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Holistic Dentistry

What is Holistic Dentistry? We Answer Your FAQs

If you’re curious about holistic dentistry, you’re in the right place. Maybe you’ve come across the concept while researching local dentists on the internet; perhaps a friend or family member has recommended holistic dentistry. Either way, you’re looking to try something different.

Holistic dentists have the same credentials as regular dentists. In my case, I have a DDS, and I’ve been a general dentist for 17 years. Over time, I developed an interest in sleep breathing disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea. I’m passionate about craniofacial anatomy and development, which can be the source of many sleep issues in children and adults. The past few years have taken me professionally into a new direction of integrative dentistry. It is exciting and fun for me as I continue to grow and learn how to be a safer and more effective provider. Basically, I’m committed to having an open mind about natural approaches to oral health.

This is pretty common for holistic practitioners. Most of us practiced traditional dentistry for years before making the switch to our current models of practice. It’s really simple – the word “holistic” simply means “whole.” We look at the role dentistry plays in optimizing your overall health and wellbeing. That’s why we prioritize natural remedies and avoid harmful materials wherever possible. We will also typically ask more questions about other aspects of your health – for example, diet, sleep, mental health – than regular dentists.

However, we still do the things you’d expect in general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, dentures, implants, and more. This includes checking for things like cavities and gum disease, performing clinical and radiographic examinations, conducting preventative care for things like custom mouth guards, and taking care of all your needs for things like fillings and crowns. Remember, we’re fully-qualified dentists, so we’ll take care of your needs.

Keep reading, because we’ll answer a few more FAQs below.

Ready to get started? Schedule an appointment today.

What does a holistic dentist do?

Holistic dentists do all the same things as regular dentists, but as we said before, we focus on whole-body health. Because of that, our scope of work is slightly wider than regular dentists.

For example, we can help treat things like sleep apnea. We can provide non-invasive treatments that consider all the factors at play and work naturally with the body to find a solution. A major cause is poor alignment of the jaw and tongue, which can be corrected. Mouth breathing is another, which can be treated through referral to a physical or speech therapist. Tongue positioning is another frequent factor, which can also be improved. Talk to us about alternatives to CPAP machines.

The concept of mouth-body connection is also very important. We know the mouth doesn’t function in isolation from the rest of the body, so we ensure the connection between the mouth and the body is optimized. That’s why your holistic dentist may ask you about things like diet, lifestyle, and mental health, before recommending a treatment. We want to ensure it works for you.

How do holistic dentists treat root canals?

Root canals are one area where you’ll notice a significant difference. Holistic dentists address root canals with extreme caution and attention to detail, because we understand that 100% sterilization of the root canal is difficult to achieve. We also know that some sterilization chemicals are toxic, such as formaldehyde, which can be harmful. On top of that, we know that bacteria left in the canal can lead to diseases like breast cancer and heart disease. It’s a big decision to make.

Obviously, prevention is always better than a cure in cases like this. However, if the problem becomes serious enough to prompt a discussion about root canals, you might find your holistic dentists recommends something like total extraction of the tooth instead. The treatment will vary on a case-by-case basis, so if you have concerns around this, talk it through with your dentist.

What do holistic dentists use for fillings?

Holistic dentists avoid harmful materials, which means we favor alternatives to things like mercury amalgam silver fillings. Studies have shown that these fillings can have adverse effects on patient health, such as accumulation of bacteria around decaying fillings, sensitivity, weakening of the teeth, and more. We recommend replacing them with modern composite fillings.

If your amalgam fillings show signs of wear or decay, you’ve had issues with them in the past, you’re concerned about the level of mercury in your mouth, and you’re concerned about the aesthetics of silver fillings, please talk to us about modern alternatives. They’re a great alternative for small to medium restorations and may be the right option for you. Ask your dentist!

Concerned about mercury filling removal? Read more about this procedure.

Do holistic dentists take insurance?

Yes, holistic dentists take insurance. Remember, we’re fully-qualified dentists! However, some treatments we recommend may not be covered by insurance – it can vary from company to company. If you have any concerns, please discuss it with your insurance provider.

If you have no insurance, you may wish to consider joining our membership club. We take care of the preventative dental care of all our members with a monthly subscription, saving you money. Our adult membership is just $38/month (with a $50 lifetime activation fee), and it includes two professional dental cleanings per year, 1-2 doctor exams per year, necessary x-rays, one emergency exam per year, and $15% off all other treatments (although some exclusions may apply).

