As a holistic dentist emphasizing preventive dentistry, Dr. Kim firmly believe that prevention is the best dentistry ‘treatment’ for any condition. With this preventive mindset Dr. Kim is always looking at system wide problems which may cause serious future issues. People with a correctly functioning chewing system tend to have better and stronger teeth long term than those with improperly functioning systems. If a potential bite system problem is noted early, then braces can do wonderful things to prevent many future dental problems.
The types of bacteria that are present in the mouth can greatly affect somebody’s resistance to cavities. If lots of acid producing bacteria are present then every meal will produce lots of acid which can lead to more cavities, even with brushing and flossing. There are some types of bacteria that will also be very aggressive in causing serious gum disease. We can try to influence the types of bacteria present in our mouths with special dentistry testing and treatments. The benefits of lowering the acidic type bacteria should result in a healthier and cavity resistant mouth. See the link to Carifree products and a new way to look at decay.
As a biological dentist, I understand that many people want alternatives to fluoride toothpaste and rinses. Luckily there are many products now to help those looking to minimize controversial substances in our products. Look for xylitol based products which help inhibit the acidic bacteria from reproducing so heavy use of xylitol products throughout the day should be helpful. That is where xylitol candies and gum can come in handy to boost the number of times the teeth get xylitol exposure. Xylitol throughout the day can help minimize the acidic bacteria. A technique gaining in popularity for preventive dentistry is oil pulling which some research suggest may be helpful for reducing harmful bacteria levels.
Ozone gas is oxygen which has been ‘supercharged’ from O2 to O3. It is a very strong oxidizing agent which can very effectively destroy bacteria, viruses, fungi, spores, and even prions. The ozone disrupts the cells of the harmful bugs but does not do much to healthy tissue. Luckily for living tissue it produces antioxidants which deactivate the ozone so for most of our tissues it is safe. Of course, you don’t want to inhale too much at a high concentration since our lung tissue and mucous membranes can be sensitive to ozone but the concentrations used for therapy are relatively low. So ozone can be used to destroy the bacteria in early stage cavities and then remineralizing agents can be placed right after to strengthen those areas. This could prevent the need for drilling in the future if the tooth gets strong enough.
Nightguards can help protect the teeth from clenching and grinding. Although a proper chewing system can prevent much of the damage from clenching and grinding, sometimes extreme amounts of force can even overcome a properly working bite system. Nightguards can help protect against that damage and are also a great idea to protect any cosmetic dentistry or dental implants from nighttime grinding damage.
Preventive dentistry follows the “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” philosophy.