The Naturodetox Podcast Episode 6: Welcome to The World of Biological Dentistry with Dr. Michael Schecter

The following is a transcript from the NaturoDetox Podcast #6.

Welcome to the NaturoDetox Show. Today, we highlight the fascinating world of biological dentistry with Dr. Michael Schecter, a biological dentist whose primary focus is on the prevention and healing rather than disease and treatment. He is well aware of the overall health benefits of treating the whole body, and considers the well-being of his patients his number one priority. He keeps current by attending biological dental lectures and workshops, and through his membership in the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.

Hi, it's your host, Meghan. And thank you for joining us on another episode of The NaturoDetox Show. Today, I have the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Michael Schecter a biological dentist located in the heart of Toronto. His primary focus is on the prevention of disease through an integrative approach towards oral health. His work is far ahead of many of his colleagues in the dentistry world, in my opinion, and I'm honored to steal some of his time to chat today. Thank you, Dr. Mike, for being here.

Michael Schecter: Thank you so much. I'm really excited to chat with you too.

Meghan Kennedy :I was lucky enough to discover Dr. Mike actually through my own personal research. When I was going through my own healing, I was basically digging for established Canadian dentists who performed something called PRF, which Dr. Mike will chat about today, platelet rich fibrin, for a cavitation site that I had. For people listening right now, this probably sounds a bit like a different language for those who have not been introduced to a biological dentist, but it will be clarified in the episode. They'll probably be running to a biological dentist after this. The onset of my own personal health issues actually coincided with a dental procedure that had really gone wrong. When I began experiencing symptoms and doing research into these complex chronic illnesses, dental and oral health kept coming up.

      In fact, the highly respected functional doctor, Simon Yu. He wrote a book, Accidental Cure, and it highlights really oral as a pinnacle of healing in his philosophies. He's just like, "If you don't consider dental, you're going nowhere essentially." This was really a complete shock to me, because we don't talk about this.

      And I had gone through a naturopathic medical school. Never really been an issue, a topic of conversation for chronic illness. To me, it was like, how could dental work really impact my health in such a significant way? But luckily, we've got one of the best, in my opinion, dentists in our province if not country. Mike is going to help us understand why today. Again, thank you for being here. Let's get started.

Michael Schecter: You're too kind. Too kind.

Meghan Kennedy :The first question I want to ask you is really, can you describe what biological dentistry is? Because I don't think a lot of people are even aware that there's categories, that there's the conventional side of dentistry and the biological side. What is the difference and why did you choose the route that you did choose?

Michael Schecter: It's a good question. I think, the way I understand biological dentistry is we're trying to approach dentistry from a more comprehensive view. We're trying to take a look at the dentistry, the oral health, in terms of how the body interacts with the mouth and the mouth interacts with the body.

         And so, when we're looking at, for example, toxicity, what are we putting into the mouth? How is that potentially impacting the system? Whether it's the materials we're using for fillings, or for a crown bridge, things that we're using to clean people's teeth. And then, the converse of that as well is when we're looking at chronic illness. How is disease impacting the mouth?

            I think when we're looking at biological dentistry, it's taking a look and seeing, okay ... I don't want to just have a narrow focus to just look in the mouth, but to know that we're all taking a more holistic or comprehensive view, and try to keep it rooted in science. We try to use research where possible, and take a more holistic view with that research base.

Meghan Kennedy : Incredible. What was it that obviously ... Because when you went to dentistry school, there's only one form of dentistry school. And then, I'm assuming you took ... What? Courses? How did you sort of take that route to the more biological side of the dentistry world?

Michael Schect: For me, personally, it actually started before dental school. When I was in undergrad and I was trying to decide what it is that I wanted to do, dentistry really called to me. I really enjoyed the art and the science. It's quite a bit of engineering. A lot of work for my hands. I get into it and I love it. Of course there's the whole health aspect. I love dealing with patients.

      As I started to grow more and learn more, I got fascinated by holistic health. I spent some time in a hospital in Toronto, and I quickly realized that approach was not for me. I did not enjoy a reductionist medicine. I struggled with ... On so many levels, how patients were being treated, how patients were being dealt with, how their illnesses were being looked at.