We value loyalty and we launched this program to simplify payments for preventative care. If you’d like to learn more about our membership club, please click here.

Best holistic dentist in Anchorage, Alaska

Here at Mandanas Dental, we understand that properly addressing the needs of our patients allows them to live healthier, fuller lives. Think about it: food is our fuel, and it enters our bodies through our mouths. We ensure your mouth is healthy so your body can function as it should.

We don’t overbook. Instead, we reserve your time exclusively, without interruptions. This means you get to spend the time you need with Dr. Mandanas. She will talk to you about your health goals before even taking an x-ray, and after completing a thorough examination, she’ll review her findings with you and develop a personalized plan to achieve the best results possible.

We’re committed to making your dental treatment comfortable, convenient and rewarding. That’s why Mandanas Dental is the best holistic dentist in Anchorage, Alaska.

Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us today!

What kind of toothpaste should I use?

With the plethora of choices that we are posed with everyday, it can be difficult to determine what type of toothpaste is right for you. First, there are several brands to choose from as well as for different purposes. Are you looking for something to whiten your teeth, help your enamel, and prevent cavities or another reason? Another huge factor that goes into choosing the right toothpaste is the flavor. Do you like spearmint, regular mint, or possibly cinnamon?

Well, with all of these options, where do you even begin?

American Dental Association

Next time you are on the lookout for new toothpaste, keep your eye out for the ADA’s seal of acceptance logo. This means that this toothpaste is marked as safe and effective by the ADA and that the claims on the packaging are found true.

Cavities

We are all at risk of getting cavities from our diets and our dental care. If you are looking for toothpaste to help with cavity prevention, make sure your choice contains fluoride. If you choose toothpaste with the ADA seal of acceptance, it will contain fluoride. (Flossing will also help eliminate the risk of getting cavities.)

Enamel strengthening

When you eat a highly acidic diet, your dental enamel could be at risk. This softens the outer most layer of the tooth, putting it at risk of further damage. By utilizing a remineralization toothpaste, you can strengthen your enamel over time.

Sensitive teeth

There are special toothpastes made especially for tooth sensitivity. This would be useful for root canals or patients with periodontal disease. These products contain ingredients to reduce the pain associated with these conditions.

Flavor

This one is up for personal preference. Some form of mint is most popular, giving your breath a fresh scent.

With all of the options out there, we hope that you can determine which option is best for you. Perhaps you have several uses you’d like to include in your toothpaste, sometimes you can find a brand with several benefits.

Overall, it might be more beneficial to consult your dentist for a specific recommendation, from brand all the way to use.

If you’d like to meet with us in regards to your toothpaste choice, let us know.

If you have other questions or concerns surrounding your dental health, we would love to work with you and find a solution for your specific case.

National orthodontist month

October is the month for us all to appreciate orthodontists. Not only do they create beautiful smiles, they create functional smiles! Orthodontists use external appliances to help guide teeth to a straight shape.

Usually, these treatments are used on kids and teenagers, as this is optimal for best results, but that’s not to say that adults cannot benefit from orthodontia.

There are many options for orthodontia, as technologies are advancing. There are traditional methods such as braces, and there are also more subtle methods like Invisilign.

We know orthodontic treatments can be unattractive to many adults but the benefits are very promising.

Benefits

Straight teeth make for less nooks and crannies that plaque can get caught in. This leads to healthier overall oral health as well as healthier overall body health. A poor bite can cause abnormal wear on the teeth and jaw issues if not corrected.

Depending on your specific case of crooked teeth or misaligned jaw, your orthodontist may recommend special treatment.

For more of an aesthetic problem, Invisilign is normally used to help. You wear the retainer for 24 hours a day and swap out the retainer every couple of weeks, working your way up to the straightest one.

In more complex cases, traditional braces will be used. This method gives the orthodontist much more freedom to correct your teeth and jaw bite with one appliance and some accessories.

It is important to remember that while you may want one version of orthodontia over another, it is best to listen to your orthodontists’ advice based on your specific dental issue.

Another use for orthodontics is TMJ. A simple mouth guard could possibly help your TMJ case.

No matter what your age, you could benefit from orthodontic treatment!

As always, each case is different and everyone will be treated differently according to his or her dental condition. If you have an orthodontic related issue that you would be interested in learning more about treatment options, contact you dentist or orthodontist.

