations and I purposely tried not to look for physical changes so that I could be more objective about how my body was responding.  One cup a day… how bad could that be?

Well for me, and I always need to preface with this intro, it has made a huge difference!

I noticed immediately the first week that I had begun to dream every night!  I don’t ever remember dreaming like this my entire adult life!  I have surmised that I must be in a deeper sleep than I usually am and hence, able to not only dream, but remember them as well.  I am also happy to report that so far, they have all been good dreams… no nightmares!

I have also noticed that I am experiencing some very minor hot flashes.  These are not the debilitating ones I used to get when I was 50 and going through menopause – that by the way, stopped when I quit drinking alcohol – more like little twinges, that seem to me, to be an indication that my hormones are re-balancing.

Lastly, I am definitely sleeping better in general!  I now have full-nights where I don’t even get up to go to the bathroom!  If good sleep is as healing as they say, then I am really helping my body to rest and rejuvenate.

Do I miss my coffee… you bet I do!  Am I happy I quit… absolutely!

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

We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know: Ignaz Semmelweis

Washing hands.

Sometimes in life, science and the subsequent proof we seek lag far behind validating research (this begs a whole other discussion on funding of such today).  In support of my concerns about the dangers of fluoride and how we don’t know what we don’t know, I would like to share the tragic but compelling story of Ignaz Semmelweis. Continue reading

To Floss or Not To Floss

58986866 - young woman flossing teeth in front of mirror

Recently, a patient brought to my attention an Associated Press release that made it to the evening news, stating officials have never really researched the effectiveness of regular flossing.  She then asked me to comment on whether I think it is necessary to floss or not to floss.

While I was aware of the limited data available supporting this oral health care practice, I have personally observed, anecdotally, that the effects of some kind of in-between bacterial disruption on a daily basis really does help to reduce bleeding gums and inflammation. Continue reading

Medical Medium: The Role of Microbes in Oral Diseases

Medical Medium

I recently read Medical Medium, a new book by medical intuitive Anthony William, and it has resonated immensely with my own intuition about the role microbes may play in many diseases, including oral diseases.

According to William, the medical establishment is decades away from uncovering the truths espoused in his book, largely centering on the Epstein Barr virus.  The Epstein Barr virus belongs to the family of herpes viruses including those that cause cold sores, genital herpes, chickenpox and shingles and has been found to be responsible for mononucleosis and Sjogren’s syndromeContinue reading

5 Reasons Why I Recommend ECO-DENT DailyCare Toothpowder

Eco-DentAs a holistic registered dental hygienist, I am often asked by my patients, family and friends what “toothpaste” I recommend. In most cases I suggest that they try ECO-DENT DailyCare Toothpowder and I actually give out samples right here in my office for them to try.  There are many reasons why I recommend this toothpowder over a regular toothpaste, but here are my top 5 reasons why I choose to recommend ECO-DENT DailyCare Toothpowder.

5 Reasons Why I Recommend ECO-DENT DailyCare Toothpowder: Continue reading

3 Strategies to Improve the Oral Microbiome

Oral Microbiome

In last month’s blog, What if the Real Cause of Cavities and Gum Disease is Incorrect, I introduced my belief in the necessity of exploring and acknowledging the oral microbiome as a key to really understanding and treating oral disease.  As I continue to research and learn, I have developed 3 key strategies to help my patients improve their oral microbiome:

  1. Don’t routinely use mouthwash
  2. Eat a minimum of grains and processed carbohydrates
  3. Consider oral Probiotic supplementation

Continue reading

What If the Real Cause of Cavities and Gum Disease is Incorrect?

Dental Hygiene

My husband and I recently had dinner with friends of ours and the after-dinner discussion touched on the “apparent” fact that our ancestors had more oral disease and probably lost many of their teeth at an early age.  Obviously, they did not have the benefit of modern oral health practices such as brushing, flossing, fluoridated toothpaste and fluoridated water.

However, I had read recently that current research suggests that this may not necessarily be true.  I decided to do some research of my own to see if I could find the real cause of cavities and gum disease. Continue reading

Laughter

Dentist.

My third intention word for 2016 is LAUGHTER.

For those of you who know me personally, you may know that I am a rather serious person and am not given to an easy-going approach to life in general.  I am passionate about everything I do, and while this can be a wonderful personality trait, sometimes I know that I just need to lighten up and laugh a little!

In researching laughter I have found a multitude of studies that generally come to the same basic conclusions about the benefits of laughter:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces stress hormone levels
  • Fun abdominal workout
  • Improves cardiac health
  • Boosts T cells
  • Triggers the release of endorphins
  • Produces a general sense of well-being

Continue reading

Silence

finger on her lips. silence gesture

My second Intention Word for 2016 is SILENCE!

I did not realize how noisy this world was until I quit my job in mainstream dentistry some eight years ago and began to focus on creating silence in my life as part of my healing.

I had worked in an open-concept dental office for roughly eighteen years where the sounds of high-speed drills, ultrasonic scalers, televisions, telephones, doorbells and people talking bombarded and permeated the race-against-the-clock practice of modern dentistry were common every day noise. Continue reading