I’m always curious about the different topics surrounding a holistic approach to dentistry. Trends like oil pulling or using activated charcoal to whiten your teeth lead to me making a charcoal mess in my bathroom, but hey that’s the price I pay for testing these types of things out for our Balanced Babe readers.
To get an expert opinion on these topics, I asked Dr. Emery, the boss lady of Sugar Fix Dental, what she thinks about some of these remedies. Oh and did I mention that I was able to check out her incredible dental loft? Yea get your schedules cleared cause you’re going to want to pay Sugar Fix a visit after this!
To be honest, I used to dread going to the dentist. Going to the dentist usually meant someone would be drilling into my mouth and shooting me up with Novocain shots (which I would immediately proceed to get an anxiety attack from – why? who knows). Yes I was that kid who would eat too much candy and then end up with cavities. Even as an adult I’m guilty of getting a cavity here and there. You can’t live a balanced life without indulging in some sweets here and there 🙂
The point is, a typical dentist experience is not one that you essentially look forward to. So this lead me to be even more surprised when I stepped foot into Sugar Fix. A fashion-forward and trendy dental loft (not office, it’s referred to as a loft – tres chic). Imagine a dental space that resembles a spa. The entrance is glitzy and calming with pink as one of the main color themes – me likey. Totally doesn’t feel like your typical waiting room. Oh and their website too…look at this.. SugarFixDental.com. Have you seen a dentist’s website that is this on point?
The best part? The actual experience. Oh my gawd lord above this is not your average dental experience. Get this – Dr. Emery (the founder – and total bad-*ss girl boss), knows what women like. All of the chairs are comfy and complete with a warm lavender scented neck pillow, ear cancelling head phones, and a TV so that you can watch Netflix on while you’re getting your treatment done. UHHH have you ever heard of this before? I haven’t. This is like the VIP of dental places.
Dr. Emery is such a breath of fresh air too. She has incredibly high vibes and is so welcoming, relate-able and all around cool. Like the girl you meet through mutual acquaintances and you immediately think, “oh yes we’re gonna be friends“. She’s also on top of her media A-game. No matter the industry, when you’re a business owner you have to be leveraging digital media.
I was able to chat with her before she gave me a cleaning (which was actually a lot more diligent than the cleanings I’ve had in the past) about entrepreneurship and branding, but I want to focus this article on the topics around the holistic approach to dentistry. I know we’re all curious about remedies like oil pulling and whitening with activated charcoal, so Dr. Emery was able to share her thoughts on these trends. And of course she shares how she lives the Balanced Babe lifestyle being an entrepreneur and family gal. Read on to learn more!
BB: Activated charcoal is starting to become a “trend” when it comes to cleaning teeth. Some companies are selling this powder and telling buyers to brush their teeth with charcoal, what’s the deal with this?
Activated charcoal does seem to remove some stains and plaque to make the teeth appear whiter. It’s an adhesive so it essentially bonds to the stains. You mix the charcoal with water which creates a black paste. Simply dab it onto the tooth surfaces and leave for 3 minutes. It is a messy process but give it a try and see what you think would be my advice. I’ve read that people are brushing with active charcoal, there’s some evidence to suggest that long term use can damage the enamel on the teeth so I would stick to dabbing until we know more about the long term effects of using activated charcoal. I’m not a big “active charcoal” proponent to be honest but there are people that love it. There’s evidence to suggest it can remove some stain but it doesn’t work that well for people that have naturally darker or yellow teeth.
BB: What are your thoughts on oil pulling?
Oil pulling is an interesting topic that I have talked and written about. I recommend using coconut oil for oil pulling. While you can get the same bacteria-fighting benefits with sesame or sunflower oil, coconut oil has the added benefit of lauric acid, which is well-known for its anti-microbial agents. The process again is a little arduous but it’s a lot less messy than using charcoal. You simply put a teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth and “pull” the oil through your teeth. Just keep swooshing for 15-20 minutes and don’t swallow it. The coconut oil adheres to harmful bacteria so spit it into the garbage can when you’re finished. Keep in mind that there is no solid scientific proof that it works, but it certainly seems to make people feel better. Your cheeks may get tired, but swish away! It certainly can’t hurt to try.