Please join us by celebrating National Orthodontics Month by expressing appreciation for your orthodontist or exploring orthodontic treatment options for your dental condition. A straight smile is a healthy smile!

If you would like to set up an appointment with one of our dentists or orthodontists or if you’d like to learn more about your options, please give us a call. We would love to chat!

Acidic foods and your enamel

Enamel is a very strong substance used to protect your teeth from damage. It does a great job preserving your teeth from normal wear and tear while eating except for when it comes to acidic foods. While other issues can cause enamel to deteriorate, such as grinding or other abrasions, acidic foods can eat right through your most protective layer of your teeth, exposing the vulnerable layers to harsh substances and other factors. Deteriorating enamel can lead to countless other dental issues, so we want to go over how certain foods you eat can damage your teeth and what you can do about it.

So what exactly causes the erosion of enamel?

We’re sure, at this point, that you are aware of the effects that acidic foods have on your teeth. Basically, foods with a low pH level, less than 7, may cause erosion of your enamel. While candies and sodas are sugary and oftentimes harmful to you teeth, they also contain acidic qualities. Many candies contain seriously low pH levels as well as most sodas.

What foods should I avoid?

Surprisingly, foods across all spectrums can be very acidic. Many fruits and vegetables contain low pH levels, while they are healthy, they can also damage your enamel. As listed above, candies and sodas are not good for your overall health. They are also harmful to your tooth enamel.

So what kind of diet should I try to maintain?

This is a better question for your dentist, as they can take a look at your current condition and give you professional suggestions based on your case specifically. However, a general rule is to maintain a diet of a higher pH level or more alkaline.

Specific things you can do to help keep your enamel healthy:

  • Drink water throughout the day to rinse the mouth of dangerous acids.
  • Use a straw to drink acidic drinks.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Chew sugar-free gum to create more saliva to rinse the mouth of dangerous acids.

We hope you take it upon yourself to look at your diet and make changes accordingly to ensure that your enamel stays healthy to protect your oral health. Talk to your dentist and schedule a check-up at least twice a year. They will be able to give you a more personalized plan, should your enamel need extra care.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to make an appointment with us, give us a call.

What are the effects of teeth grinding?

Many people around the world suffer from teeth grinding and are usually unaware of their habit. While there are symptoms that you can look out for as signs of teeth grinding, there are usually other factors involved causing you to grind your teeth. As with other dental issues, dental health and overall health are very connected with one dependent on the other and vice versa. So we want to take a look at what causes teeth grinding in the first place and what can we do to control it or ease the symptoms?

Causes of teeth grinding

Grinding your teeth is usually accompanied by increased stress or anxiety. This happens to people of all ages. If you have a lot of stress or anxiety in your life, you could be grinding your teeth and not even realize it. While most of us do grind our teeth occasionally, it really becomes an issue if it is a constant habit, causing oral health problems.

Symptoms of teeth grinding

Since most harmful teeth grinding occurs during sleep, it can be hard to tell if you have an issue. The most common symptoms to keep and eye out for are headaches, sore jaw muscles, tooth sensitivity and others.

Effects on dental health:

Teeth grinding can cause serious dental issues and it can do damage to previous dental care. Grinding can cause wear on tooth surfaces, chips or cracks in the teeth, increased tooth sensitivity, tooth loss, gum recession, dental decay, and more.

So how can we treat it?

Some home remedies can be to reduce your stress and anxiety. Try to calm down and relax. Learn to give your jaw a break. You can massage the jaw muscles to release tension or use a warm wash rag to hold on your jaw to help relax the muscles. In addition to these, it is highly recommended that you see your dentist right away if you are experiencing teeth grinding. It is best to catch the issue early and do the least amount of damage possible.

If you or someone you know is experiencing teeth grinding, take a closer look at the issue and try to prevent any further damage. If you have and concerns or if you would like to schedule an appointment with us for your teeth grinding, give us a call. We look forward to helping you get back on track and get your teeth looking as healthy as can be.

Wisdom tooth removal

Usually beginning in your early adult years, the four or less furthest back teeth in your mouth, your wisdom teeth, may begin to give you problems. It is very common for people to have these teeth removed to prevent any overcrowding or decay. Some people have enough room in their mouths to keep their wisdom teeth without experiencing any complications or problems. So at what point is it recommended that you remove your wisdom teeth?

