Natural Dentistry for the Very Young
Dr. Carlo Litano, DMD, IAOMT
Daily, as a holistic dental practice, in addition to removing toxic root canals, reducing metals in the mouth, addressing poor bite structure and curbing the proliferation of disease-causing organisms, we must also focus on the young and see if we can prevent them from entering the downhill chute producing more of the same results. It isn’t normal! Something can be done. This is the stuff about which I am really passionate.
We know from the early work of Weston Price, among others, the key role of nutrition. Price logged thousands of miles looking and cataloguing the diets of remote populations with healthy teeth and good oral structure and proving the predominance of nutrition in dental health. We can build on these observations and mount a real offensive by applying this philosophy: Treating kids is about treating the entire family.
The family is the essential element for change, a self-contained support group with every interest in creating a better tomorrow. Admittedly, part of our strategy is having parents bring in their children to see what is nutritionally imperative for the child, which is often sufficient motivation for the parents to change too.
Prenatal Health Education for Everyone
Pregnancy changes the oral environment; the oral health of the mother must be closely monitored. Fluctuations of pH, alkalinity and hormones can directly promote new pathogens to be introduced. Along with everyone in the household, the baby’s flora can mature into a healthy organic biome. Many ask, “How early can my baby be seen?” Answer, “As soon as possible!” With the greater acceptance of the importance of the mouth in overall body health, we can adequately address nutrition, remineralization and proper mouth structure.
It is critical to know the role of minerals, vitamin D and fat soluble vitamins in prenatal development. In addition, a diet low in lectins and phytates will help vitamin and mineral absorption. The anti-nutrients are plant toxins found in many grains, seeds and legumes which bind nutrients, making them bio-unavailable. The idea of prenatal nutrition needs wide circulation, family-to-family and out into the culture.
We monitor infants for lip or tongue ties, a condition where the baby’s tongue seems to be tethered to the floor of the mouth. Sometimes at birth these tethers fail to detach and the infant has a harder time breastfeeding. But what is really interesting is how these ties inhibit proper cranial development.
Diet has tremendous impact in the formative years of oral development, perhaps even more than brushing. With the wrong diet, we see the development of narrowed jaws and tooth crowding with a likelihood of tooth and gum disease and impeded electrical flows in the body.
We do not advocate intervention in the child’s mouth with drilling and filling material, but rather a strategy to reset the oral environment through remineralization and addressing the microorganism population with oral probiotics.
Demineralization & Remineralization
How is it that Price found many remote cultures where teeth were in excellent condition, not showing any signs of decay and poor structure? Most likely, they were not eating daily carbohydrates and sugars which are deemed the cause of decay. Is it possible that teeth can heal themselves on an ongoing basis? If other parts of the body can do this, why not the teeth?
The good news is a system already exists in the oral cavity to protect the integrity of each tooth, a natural process that goes on all the time, one of demineralization and remineralization. Teeth are important to survival and it makes sense for the body to support the integrity of healthy teeth.
How it Works
As food starts to be broken down at the cellular level, saliva and plaque become acidic and this lowers pH. Minerals (calcium and phosphorus) within teeth become soluble in the lower pH environment and will actually leave the tooth and dissolve into saliva. This manifests as white chalky patches over teeth. After a meal, the pH will rebound and minerals within saliva will return into the teeth. What is really interesting is that good bacteria provide a biofilm over the teeth’s surface to help maintain/buffer this balance.
What can go wrong here? What throws the demineralization-remineralization process out of balance? The answer is the Western diet and its many varieties of processed foods with numerous chemical concoctions never encountered in nature. There is an overabundance of complex carbohydrates and concentrated sugars.
Processed foods take much longer to digest which prolongs the acid condition in the mouth, which in turn requires more and more demineralization to occur, robbing the teeth of additional calcium and phosphorous. Full remineralization never fully takes place and gradually the acid condition opens the door for bacteria to colonize the fissures and spaces around teeth and displace the protective biofilm communities. This leads to an anaerobic condition. The self-healing process is then out of balance.
Mouths that are healthy and have an effective immune system show a higher percentage of certain kinds of beneficial bacteria that apparently are suited to a balanced demineralization- remineralization environment. I use specific oral probiotics to repopulate the mouth with beneficial bacteria to counter the effects of antibiotics and poor diet that have depleted beneficial bacteria. This once-a-day mint flavored lozenge may have extended positive effects up into the nose and ears. Children 3 to 10 years of age may experience a lessening of allergies, skin rashes and better absorption of nutrients with a balanced flora.
Ozone and Cleanings
Children can really benefit from simple diet changes and the inclusion of probiotics and ozone dental cleanings. Ozonated oils and water are part of the process. At Natural Smiles, I use a digital impression system to help advance rampant cases, fabricating dental trays to directly apply therapeutic agents.
Starting children off with the benefit of a clean and functioning oral environment means a body that can operate in health. The oral salivary system is already equipped to prevent decay. Let’s support that system and do what we can to prevent health problems later in life. Tooth and gum disease, poor jaw structure and toxicity from deteriorating root canals and metals is NOT normal! We can have a tremendous effect on the overall declining health statistics. Starting children with this approach makes natural dentistry equate to health dentistry.
Dr. Carlo Litano has been practicing holistic dentistry for 12 years and recently established his new practice in Pinellas County. After many years in the Pacific Northwest, he and his two boys now call Tampa Bay home. He is a Huggins certified biological dentist with an emphasis on nutrition, decreasing toxicity and promoting adequate oral/cranial structure. In addition to removing failed toxic fillings as well as root canals using ozone, he is very excited to promote zirconia ceramic dental implants as an alternative to metal titanium implants.
Natural Smiles is located at 9087 Belcher Rd., Pinellas Park. For more information and appointments, call 727-300-0044. See ad below.
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