BB: Are there any remedies with a holistic approach to dentistry that you do think may actually work?
Yes! Vitamin E. It’s not unusual to get inflamed gums every now and again. It can cause sensitivity and can be very uncomfortable. A good remedy is to rub a little vitamin E oil directly on the surface of the sore areas. It’s absorbed very easily and can help regenerate healthy gum tissue as well.
Please remember that all these treatments are supplemental therapies that should never replace routine dental visits and traditional home oral care. Unfortunately they don’t reverse the effects of tooth decay but if you try them in conjunction with traditional therapy your teeth, gums and breath will be very happy!
BB: What are some foods that may naturally whiten teeth?
Firstly limit your coffee, red wine and soda intake, they will dull your smile over time for sure! As far as foods that help I recommend all foods that increase saliva production which is the mouths self cleaning agent. Malic acid in strawberries really helps whiten teeth as well as oranges, pineapples and apples. Stay away from lemons because they are too acidic. Vegetables are also effective when it comes to whitening your teeth. In particular celery and carrots which both naturally scrub the teeth. I’ve also heard that some hard cheeses can remove stain from your teeth as well. Phosphates and calcium found in yoghurts and cheese are great for your teeth.
BB: Let’s talk more about you! How do you maintain the balanced babe lifestyle?
I always strive for balance but owning a business, starting another and being a wife and Mom to three takes up a lot of my time. I do make every effort to exercise and eat well. I also take long weekend trips to Florida every 6-8 weeks. It allows me to rest, reboot, refreshen and refocus. I do all my creative thinking on the beach, it’s where I get all my best ideas. It also allows me to reflect on my life and be truely grateful for all the wonderful blessings that I have. My life is full of love, laughter, and craziness and I’d have it no other way!
BB: What is your morning routine?
I’m up at 5:00 a.m. On weekends and days I’m not working, I make it a point to run alongside Lake Michigan. We live close to the lake and there’s no better way to start the day than to experience the gorgeous sun rising over the water. My morning would also be incomplete without a soy latte from Starbucks! Breakfast is a very important meal for me, I usually have eggs and avocado on Ekeziel bread which is delicious!
BB: Do you have a typical meal plan that you follow?
This is a tough one. I start off my day well but I’m guilty of not scheduling enough time for lunch. I’m not eating and drinking enough water in the middle of the day. It’s a work in progress and I’m starting to make time but it’s definitely a challenge. Evening meals are always great, my husband usually prepares something for me. I grew up in Massachusetts so seafood is a big favorite for me. I love grilled salmon with a great salad or fresh vegetables.
BB: What are some tricks that you use for staying healthy on the go?
When I’m traveling I always carry a bag of almonds or pistachios. If I’m catching a very early flight I’ll usually boil an egg the night before and eat it first thing. I also snack on a Larrabar, they’re delicious and natural with no added sugars which is great.
BB: What advice would you give toyour 21 year old self?
Slow down, it’s not a race, and enjoy life!! I was so anxious to achieve everything I dreamed of when I was 21. Live your dream, find your passion in life and be true to who you are, what’s important to you! It all starts with a vision for your future. I believe you ‘create’ your destiny, it’s a journey that takes a lot of determination and hard work. But when you focus your energy on your goals and pour your heart and soul into achieving those goals there’s nothing that can stop you. Very often fear of failure is irrational, the challenge is to embrace the mistakes because there are going to be a lot of bumps in the road, it’s how we learn, why we get better and it’s completely necessary for success!! Unfortunately it seems that the fear of failure is what stops most people from living the life they dream of.
Now I’ve achieved my dream of having a family and owning a successful dental practice. I’ve made some mistakes a long the way and I’ve made a lot of sacrifices but the lessons learned and all the hard work have been worth it. Between you and me, I still haven’t slowed down, I wouldn’t be me if I did but I’m really enjoying my life!!
So that’s that! Do you guys have other questions around topics on a holistic approach to dentistry? Ask away in the comments and you may just see another article on this topic!