Impacted teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth means that the wisdom tooth is disturbing other teeth or is growing in at an odd angle, getting trapped partially under gums. This can result in pain, food particles getting stuck and tooth decay. Leaving an impacted tooth can alter the way that your teeth sit in your mouth, causing your teeth to go crooked. If you have ever had orthodontic work, this is a bad idea. Having impacted teeth is the most common reason for wisdom tooth removal.

The procedure

If it is deemed necessary that your wisdom teeth must be removed, at your scheduled appointment for your wisdom teeth extraction you will be given anesthesia to put you to sleep during the duration of the surgery. Your dentist may need to remove some gums or bone that may be covering your tooth, if necessary. Then they will be able to properly remove the tooth and sew the wound with stitches.

Recovery

Your dentist will prescribe pain medication to take during your recovery time, which usually only lasts a couple of days or so. You will want to relax during this time and eat foods that you don’t have to chew. You will want to avoid touching the wound in anyway for the first couple of days to ensure that it will heal properly. Keep and ice pack to reduce the swelling and inflammation.

Wisdom teeth removal can be a bit scary to people, but it is a very common and necessary procedure to preventative dental health. By removing your wisdom teeth, if needed, you protect yourself from future complications and infections. So do yourself a favor and check with your dentist about your wisdom teeth, just because they aren’t causing a problem now doesn’t mean they won’t in the future.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with us to determine your wisdom teeth needs, give us a call. Don’t hesitate to come to us with any additional concerns or questions.

Purpose and process of dental sealants

You can feel and see that our teeth, especially our molars, have several groves and dents. The way that our teeth are shaped presents a risk for food particles and plaque to get caught in, causing decay. By sealing our teeth with a thin coating, we provide an extra barrier of protection for our teeth, keeping them healthier, longer. Sure we can brush and floss our teeth, as we should, but sometimes bacteria can get caught in the crevasses of our teeth and cause cavities.

Sealants are made of different types of materials and the specifics vary from dentist to dentist. The basic principles are the same. Your dentist will prepare your tooth by cleaning it thoroughly; adjust the tooth’s surface to ensure a secure and solid bond, and apply the sealant to the tooth while ensuring that it dries quickly and properly.

Sealants are recommended for almost anyone that would like to maximize the protection of their teeth. However, most often, sealants are performed on children and adolescents that are developing their adult teeth. By sealing the teeth at this cavity prone age, you and help protect your child’s teeth from cavities for about 10 years post-sealant!

Upkeep for sealants is simple, have your dentist check for chips in the sealant and monitor the wear to best project when you may need to get your teeth resealed.

To keep your sealants in tip top shape, avoid eating especially hard or gummy foods such as jawbreakers, licorice, caramels, etc. as these foods could cause your sealant to pop out of place.

Sealants are a major factor in preventative dental care. Protecting your teeth from harmful decay and cavities will save you a lot of time, money, and hassle in the future.

Most dental insurance providers cover dental sealants, however, it is always a good idea to check beforehand, just in case. We recommend contacting your insurance provider directly before making an appointment for dental sealants.

Once you’re ready, make an appointment with your dentist! Getting dental sealants is a fairly simple dental procedure and will really benefit your overall dental health in the long run. You already brush and floss your teeth, now is the time to take your preventative dental care to the next level.

To schedule an appointment with us to discuss dental sealants or to seal your teeth, give us a call!

How to avoid dental injuries

As we see summer come to an end, we can expect school to be right around the corner. In no time, football games, swimming and diving competitions along with so many other contact sports will be in full swing. With all of these physical activities comes some concern for dental injuries. So how can you protect your children’s smiles while encouraging them to participate in extracurricular activities?

The most common solution to preventing dental injuries from sports is the use of a mouth guard.

With almost any major sport that children participate in, mouth guards are recommended or required. These typically cover the upper teeth to protect broken or chipped teeth as well as damaged lips. For those of you with some other form of orthodontia, talk to your dentist for recommended solutions.

So how do mouth guards work exactly?

There are several different types of mouth guards to choose from, however, it is necessary that whichever moth guard you chose does not restrict your breathing and fits properly or it could not work as well as it should.

Custom mouth guards are designed by your dentist to fit your teeth as comfortably as possible and provide you the best protection against dental damage.

Boil and Bite mouth guards are made in a pre-formed shape that is designed to be altered after boiling in hot water and biting down on the plastic for a recommended amount of time, offering a decent fit and comfort. Be sure to follow directions closely to ensure the best fit and protection.

