Establishing wellness vs. a lack of symptoms: This emphasis has now permeated all facets of desirable healthcare. A lack of illness/symptoms is no longer considered health. In my practice I take it a step further and say that even diagnosing and removing symptoms is not health. I love the “nails in the driveway” analogy. If we were to back out of our garage, running over nails, that flattened our tires. Would we simply replace the tires and drive right back into our driveway? Of course not, we would clear the nails and investigate how the nails got there to insure that they never found their way back again. I thought that I would apply this perspective to dental decay and explore some insights and solutions.
Dental decay is caused by an accumulation of cavity forming bacteria that thrive in an acidic environment. These bacteria feed on fermentable sugars found in our food. We are all aware that sweets increase our risk of decay but many are unaware that certain “healthy” foods greatly increase our decay rate as well. Fruits and juices are both acidic and full of sugar. Fortunately for us our body has a natural defense in salivary flow. Our saliva buffers the acid, remineralizes, and washes over our teeth to reduce bacterial plaques. As we get older and /or find ourselves taking more medications we often see a decrease in salivary flow. This condition is not only uncomfortable but it can significantly damage our oral health.
This brings me back to the nails in the driveway. It’s not enough to simply recognize and repair decayed teeth, we must identify and remove the root of the problem while encouraging healthy habits. The best methods for preventing decay are related to diet and hygiene habits. We need a balanced diet with minimal snacking along with effective brushing (2 minutes, twice/day) and flossing daily to establish oral health. Often we supplement this with ideally suited dental products. I’ve included a few of the products that we suggest in our office. Although we encourage and suggest fluoride products for decay prevention, finding well researched non-fluoridated products can sometimes be tricky. If this philosophy of care interests you or want to know more please call us.
Dry Mouth Products (some may contain fluoride)
Biotene This line of products is specifically designed for dry mouth and can be found at your local drug store (OTC)
Biotene Oral Balance this is a mouth moisturizer that lasts for up to 3 hrs (OTC)
Thera-Breath Rinses and toothpastes (fluoride) reduce dry mouth and the subsequent bad breath (OTC)
Xylitol sugar and candies – a natural sugar found in berries, fruits, and tree bark. Remineralizes teeth and reduces plaque accumulation. Learn more at xlear.com
MI Paste- utilizes Xylitol and a substance formed from milk proteins utilizing free calcium to whiten, desensitize, and remineralize teeth. Excellent for dry mouth product (Dental office)
Xyli white toothpaste Platinum Mint with baking soda or Toms of Maine with Baking Soda and Xylitol – Benefits of Xylitol plus baking soda to buffer the acidic environment (OTC toothpaste)
Here’s what people are saying about Jones Family Dental!
“What a wonderful initial meeting with Dr Jones! Thank you, for taking the time to be so attentive, thoughtful, and personal. I look forward to continuing my dental care with you and your office. And Amanda, thank you for always being such a delightful person who so expertly helps me to keep my teeth clean and my gums healthy!” – Mark B.
“My experience at Jones Family Dental was very good. I highly recommend this business for quality and professionalism.” – Ranae W.
“I have been going to the dentist my entire life and this was one of the most pleasant experiences ever. I felt like I was in good hands throughout the entire appointment.” – Watha D.
“These folks do a great job! They are very caring for their patients and also laugh at my stupid jokes.” – Chad S.
“After taking my family to numerous dentists in Oregon (when my insurance changed), I returned to Dr. Jones for our family’s dental work. I was willing to pay for his expertise even though my insurance only covered our care at another dentist. He is TRULY THAT much better of a dentist. I especially appreciate Dr. Jones’ commitment to giving his patients complete options in their dental care.” – Cindy S.