      One thing that really comes to my mind, and this is a little bit later in my life, but I always fall back to where my grandmother was sadly dying in the hospital. She had uncontrolled diabetes, her blood sugar was uncontrolled. The dietician came in and started talking to me about how they were going to release her and send her home, and the type of diet that they were going to give her at home, so that her blood sugar could be regulated better.

      And I just turned to her and I said, "I'm so glad that you're here to talk to me about how we're going to help my grandmother on her way home." At the hospital, you've been giving her white flour pancakes, maple syrup. Just some things that, to me, doesn't jibe with blood sugar control and diabetes.

       Her response was, "Oh, well. This is the hospital and there's not much we can really do. We focus on reducing calories here, in terms of controlling blood sugar." To me, it just totally missed the mark in terms of how we can help a person be well, how we can support them, and deal with their true issues. I'm going on a little bit of a tangent here. Basically, for me, I just didn't feel like I was getting the right answers in more conventional medicine.

      I started to look at exploring alternatives, and I was really debating for myself between naturopathic medicine or dentistry. That's when it hit me. It'd be really interesting to do a fusion where I'm practicing dentistry, so I could still do that thing with my hands and do the arts and the engineering and building. The creative aspect of dentistry. And at the same time, focus on people's health. Trying to be a little innovative in terms of the type of dentistry we're practicing, so that we can address some of the greater concerns that patients come in with.

Meghan Kennedy :Absolutely. That's incredible. I feel like there's always some personal tie to everybody's story that's a healer. And I always say that the worst food in the entire world is served in hospitals. It blows my mind as well.

 Michael Schect: It's unreal.

Meghan Kennedy: It is really, truly unreal. It sadly comes down to the bottom line. It's all about money, but it truly is unbelievable. As I mentioned, the book that had introduced me initially to biological dentistry and just the vital importance of oral health on overall health was Dr. Simon Yu's book. He's an MD.

     In your opinion, if you were to rate it or to describe the importance of oral health to overall health ... Just how important is that for patients specifically dealing with chronic symptoms or chronic illnesses, where they've had treatment and it had little effect? Or have had this unexplained, undiagnosed series of symptoms? Is oral health something that they should really consider?

 Michael Schecter: I think it's a phenomenal question. I think that it's something that, as a patient, I think that it's very important to explore. And so, what I mean by that is ... I see a lot of patients that are unwell and that suffer with chronic disease. And it's tough. It's impossible to draw a direct correlation between what we're seeing in the mouth and general symptoms.

     And I tell this to patients all the time. They come in and let's say they're suffering from chronic fatigue or they're suffering from some type of autoimmune issue. They want to know if the issues in their mouth are impacting or related to these overall issues. You just don't know. It's impossible to know. However, I do firmly believe that if you're dealing with chronic infection, it's a pressure on your system and it's impacting your health.

      If you're dealing with toxicity, it's a pressure on your system potentially impacting your health. And so, when I look at health, I look at it as multiple building blocks. Removing these pressures on our system ... I think that we're all able to tolerate various pressures, but when it's cumulative, it can be too much. And so, if somebody comes in and they have a clear infection or they have a clear toxicity in their mouth, I think it's reasonable to clear that up and then assess how their symptoms are.

       I'll tell all my patients, "I do not know if what we're doing is going to impact your health or not." I have some patients where we do work and it's magical. They truly feel better after the work that we do. And it's just so rewarding and so gratifying. It's so great. Other times, we do all this stuff, and it doesn't make a difference in your overall picture.

     And so, it's hard to know, but I think it's worthwhile to take the small amount of time. Go and get evaluated and get assessed. At least understand what it is that's going on. I think a part of the challenge is that a lot of us walk around and don't know what's actually going on in our bodies. Especially, in our mouths.

Meghan Kennedy:I think too, a lot of times people will come to dentists beyond their annual cleaning when there is an emergency situation or where there's an infection that is impeding on their health. But I think where we're missing out is that a lot of times there are these ... We'll talk about these cavitation sites or impending infections that actually are unknown to the individual, but are very impactful on the immune system.

        I think that's where the education behind biological dentistry and its role in chronic health is so important. Because for people who say, "Well, I don't have any oral or dental issues. I have no pain, I have no symptoms in my mouth. How could that be affecting my overall health?" That's what we're going to talk about today. Because there is a vital link to things that are going on under the gum, and beyond the tissue that you can see, and beyond the teeth you can see that could be impacting health.

