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Where were you when you first learned that cold sores are a form of herpes? I was in my mid-teens, and my next query was “what’s herpes?” One thing is certain, it’s a special time in every girls life! I’m just kidding. Mostly. I recently came across a little tidbit of “bonus” knowledge that gives me an edge on mommying a couple of girls. Unlike the revelation about cold sores, this knowledge is actually useful! I am talking about holistic dentistry.

What is a holistic dentist?

They are often referred to as “biological dentists”. A holistic dentist is a trained professional in the field of oral health, like any other dentist. Also, like all dentists, they have a degree from an accredited school of dentistry. They are the same, right up to the expired magazines, ball pit, and scheduling conflicts! But what distinguishes a holistic dentist from a regular old dentist is the additional knowledge she brings to her practice.

The biology and your mouth

Another landmark in my education also comes from well before I even knew I’d have kids. In university, while an undergrad studying psychology, I learned about William James. A pioneer in the field of mental health, James was focussed what, in Victorian times, was referred to as the “Viscera”. In laywoman’s terms, that’s your gut. Specifically, his insight is what led us to understand that changes in the gut can affect your psychology, just as easily as changes in your psychology can affect your gut.

You know when something emotionally trying happens, like seeing your 2-year-old girl standing, unsupported on the jungle gym at the park? Your emotions or psychological state can make your stomach turn. But, your stomach turning can also make you panic. It works both ways! Maybe I’m just a nerd, but I think that’s very interesting. Now that I maintain healthy flora in my gut through the use of probiotics, I tend to have a much more healthy psychology. But, that’s a different story.

The point is, like your gut, your mouth is connected to your whole body. We know this because of effects like the one James discovered 150 years ago. So, it makes sense that a dentist is far more effective if she understands how the mouth is connected to the rest of your body. A holistic dentist can help you see when a symptom in your mouth is indicative of a problem elsewhere in your body and vice versa.

Do your research

It’s 2017, fellow mommies, and we have options. Like with regular dentists, it pays to do your homework when deciding on a holistic dentist. There are a bunch out there, and I certainly would not entrust the health of my little ones to anyone without fully checking them out. Here are a few things to remember when choosing a holistic dentist:

  • Make sure they are not a fraud! Many hucksters paste the term “holistic” over their poor credentials to give the illusion of professionalism. Holistic dentists are real dentists, so check for accreditation!
  • Check for references and reviews. R & R are not just for landscapers and plumbers. Use the internet or your web of mommy friends here on this site to evaluate whether so and so is a good fit for your family.
  • I don’t want to get too far into it, but, for some of us, the cost of a service is a thing. Even if you’re covered by a plan, it pays to look into whether your dentist (biological or otherwise) has a fair plan for compensation. Ask yourself, and others, “is this a fair price for the services rendered?”


As Forest Gump said, that’s all I have to say about that! Thanks for reading, and I hope this post had something helpful in it. And, if I was the first one to tell you that cold sores are a form of herpes, double check that info! Like in the schoolyard, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet without first doing a bit of research. Mommy out!

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