Stock mouth guards are ready to wear when you buy them, however they provide the least protection and worst fit, but it is better than no protection!

Whichever style of mouth guard you decide to choose for your needs, make sure you change it out every so often as it can get quite nasty with all of the bacteria present in your mouth. To reduce the amount of times you will need to change it out, take extra precaution to keep it clean.

When it comes time for you or your children to shop for a mouth guard for sports related uses, talk to your dentist for recommendations and help deciding which option will be best for you.

If you have any additional questions about dental safety and sports or if you would like to ask us specific questions related to your dental needs, give us a call.

Health benefits of having straight teeth

We all know how important it is to care for our teeth and overall oral health. Brushing is a must and don’t forget to floss! We want to keep our teeth in tiptop shape, avoiding harmful foods that can destroy our enamel and cause us cavities. But one area of oral health that we often overlook is straight teeth! Orthodontics is mainly thought of as a cosmetic dentistry treatment. So how can having straight teeth help benefit your oral health?

Here are some of the benefits to having a straight smile:

Healthier gums –

Having straight teeth allows for your gums to fit properly around your teeth, reducing the risks of periodontal disease. When teeth are too crowded, it can be difficult to clean in between teeth, which will ultimately cause gum issues.

Cleanliness –

To piggyback off of the prior benefit, having an orderly set of pearly whites makes space for easier brushing and flossing. There will be fewer crevasses and spaces open for food or plaque build up. Build up of food particles and plaque will eventually lead to tooth decay.

Less tooth wear and abnormal bite –

With straight teeth, they sit in each other, for less wear on enamel. When teeth are crooked they can rub on each other, wearing them down over time. Along with the rubbing, crooked teeth can cause an abnormal bite, whether it be an overbite or under bite. Having a serious bite issues can cause difficulty chewing.

Reduces headaches –

Crooked teeth can cause stress on the gums and jaw, oftentimes resulting in misalignment of the jaw. When the jaw is out of place with tension and stress placed on it, you may experience headaches.

Overall health –

It has been proven that when you improve your oral health, you will in turn improve your overall health. You will reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, gum disease and many other health concerns.

If you are interested in straightening your teeth and improving your smile as well as your health, we have several options you can choose from. You are welcome to give us a call or set up an appointment to discuss which option may be best for you.

We want you to look and feel the best that you can. Let us know how we can help you and we will do our best to accommodate you and improve your oral health.

 

 

 

 

Food for your teeth

Having a well balanced diet and fueling your body with the proper nutrition is so important for your overall health, however, it also contributes to the health of your teeth in tremendous ways! The make up of certain foods can be damaging to your oral health and being low in certain nutrients can make your teeth more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay. It’s pretty self explanatory that eating sugary or acidic foods is damaging to your oral health, but let’s go over some foods that are beneficial for your teeth!

Cheese

Cheese contains several nutrients, like protein and calcium that are known to strengthen tooth enamel. This helps prevent tooth decay and raise pH levels in the mouth.

 Yogurt

 Again, another dairy product, like cheese yogurt contains protein and calcium. The probiotics present in yogurt are beneficial to the bacteria in your mouth because the good bacteria kick out the bad bacteria that are known to cause cavities. Side note: Yogurt can have added sugars, so just keep an eye out for that if you decide to add yogurt to your diet for oral health benefits.

 Green veggies

 Green vegetables are healthy in almost any context. They are packed with vitamins and minerals that are known to improve oral health. Spinach and kale especially, have high calcium content, which is beneficial to tooth enamel.

 Almonds

 Bringing back high protein and calcium, almonds are a great snack to add to your diet for positive oral health results. Eat them plain or add them to a salad!

 Apples

 While we normally don’t recommend sugary, sweet foods, apples are an exception. This tasty fruit is packed with fiber and the texture is great for gum stimulation.

 Carrots

 Carrots are a quick and easy healthy snack to munch on throughout the day. They are also full of fiber and contain wonderful vitamins and minerals.

If you’re looking to change up your diet to benefit your oral health, consider adding a few of these healthy suggestions! Be sure you are fueling your body with the right stuff, giving it all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs and deserves. By keeping a healthy diet, you will be sure to improve your dental situation as well.

Do you have any specific questions regarding foods for your oral health or any diet related questions, we’d be happy to get you headed in the right direction. Call us anytime!