       But I also like how you really talk about there's no guarantees and there's no promises. Because I think a lot of times too, there's ... Especially, in the functional world of medicine, I find there's a lot of that piece where it's like, "You have to do this in order to improve your health." I like the realistic component in your approach.

      Even when I saw you as a patient, I remember you saying ... Because I had ... And I've talked about this in many other episodes, is the persistent dizziness and the vertigo episodes. My symptoms had spiked after an extraction. It was actually an infected molar and then an extracted tooth, and the procedure went really poorly.

      The symptoms just ... I didn't know if they were related when I went to see Dr. Mike. And that's what I liked about you, was that you were realistic and you were also very approachable. But it was like, "You know what? Let's look into this. Let's see if this is related. It could very well be. And there's a possibility that it's not."But I think that's important in terms of ... Especially, with chronically ill patients, setting the bar realistically rather than too high. There's a happy medium in there, basically.

       I guess the next question that's hanging on my head is, could you share with us some procedures that are pretty standard in dentistry offices ... Things like root canals or extractions or amalgams ... That are going on every day that are, in your opinion, most impactful in a negative way to health. What are your top three or four dentistry practices that you believe can cause harm?

 Michael Schecter: Right. It's a tricky question. I think that a part of why biological dentistry hasn't grown as well as the demand amongst patients ... Maybe I should say that in a different way. I think in general, there's a heightened awareness about the impact that our nutrition and our stress our lifestyle has on our health.

     I think that holistic medicine in general is growing. The population is becoming more aware. There's a large demand for holistic dentistry or biological dentistry. However, I don't think the supply is quite there. I don't think that dentists are really the general catching onto that demand, and catching up to those questions.

       A part of it is because, in dentistry in particular, a lot of this is very controversial. And so, some of what we're talking about might be my opinion or might be experiences that I've had, but it's not necessarily recognized by Health Canada or the Royal College of Dentists.

Meghan Kennedy :Right.

Michael Schecter: As an example, what we're talking about now in terms of, what do I see that might be impacting patients health ... And so, let's talk about amalgam mercury. According to Health Canada and the Royal College, once the filling has been placed, there's minimal impact of that mercury in the filling to our overall health. It's considered a safe [inaudible 00:16:05]. There's no indication to replace it unless there's cavity or a dental indication to replace it.

      In the holistic community, there's a raised concern about the material itself. And it's been demonstrated that the mercury continues to off gas, and that's increased with abrasion such as chewing, or temperature. And our mouths are pretty warm. And so, it's interesting. As a dentist in Canada, I have to respect the College mandate and inform my patients that it is a safe material if it's in the mouth.

     At the same time, when these fillings are replaced and patients go through levels of mercury detox, I witness a change to symptoms. And so, I've had patients tell me that their memory improves. I've had patients tell me that their libido improves, hair loss stabilizes. Common with mercury impacting the thyroid function, adrenal function, I think more as a result of thyroid improvement. And I think that's where the energy improvement will come from.

     It's kind of a tricky situation to be in, because sometimes what I see on a regular basis isn't necessarily what my College or Health Canada will support. And so, it's a learning experience and a growing experience. That's the amalgam piece. And then, I would say a similar thing for infection. You've used the word, "cavitation." I have to be honest, that term also isn't recognized in Canada.

     Health Canada and the Royal College do not recognize cavitation as an issue. I understand the term cavitation to refer to necrosis in the bone. The area of bone that didn't fill in a hundred percent, whether it was around ... Or an extracted tooth. And it's a similar sort of thing for me as the mercury. I think it's more difficult to define. But I find with these areas or these sites, they don't show up on x-rays. It can be very difficult to diagnose.

      However, I have had patients where I've opened up their sites, their gums, and checked the bones for various reasons ... Having the CT scan or whatever diagnostic tool I'm using show that the area is clear, and yet when I go in there, there is an unhealthy bone. When we clean up that bone, their symptoms can change. Again, it's a complicated conversation and it's not something that we can really dive into a hundred percent in this short period of time.

Meghan Kennedy: Right. Right.

