What Is a Functional Dentist?
A proactive approach to avoid any problem is indeed the best way to deal with any given concern. The concept of Functional dentistry is based on the same philosophy. This approach not only deals with the clinical treatments for decays, malocclusion, bad breath, gum problems etc., instead, it focuses on the underlying causes that would have led to these outward symptoms.
One of the commonly asked queries is, “Why would someone need a functional dentist?” A simple explanation is the holistic approach that suggests that it’s better to take steps to avoid the crisis of dental disease rather than going magnificently with the treatment options.
Common ongoing high-tech dentistry is a big deal as it has provided smiles, health and an ultimate change of lifestyle to everyone using the most tech-friendly approach. A Functional Dentist is a game changer who educates patients in order avoid the problem or the repeated occurrence of the same problem. This education is gold and should be made available to one and all.
Some of the most pivotal points that are brought under functional dentistry are as follows:
Encourage nasal breathing: Orthotropics is the science behind maintenance of occlusion and the same philosophy supports the development of facial structures. Tropic premise is the foundation of orthotropics and it emphasizes on: teeth close in bite, mouth closed and tongue in right position. Nasal breathing is the normal physiological process. But at times, and quite commonly, we shift to mouth breathing either as a part of habit or some obstruction. One of the simplest manners to avoid mouth breathing is to start taping the mouth at night, during study hours, reading time, television time etc.
Adapt 80/20 rule with diet: Eating remineralizing foods such as cheese, nuts, milk products certainly help in enriching the tooth structure and thereby preventing cavities. On the contrary, demineralizing foods such as juices, citric foods, sweets, highly processed foods can lead to erosion of the enamel, thereby increasing the chance of caries and sensitivity. It is highly recommended to shift to adequate amounts of remineralizing foods on regular basis.
Practice good oral hygiene: Brush for two minutes in the morning after breakfast and at night before bed. Flossing is mandatory as significant percentage of decays occur in between the contacts of back teeth. Fluoride toothpaste with age specific content should be used in routine.
Vitamins and supplements: Certain vitamins such as vitamin D3, vitamin K2, vitamin A, calcium, oral probiotics, and trace minerals are capable of remineralizing cavities, hence, should be incorporated in the recommended dietary amounts.
Treating the dental decays and all the other concerns of teeth is one aspect of dentistry but treating the reasons that led to the cause in the very beginning is the craft of functional Dentist. The suggested diet is rich in healthy fats, high-quality proteins, vitamin K2-rich foods, and leafy greens. Processed foods and carbonized drinks should be avoided at all times.
Balanced Oral Microbiome: It is one of the vital criteria for a good foundation for good oral hygiene. Bacteria which are the normal residents of oral cavity help to fight bad breath and other oral diseases. Practices such as tongue cleaning, flossing, and consuming no processed food diet does support a balanced microbiome.
The concept of “Functional Dentist” is indeed motivating for the patient as it helps them understand not only the cause of dental disease but also guides them into prevention. Even though, this knowledge should be a part of day to day dentistry, it’s becoming more and more important as the science on its own in order to upkeep the information, knowledge and guidance for the patients.