To further explore the ever-increasing amount of emerging science supporting the link between the health of the mouth and the health of the rest of the body, we spoke with the award-winning founder of dental practice Les Belles NYC, Dr. Sharon Huang, for the latest recommendations in holistic dentistry.
Dr. Huang is passionate about educating her patients, which she says contributes to a better experience of dental treatment. When starting her practice at Les Belles, she wanted to create an environment that felt safe and relaxing. Les Belles incorporates spa-like elements during treatments such as music and aromatherapy, creating an atmosphere that puts patients at ease. Dr. Huang is also an advocate for holistic oral healthcare, which means she takes the physical, emotional and spiritual state of the patient into consideration when looking at the health of the mouth. Imbalances in the gut, lack of proper at-home care and certain medications, for example, can all have a big effect on oral health.
Dr. Huang’s intention is to change the way people feel about a trip to the dentist. And with Les Belles being one of the fastest-growing practices in Manhattan, it seems she has achieved her goal. For those outside of the New York area, Dr. Huang recommends patients do extensive research when choosing a dentist. Reading reviews, receiving personal recommendations, seeing examples of the doctor’s work and speaking with staff ahead of appointments to ensure alignment with your oral health goals are essential things you can do to help you find the best fit.
For top-rate at-home care, Dr. Huang recommends a simple and effective four-step process. By incorporating this regimen twice daily into your self-care routine, as well as maintaining biannual professional dental cleanings, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of good oral health. And for those with extra time, we’ve included additional steps to keep your smile at its brightest.
Step 1. Floss
What most people don’t realize is that flossing is more than just a way to remove food from in between teeth. In fact, flossing helps to remove bacteria from the gumline when done properly. Use a “C” shape and stay close to the gumline, scooping from the bottom of the teeth in an upward motion, Dr. Huang says. Use traditional floss for best results. We like Living Libations Frankincense Fresh Floss, which comes in a refillable glass container. For extra care, add a drop of Yogi Tooth Serum or Ozonated Happy Gum Gel to the length of dental floss before swiping each tooth.
Step 2. Brush
An electric or manual toothbrush can be used, though keep in mind that an electric toothbrush is far more efficient, giving the same or better results in two minutes of brushing than a manual toothbrush gives in seven minutes. The most important thing is to choose a brush head with very soft bristles to prevent unnecessary wear on delicate enamel. Brush at a 45-degree angle in a circular motion using a naturally whitening and remineralizing toothpaste like RiseWell Natural Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste. Dr. Huang recommends the Burst Sonic Toothbrush for best results.
Step 3. Rinse
After a thorough floss and brush, rinse with an all-natural mouthwash like Dental Herb Company Tooth & Gums Tonic.
Step 4. Tongue Scrape
Using a Copper Tongue Scraper, pull from the back of the tongue towards the tip of the tongue several times, rinsing the scraper in between pulls. This helps to remove any dead skin cells and harmful bacteria from the tongue. While it may take some getting used to, most people enjoy the effects of tongue scraping once it becomes habit.
When extra time allows, the following steps will ensure a healthy mouth, teeth and gums. These practices can be incorporated into your regimen on an as-needed basis.
While oil pulling can be time-consuming, it is an excellent way to decrease inflammation, dry mouth and ease tension in the jaw. It can also detoxify the mouth and upper throat and help prevent bleeding gums. Take a tablespoon of Pur03 Ozonated Oil Pulling Solution and gently “swish” around the teeth and gums for up to 20 minutes, then discard into the garbage and follow by brushing and rinsing.
Using a prescription remineralizing product like MI Paste inside Silicone Tooth-Trays is a great way to strengthen the teeth and help prevent cavities. Simply apply the MI Paste, allow it to sit undisturbed on teeth for three minutes, then spit any excess saliva into the sink. The remaining paste should stay on the teeth overnight, waiting at least 30 minutes before drinking or eating after the treatment.
While popular tooth-whitening lights seem to give extreme results, the reality is that they simply dehydrate the teeth, giving a temporary whitening effect that will wane in a matter of days. Choose in-office whitening treatments administered by professionals and use natural Lumineux Whitening Strips at home to maintain the results. Lifestyle choices like drinking dark liquids through a straw will also help results last longer.
Water flossers like the Waterpik Water Flosser don’t replace traditional floss, but they can be helpful in getting to areas that are hard to reach with brushing and flossing alone. Add a few drops of Dental Herb Company Under the Gums Irrigant to help address unhealthy bacteria at the gumline and to get around braces, bridgework and other dental appliances.
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