Michael Schecter: But I think the bottom line for me is that chronic infection and potentially material toxicity can ... I've seen it can really impact patients' health. And I'll say the same thing I said with the last question. Genuinely, sometimes even if we find these strange things, and even if we clear these things up, it doesn't always change patient symptoms. But when it does, it's amazing.

Meghan Kennedy : Right. I have two questions based on what you just said. One is with the amalgam. I had seven amalgams in my mouth from when I was ... I don't know. An early teenager or a teenager. They were in there for about 20 years. I spent the last two years having them removed. When they were removed, the procedure to remove them was absolutely alarming to me.

      Because it looked like they were going into a murder scene. Everyone was covered with shields. They were completely draped. I was completely draped. There were ventilation systems in the ceiling. It seemed to me that what they were taking from my mouth was something that should never be on there based on the potential toxicity during removal.

      A lot of times in clinic, I will have people ask me, "I've had these silver fillings for 35, 40 years. Is it worth the risk of removing them or is it safer to keep them?" And I know this is a complex question, because as you said temperature and pressure can also play a significant role in the release essentially of heavy metals to the body, in terms of silver fillings.

      What would your quick opinion be in terms of a patient asking you, "Is it worth the risk of removal?" And if you said yes, can you just give us an understanding of that process of removal and why such caution is taken in that process?

 Michael Schecter: Right. I think it's important to understand that ... I don't know if the right word is limited, but I am a licensed dentist in Canada. And so, I have I follow the convention.

Meghan Kennedy: Yes.

Michael Schecter: Does that sound fair? According to Health Canada and the Royal College, there's no indication to replace a filling unless there's like a dental issue with that filling.

Meghan Kennedy: Okay.

Michael Schecter: If you look outside side of Canada, there are different insights available. For example, in Sweden, there's a mercury ban in the country. They cannot use amalgam fillings in Sweden, because they don't feel like it's safe for people to use. In Britain, you can't be cremated with the amalgam fillings, because they don't want it going into the air and into their water.

     And so, it's an interesting question. Genuinely, if someone has an amalgam filling in their mouth, I would look at how large the filling is. Because if it's really large and there's a risk of root canal or risks to the integrity of the tooth, where the tooth may need a crown, for example, to replace it ... I think those are valuable conversations to have. I think the other thing that one can look at is, what is the overall mercury load or toxic load in their body?

       And so, we all have abilities to deal with different toxins in different ways. From a genetic perspective, even some people are able to deal with solvents better. Some people can deal with plastics better. Some people can deal with having metals better. Sometimes the accumulation of all these things can be overwhelming to our system. And so, I think it's reasonable to take a look and see where one's levels are, if they're concerned about the decision-making process.

      With our College, with the Health Canada mandate, I already explained the position on mercury fillings. However, there is room there where we're allowed to take ... They mandate minimum precautions when we're placing these fillings or replacing them. Let's say there's recurrent decay under the filling. And so, we take a lot more precautions to make sure that our patients aren't further exposed to mercury during a procedure. If you're having a mercury filling removed, then my caution would be to make sure that you're doing it in the cleanest and safest way possible.

     We've had a mercury vapor analyzer in the office with removal and our numbers are incredibly low. And so, I think that if you're following a safe protocol, I think that it's safe to replace. We use charcoal and chlorella before and after just to help to capture the mercury that gets past our defenses.We have a special suction unit that goes in the mouth. We have a special suction unit that goes right up to the chin. We have a special air filter in the room. We use a lot of water and a very thin bur to section amalgam and pop out the pieces. We really try to take every step possible to reduce the exposure. We put oxygen over the nose, to give a contained breathing source. We try to take steps.

Meghan Kennedy: Okay. I love that you're using the binding agents too, because a lot of what I do in practice is ensuring that the detoxification systems are operating effectively. Because whatever we're dealing with, whether it's silver fillings, whether it's exposure in our environment, it's critical for overall health. And so, the fact that biological dentistry is really incorporating the binding agents, I think, is awesome. Before I mentioned the PRF, the platelet rich fibrin. Can you explain what that is to our listeners in layman's terms? I guess, in a simple way ... What is the purpose? What is it and what is the purpose of it in terms of ensuring smooth healing or the best healing possible?

