By Hilarie Steele, RDH CEO Operations and Relationships
Best Natural Smile, Santa Monica, California
THE NEW HEALTH TREND HAS ARRIVED.
So let’s get into smile longevity and why it is so important. The secret to a long lasting beautiful smile has a lot to do with your oral microbiome.
What is the oral microbiome?
And what does it have to do with smile longevity and your dental visits?
Let’s start with the gut microbiome.
You may have heard of the “gut microbiome”. It’s all the trend at the moment, with lots of fascinating studies emerging showing the importance of a healthy gut. Unlocking the gut microbiome has a massive significance to our health.
Lots of things that people don’t talk about like depression or anxiety are very clearly modified by your gut microbes.
But did you know that your mouth also carries its own equally important microbiome?
The oral microbiome is the delicate balance of 6 billion+ bacteria and microorganisms that call your mouth home.
Keeping them in check is very important not only for oral but for overall bodily health. After all, everything enters your body through your mouth so it makes sense that keeping this environment safe is crucial to the longevity of your smile.
Think of these organisms as trees or plants coexisting in a unique habitat that needs consistent TLC for the long haul and their survival.
You want to nurture healthy plants and limit the introduction of dangerous plants like weeds (organisms), leading to everything from cavities to bad breath (and worse).
The oral microbiome is the basis of all that happens in the mouth and the rest of the body (both good and bad).
Your Mouth is a Mirror to your Body
But the thing is, most people have never even heard of the oral microbiome , let alone know just how important it is for longevity and health!
Let’s hear from some of the experts!
In a recent episode of the podcast The Doctor’s Farmacy titled What Is Your Mouth Telling You About Your Overall Health? host Dr. Mark Hyman and guests Dr. Cynthia Li and Dr. Todd LePine discussed oral health and the connection to the body.
Dr. Hyman warned against the pitfalls of poor oral health, stating that it “has been linked to everything from Alzheimer’s to heart disease, to cancer to autoimmune disease and on and on and on.”
Dr. LePine then followed up by saying, “the gut is where everything starts, and it can lead you down the path of health or disease, and the gut starts at the mouth.”
Another one of our favorite experts, Dr. Steven Gundry, has also been quoted as saying, “healthy dental hygiene can actually play a HUGE role in the health of your immune system.”
If recent events have taught us anything, it’s the importance of maintaining a strong immune system.
At Best Natural Smile, we take into account that your oral biome affects your smile and the rest of your body. Managing this creates a harmonious relationship within a unique environment that leads to long-term oral protection.
That’s why it’s essential to not only understand the relationship but have professionals that invest in your future smile and its longevity.
What Does Your Future Smile Look Like?
Is it the same as the one you’ve got now? Is it better? Worse? Perhaps you’ve never really thought about it.
Many people believe that teeth change for the worse over time and that their smile has to suffer as a consequence.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. With a smile longevity plan and a healthy oral biome, you’re setting yourself up for future smile success, less drama repairing your smile, and shining the light on where it needs to be – a smile that lasts.
As biologist and professor of genetics David Sinclair says, “Unfortunately, because aging is so common and natural, we tend to think of it as destiny and something we should accept.”
But a smile that you are proud of can last a lifetime with the proper care.
Smile longevity is a surefire thing when you take a fresh approach to dental visits and include a smile longevity plan.
Keep reading to discover how you can guarantee your future smile, why dentistry needs reinventing, what the oral microbiome is, and why it’s crucial to smile longevity.
The Current System
How often do I need to visit the dentist? It’s one of the most common questions, so don’t feel embarrassed if you’re not sure. It’s why we’re here 🙂
You’re told that you should be jumping in that dentist’s chair and flashing that beautiful smile every six months.
This comes from the American Dental Association, and it’s the general consensus amongst the dental practice community. It’s a good starting point, but this traditional outlook doesn’t factor in long-term care (more on this below).
Why the Twice-A-Year Rule Exists
Firstly, it’s essential to remember that the twice a year number is only a rule of thumb.
Your hygienist is a key factor in determining the most appropriate timeframe for your check-ups and managing your oral microbiome. Of course, it might change based on your individual smile issues or other circumstances such as pregnancy, smoking status, or other lifestyle factors.
The 6-month rule exists because it’s old-school and while everybody attempts to maintain sufficient oral hygiene in the home, there are several important things that a hygienist needs to check and manage with the support of your dentist.
Plus, you probably don’t have your own dental x-ray machine lying around the house to know what’s going on inside those pearly whites.
By visiting your hygienist as often as deemed necessary, they will be able to check signs of:
• Tooth decay
• Gum disease
• Oral cancer
• General oral biome status
Or any other abnormalities that might be missed at home. They know what to look for; it is their job, after all.
My tooth is starting to hurt. Should I wait six months for my next appointment?
If you’re experiencing any oral issue and certainly discomfort, then DON’T WAIT! It’s recommended that you book an appointment as early as possible.
This could mean that you may require treatment, as a toothache could be or lead to any number of more significant underlying problems such as tooth decay or nerve damage.
So, what’s the problem with this? Why does it need to be reinvented?
The problem with the twice-a-year rule is the mentality. Your smile should be an ongoing and lifelong consideration. It’s an active process, not a last-minute panic before your next trip to the dentist.
The traditional mindset is to visit the dentist, get a check-up, fill a cavity, get your good news bad news report card, go home, and return six months later.
We’re different because of this. Our philosophy at Best Natural Smile is one of a whole human approach. We work with you to create a fully customized ‘life smile plan’ rather than a short term by the visit approach. We focus on all of the vital contributing factors that will have you smiling and happy for your entire life.
Dentistry focused on longevity is designed to keep you healthy, happy, and confident.
We truly believe that prevention is better than the cure for health, cost, and mental well-being.
See, dentistry has come a long way since tooth fillings and cleanings. Finally, people are starting to realize just how important oral hygiene and the oral microbiome are for health, lifestyle, and longevity.
This brings us back to one of the secret keys to unlocking the smile longevity code: prioritizing the oral microbiome.
So, the only question is, why are you not prioritizing your smile?
At Best Natural Smile, we believe in a whole-human approach. See, a check-up should be more than that. It should also be a check-in.
We’ll examine your situation and offer a solution for your dental smile care needs that will help support your unique life smile plan.
We want you to feel at home no matter whether you’re coming in for a check-in or a more lengthy procedure.
Do you have any questions about your next visit to the dentist? Or would you like to know more about smile longevity?
Email us at email@example.com, and we’ll get back to you! We read and reply to every response.
A note from Hilarie:
As a dental hygienist and patient advocate located at Best Natural Smile in Santa Monica, California, I am a strong believer that the current dental space experience does not lend itself to achieving smile longevity or give patients the tools and education they need to get there. We are stuck in an ancient system that creates barriers to accessing modern smile care.
I have made it my mission to disrupt the old ways of doing things in the dental space and create a more accessible path to maintaining oral health. I provide complimentary coaching to hundreds of patients. At the end of the day, the story is always the same: patients endlessly asking “How do I stop the breakdown of my smile and who can I trust to keep my smile healthy?”
If you’re interested in learning more or scheduling a complimentary coaching session with me please fill out the form below. From there, my team will reach out to schedule a time for us to chat.
I’m so happy you’re here and can’t wait to see you shine.
hilarie steele, rdh