Biological Dentistry for Kids at Dr. Roze and Associates Dental Clinic.

Many adults are becoming aware of the importance of a holistic approach in dentistry.

Biological dentistry for their children is the obvious next step.

We don’t have to wait until children grow up to address their dental health. Because children’s bodies and minds are developing so rapidly – factors such as toxicity - can have a huge impact for the rest of their lives.

It is much more important to start children’s dental health journey with an approach in dentistry that:

  1. Uses minimally invasive dental treatments that are supportive of the overall health.
  2. Recognizes the dangers present in a variety of dental procedures.
  3. Chooses non-toxic materials.
  4. Helps them adopt a natural approach to health.

A holistic, natural approach is typically a family affair – parents become more and more aware of all the implications of dental care for themselves and for their children – and they look for a safer alternative.

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Patients and their parents are instructed about the best diet, oral supplements and how to support their kids oral health in the most natural way.

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Probiotics are defined as living microorganisms, principally bacteria, that are safe for human consumption and, when ingested in sufficient quantities, have beneficial effects on human health, beyond basic nutrition.

This definition has been approved by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Oral probiotics are slightly different from regular probiotics, and they're critically important for keeping the oral microbiome in balance.

Given the widespread emergence of bacterial resistance to antibiotics, the concept of probiotic therapy has been considered for application in oral health.

Just to name the few oral disorders that have been targeted:

  • Dental caries
  • periodontal disease
  • halitosis ( bad breath)

Several clinical studies have demonstrated that regular consumption of yogurt, milk or cheese containing probiotics led to a decrease in the number of cariogenic streptococci in the saliva and a reduction in dental plaque*.

It’s also important to note that the implications of a well-balanced oral microbiome go beyond the health of your teeth and mouth.

Numerous diseases have been associated with oral pathogen overgrowth (that is, having too many bad bacteria in the mouth and not enough of the good guys), including:

  • Cancer (1)
  • Heart disease (2)
  • Alzheimer’s disease (3)

This proves just how important a healthy oral microbiome is.

Whether your mouth maintains an ideal ratio of good-to-bad bacteria directly - determines your oral and dental health, as well as the health of your entire body.

Oral probiotics can help to maintain this balance.

Oral Probiotics and Children

Daily care of your child’s teeth and gums is integral to dental health, but the oral microbiome is where total oral health really begins.

Perhaps you’ve already heard of the human microbiome, the colonies of trillions of microbes that live in and on our body. The good bacteria in our microbiome are responsible for a surprising number of bodily functions, such as helping us break down food and absorb nutrients, supporting our immune system, and even producing enzymes and vitamins.

The oral microbiome—consisting of nearly 800 different species of bacteria in the mouth, ears, nose, and throat—is an essential part of this vast network of microorganisms, and it has a significant effect on both oral and overall health.

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You see, the mouth, nose, and throat are the gateways to the gut, where 80% of our immune system resides. We swallow approximately one trillion bacteria every day, so our oral microbiome is a constant source of bacteria (both good and bad) for the rest of our body. The good news is that a strong, balanced oral microbiome will work hard to keep out unwanted invaders that can lead to lingering sinus, ear, throat, upper respiratory, and dental issues.

However, modern life is full of daily factors that can make maintaining this microbial balance quite difficult. Things like the indiscriminate effects of antibiotics, both as medicine and in our food supply, overzealous hygiene habits, too much time indoors, diet, and even stress can cause the good guy bacteria to lose their footing, paving the way for the bad guys to take over and eventually cause a host of problems.

How does an unbalanced oral microbiome affect your child’s teeth? Some harmful bacteria, such as Streptococcus mutans, live in the sticky biofilm on tooth surfaces. As good bacteria are depleted, S. mutans numbers increase, feeding on sugar in the diet to produce acids that break down healthy tooth enamel.

Probiotics for Tiny Teeth

The truth is, even if you are routinely brushing and flossing your toddler’s teeth and providing plenty of healthy food, if their oral microbiome is out of equilibrium then the bad guys can quickly gain control.  That’s why supplementing with oral probiotics is one first step to support your child’s oral (and whole body) health.
There are five ways in which probiotics prevent tooth decay:

  • Compete against strep mutans. Certain strains are known to directly stop strep mutans from
    overgrowing.
  • Work together in biofilm – teaming up in dental plaque to stop harmful bugs growing in the first place.
  • Produce antimicrobials and enzymes. These kill bugs like strep mutans and some lactobacilli.
  • Communicate with the immune system to ensure the correct response to harmful bugs.
  • Heal the mouth. They act as anti-inflammatories and help the healing processes of the oral cavity.

If you buy an oral probiotic to prevent tooth decay, studies indicate it should contain one or more of these strands:

  • Bifidobacterium lactisBb-12
  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Weissella cibaria
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG)

It can be concluded that probiotics have a definite role in the prevention of dental diseases especially caries. Undoubtedly, this appears to be a novel and effective approach in the developing era of increasing antibiotic resistance. The early colonization if developed at an early age can prevent caries thus important for pediatric dentistry**.The first randomized controlled trials have nevertheless shown that probiotics may control dental caries in children due to their inhibitory action against cariogenic streptococci***.The results showed less dental caries in the LGG group and lower mutans streptococcus counts at the end of the study. LGG was found to reduce the risk of caries significantly (OR = 0.56, p = 0.01; controlled for age and gender, OR = 0.51, p = 0.004). The effect was particularly clear in the 3- to 4-year-olds. Thus, milk containing the probiotic LGG bacteria may have beneficial effects on children's dental health.

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