 Michael Schecter: I'm going to explain it in a bit of a roundabout way. I think it will make sense to listeners. Biological dentists ... I really try to practice comprehensive dentistry. I have patients that come in and they really appreciate the approach that we offer. And so, they like for us to do the procedures for them. They don't like to go outside of the office. And that's helped me, encouraged me to really grow as a dentist.

      We have a very wide range of options. We place implants. Ceramic implants is an option. We offer root canals in a specific way, and we offer different procedures. It's very common for me to, let's say, remove a tooth, allow for healing, and then place an implant. When I go back in to place the implant, sometimes the bone didn't heal a hundred percent.

      You were referring to this term cavitation earlier, and maybe a way that I can explain it from a conventional perspective is ... In this example here that I'm giving ... I'm thinking of a gentleman in particular, where I took out his teeth, cleaned the bone really well. He came back four months later for the implants. I did a CT scan and the CT scan looked completely fine. But when I actually flapped the gums and took a look at the bone to place the implants, the bone itself was not healed.

      It didn't look correct, and there wasn't enough bone to place implants. In this particular situation, I cleaned it again. But what I found is that using ozone and this platelet rich fibrin helps to give me a better prognosis, in terms of the bone filling in predictably.

      Essentially, what it is, is we do a blood draw. It's like when you go get your blood taken for a lab test. The blood gets drawn, it gets spun in a centrifuge. So all the red blood cells dropped to the bottom, and all the fiber and all the healing factors come up to the top.

      It kind of looks like a piece of snot. It's a plug. And so, what we're able to do ... It's a tangible piece. It's not liquid. And so, we can use that as a form of grafting or as a form of a filling in the bone. And so, when I remove a tooth, when I'm trying to get an area in the bone to heal, I find this stuff works really well.

       It's a hundred percent your own stuff, nothing is added to it. It's actually pretty simple. Even from a cost perspective, it's so effective, because it's not something that I have to buy. It's just your home stuff.

Meghan Kennedy :Right.

Michael Schecter: It's great. I found that since I started using it, I have far fewer complications. I find that I have a much lower incidence of infection. Areas heal better. A hundred percent, the soft tissue, the gums heal much faster and much better. It's a really great product. As an example, if we need to cover an area with something, we used to use this collagen membrane off the shelf. It's basically a membrane made out of resorbable collagen that would just cover bone grafting or cover a socket or cover something. Now, this platelet rich fibrin, instead of switching to a plug, we lay it flat on the surface and compress it.And you get this nice thin membrane that's very strong. And so, you can use that to cover an area. And so, we're basically taking a product from your blood and using it as a membrane instead of something off the shelf. It's amazing.

Meghan Kennedy : It's incredible. It sounds like it's from the future. It's amazing. And so, you're finding then that healing rates have improved significantly and reinfection has decreased in terms of clinical practice?

Michael Schecter: Yeah. I would say to have fewer complications. Things heal faster and more predictably. That's the big thing is that, when you start talking about, "How well does this bone heal?" I find that it heals more predictably with this PRF. And so, if I'm removing a tooth, I'm at the point now where I recommend it with any extraction.

Meghan Kennedy: Okay. What are your thoughts on ... You use binding agents. Obviously, chlorella. What was the other one you mentioned you use?

 Michael Schecter: Charcoal.

Meghan Kennedy: Charcoal. You actually apply it directly to the site in the mouth, is that correct? Or is it more of, they're taking it orally during the before and after the procedure?

 Michael Schecter: Yeah. If they're doing an amalgam filling removal, then they'll rinse as like a slurry, the charcoal and chlorella before and after.

Meghan Kennedy: Okay. The other question that I had for you is ... Again, I understand your position, so answer as you can. But what is your take on fluoride? Because I think that the world is slowly emerging in terms of toxicities that exist around us and whether products are as safe as we once initially believed to be. Do you suggest to patients to use fluoride?

Michael Schecter: That's a good question too.

Meghan Kennedy: Sorry if I'm putting you on the spot here.

Michael Schecter: No, no, no. It's good. I's so good. It's so good to share and ask questions. If nothing else, I hope that this conversation is a launching pad for a listener to do their own research and to look things up.

Meghan Kennedy : Absolutely.

Michael Schecter: I think a great resource is the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology it's the IAOMT. It's a research-based organization that takes a look at these different dental controversies, whether it's the amalgam controversy or the fluoride controversy, and can get really into it. And there's published research to back up their positions.

    One of the insights for me into this more biological approach was the Dean of Prevention at U of T, where I went to school. He was lecturing on fluoride. Basically, his position was that he had come into the school as a fluoride advocate. But after doing research on fluoride, he actually didn't feel like all of the pushes and recommendations that we have for fluoride was warranted.

    Listen, there's no question for me that fluoride integrates into the enamel, into the tooth structure, and makes it harder and helps prevent decay. I do see that research. I think that it's more important when you're looking at tooth development ... I question how powerful, for example, fluoride in water is once your teeth have developed.

     I think that's a factor. I also think that it's reasonable to take a look at the risks and benefits. While fluoride potentially helps to reduce the rate of decay, it also has been proven to increase the rate of osteosarcoma in boys under the age of 12. It's a neurotoxin, it can be a digestive disrupt. And so, I think that when you're taking a look at fluoride, is it good for someone or not good for someone ... We should take a look at their caries risks. Their risk for cavities.

     What's their diet like? What's their oral hygiene like? What's their interest in having a more comprehensive, preventative approach? And so, like anything, I think any tool is valuable. But it just has to be used properly. I really try to educate my patients on alternatives. I try to educate them on the importance of an acid alkaline ... Or sorry. A more alkaline diet.

      The importance of frequency of water, of rinsing after they eat, of reducing sugar, of reducing sticky and sweet foods. Making sure that they're eating foods that also help to clean the teeth. All the different factors that go into cavity prevention on top of fluoride or other than fluoride.

Meghan Kennedy: Fluoride's just one piece of the whole puzzle, right? I think that was a really great answer, because you're respecting the profession and the history and the research that supports the use of fluoride. But I think you're also acknowledging that what was once factual or indicated in a profession can change as well.

      I think giving patients the option and allowing them to be their ... You can give guidance, but allowing them to make an informed choice for themselves. Right?

 Michael Schecter: No, I was just going to say ... I think you hit the nail on the head right there, in terms of what I maybe left out about being a biological dentist. I really try to meet patients in their health philosophy. And I find as a health practitioner in 2020, it's so critical. I feel like, as a profession, sometimes we miss that mark. I still feel like dentists and the dentistry profession is very, "talk down."

      We're telling patients what is right and what should be done, and the philosophy that they should be following, where the reality is that a lot of what we talk about is controversial. And so, I really try to give my patients information. But at the end of the day, it's their bodies, it's their health. They should be the ones that make decisions.

Meghan Kennedy :Absolutely.

Michael Schecter: When they say to me, "I don't want fluoride." If they're educated on it, I respect it. It goes the same thing for amalgam fillings. It should go the same thing for root canals. It should go the same thing for anything that a patient can make true informed consent. It's their bodies, it's their health issue. It should be their philosophy.

Meghan Kennedy: Absolutely. I am a hundred percent on board with that. What does a visit look like? A standard visit in your office? If it was ... I guess it's tricky to say, because every patient is different and every case history. But in terms of just the approach.Just to give the listeners an idea, when we look at going to see your GP versus going to see a naturopath. The processes is quite different in terms of being more holistic. And the time factor is obviously a lot different.

      Is there a way that you can compare the GP, naturopath comparison to what conventional dentists and biological dentists would look like in terms of a visit?

Michael Schecter: Well, I think every dentist practices differently. When I got out of school, I worked in a few different offices. What I found, at least the convention that I was exposed to, was that typically a new patient exam would be a visit with the hygienist. And then, you'd have five, ten minutes with the dentist. I couldn't get it all done. I just didn't understand. I wasn't able to connect with a patient, I wasn't able to get their medical history. I wasn't able to get into what their dental concerns were.

      And so, what we try to do is have a one-on-one initial appointment, where we collect all the records and we sit down. It's anywhere between 40 minutes to an hour. We really try to connect with a patient, and get into why specifically they're coming into the office. We like to do a microscopic analysis. We take a sample of plaque, look at it under the microscope.

    We can take a look at levels of inflammation, different microbes that are under the gums, whether it's a candida like a fungus or parasite. Different unhealthy bacteria. And that really helps us set up our preventative or hygiene program. We try to tie that also back into the overall microbiome, if there's chronic inflammation, overall inflammation. It sets up the conversation about overall health. How does that relate to oral health and vice versa?

     We'll do our x-rays or imaging, or we'll get them from a previous office. And then, we'll sit down and we'll chat. And I love working as a team. I love being collaborative. If there's an opportunity to include a general health practitioner, whether it's a naturopath or a medical doctor, someone that can really help quarterback, it's so fantastic.

     If there's any neuromuscular issue, sometimes we'll talk about the idea of like a craniosacral or an osteopath. And we get into dentistry. If it's the ideal and someone comes in with health and no issues, fantastic. We want to support that. We go through the different modalities we can offer, whether it's a Canaray scan to reduce radiation over time. It's an alternative to x-rays. Or different preventative tools. Things that potentially have reduced toxicity, in terms of oral home care products. And then, if there are dental needs, then we talk about it. What we try to do is break down the procedures into a reduced toxic approach. And so, for example, if a patient opts for a root canal, we use ozone gas to disinfect the tubules, which just is an additional aid to getting a better prognosis long term. And so, it's tough to really give you more specifics than that, just because with each procedure it can really vary.

Meghan Kennedy: I think that gives us a great picture. And I said this at the beginning, listeners are going to go running to a biological dentist after this, because it's actually ... Even with naturopaths, the rate of contentment when someone has seen a naturopath for the first time is extremely high. Because just the way it is when I came into your office, versus having seen a conventional dentist my entire life ... A completely different experience. You feel heard, you feel validated, you feel cared for, and it is next level. We're super appreciative of what you do.

Michael Schecter: Thank you.

Meghan Kennedy : Last question for you, Dr. Mike is, what do you do day-to-day to maintain your oral health? What are some quick tips that you can offer for listeners to just get started if this is all brand new to them?

Michael Schecter: I truly feel like health in general stems from a few basic tenants. Like all of our health, I think that activity, water, stress relief, sun, diet ... All of those things help to give us a healthy system and a healthy mouth. The number ... Or I don't know if it's the number one, but a major issue with the mouth is inflammation. And so, we have chronic inflammation if we're stressed, if our cortisol is out of control, if we're eating too acidic. You can brush your teeth all day long. It doesn't make a difference. That overall balance, I feel, is so critical to our overall health. In terms of my daily routine, I brush and floss my teeth twice a day when I'm good. Maybe my hygienist is listening, maybe she's not. But I use a water pick in the evening.I like the water pick. I find that it gets under the gums and massages the tissue well and encourages blood flow. Helps to bring a more aerobic or oxygenated environment under the gums. So I like the water pick. I like ozone oil. So I use ozonated olive oil as my toothpaste in the evening. I like that.

       I try to drink water throughout the day. And I do drink water throughout the day. I find if you ... For example, if you have a late night snack. Even if you brush right away afterwards, you still wake up in the morning with a not-as-fresh feeling.

Meghan Kennedy: Right.

Michael Schecter: And so, I think it's really important to be cognizant of the frequency that one is eating and how close to bed one is eating, so that you can give your saliva a chance to catch up to the acidity of the food that we're consuming.So I think that's a big piece of it as well. But basically, I brush, I floss, water pick. And the food that I take in and the water I take in, I think, is a big thing.

Meghan Kennedy: That's fantastic. I think that's super helpful. To you, it probably feels like common sense. But I think for people outside of that world, I think that's great. Those are fantastic tips. It's always such a pleasure to chat with you, Dr. Mike. It's easy to see, not only the passion for what you do, but also your expertise. I know you attend a lot of conferences and speaking engagements, and you're actively involved in the latest emerging research in your field. And it's evident when we sit down and chat with you, so thank you.

To learn more about Dr. Mike, you can check out his website at schechterdental.com. I will also post his contact information under the podcast episode description. Thank you again for your time today. It was such a pleasure.

Thank you to our listeners for being here and taking an active role in your health. Please don't forget to share our episodes with friends and family, and please leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Thank you, Mike, so much.

Michael Schecter: Thank you. We'll speak soon.

Meghan Kennedy: Yes, we will. Take care.