When life hands you lemons, make lemonade, as the saying goes. In Dr. Idelle S. Brand’s case, it wasn’t lemons, but Lyme disease.
When Dr. Brand was diagnosed in the 1990s, she had two young children and a dentistry practice. The Lyme disease gave her muscle atrophy, neuropathy, tremors, palpitations, and brain fog. Conventional doctors told her to consider going on a permanent disability pension.
“They said I was incurable and that I would never get well,” Dr. Brand said.
Her sense of hopelessness transformed when she decided to take matters into her own hands and find alternative ways to regain her health.
“Through my own research, before even the Internet was around, I was able to get past it by detoxing my body,” she said, adding that detoxing included removing some of the toxins from her teeth.
It worked, and Dr. Brand even wrote a book about her recovery: “My Secrets to Regaining Health.”
Dr. Brand runs The Brand Wellness Center in Midtown Manhattan and brings a unique and holistic approach to dentistry.
Aromatherapy and healing sound frequencies permeate the office. You can choose to hold special rocks that absorb stress during a dental procedure. A free meditative two-minute tune up will balance your energy field before you leave, and you get a chance to learn about how the organs and meridians relate to each one of your teeth through the Meridian Tooth Chart.
In addition to the many orthodox dentistry procedures, Dr. Brand’s standard exam includes a Chinese medicine-based tongue reading. She also routinely does saliva pH screenings, which can indicate underlying causes of tooth problems as well as general health problems.
Dr. Brand gets patients with chronic illnesses and no conventional medical cure. These patients have found that everything going on in their mouth is related to their whole body health.
“When you make that connection you can start turning around chronic illnesses,” Dr. Brand said.
She has been selected as a Top Dentist by the International Association of Dentists and has also been spotlighted in the renowned publication The Leading Physicians of the World.
Toxins in Teeth and Beyond
Mercury fillings, metal crowns, and some root canal fillings leach toxins that filter through to the rest of the body, Dr. Brand explained.
The effects of mercury vapor on the body are cumulative, and as the body gets older and the immune system naturally weakens, the effects of heavy-metal toxicity are compounded.
One of the most overlooked areas in conventional medicine and dentistry, according to Dr. Brand, pertains to the toxins in teeth and in the rest of the human body, toxins that are constantly taxing the whole body and contributing to autoimmune diseases.
“When you detox the body, you lower the toxic load on the immune system and the body can start functioning better. You can take all the vitamins in the world, and you can exercise until you’re sweating like crazy, but until you remove the poisons it’s going to be very difficult to get well,” Dr. Brand said.
Many people might look as if they have perfect teeth, but she warns that this is not indication of what lies beneath the surface.
Mercury-Free Versus Mercury-Safe
A mercury-free dentist is someone who will not use mercury fillings to restore cavities. A mercury-safe dentist, on the other hand, is someone who takes extra safety protocols while removing mercury fillings from patients.
For example, a mercury-safe dentist would make sure that while a mercury filling is being drilled out, there is no vapor that the patient and office staff are breathing in, and the patient doesn’t swallow any mercury pieces that break off during drilling.
How to Remove Toxins
In the case of mercury, the first step is to remove the mercury from the source and then from the rest of the body through proper nutrition.
Apart from safely removing mercury fillings, Dr. Brand advises making sure the dentist replaces them with white fillings that are fluoride and BPA (bis-phenol A) free so you’re not just replacing one toxin with another.
Some simple steps in detoxing the rest of the body, include these:
• Eat real, unprocessed, or minimally processed food.
• Eat chlorophyll-based foods such as green vegetables in their natural state, as well as juiced.
• Take a saltwater bath for 20 minutes, twice a week to help remove the heavy metals through the skin.
• Use fluoride-free toothpaste.
• Use fluoride-free infant formula.
• Filter your water if the source has been treated with fluoride.
Bad breath can be caused by many things: It could be from medication that causes dry mouth, sinus problems, digestive problems, teeth and gum disease, or a combination of any of these problems.
Dr. Brand recommends a routine saliva pH screening for an indication of overall health.
Normal saliva should be at pH7, the neutral value. Lower values are more acidic, while higher indicate alkalinity.
“Very acidic saliva is an indication that there is inflammation in the body. If the pH is at 6 or below, that sets you up for all kinds of auto-immune diseases. If you’re too alkaline, 7.6 or 8, that’s an indicator of some sort of digestive issue,” Dr. Brand said, adding that pH level is directly linked to tooth decay.
She has noticed that people who eat a lot of grains tend to have more cavities and very thin teeth—because grains and nuts have phytic acid, which tends to demineralize the teeth and the bones. This is particularly noticeable in her patients who follow a macrobiotic diet.
Dr. Brand recommends some simple ways to care for overall health that will have a positive impact on the teeth if followed consistently:
• Visit your dentist twice a year.
• Brush everyday, twice a day.
• Floss after every meal to ensure there is no food between the teeth and under the gums. This prevents bacteria build up, as well as bad breath.
• Get a tongue reading.
• Practice oil-pulling once a day with coconut oil (which has been shown to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects).
• Practice good nutrition, including fresh fruits and vegetables, green juices with antioxidants.
• Use sugar sparingly or try substitutes such as xylitol, stevia leaf extract (both recommended for diabetics with a low insulin response), and honey (has an antibacterial effect).
• Vegetarians and vegans who eat of lot of grains should soak, sprout, and ferment the grains because these methods have been shown to substantially reduce phytic acid.
Brand Wellness Center
19 W. 34th St., Suite 1022
(between 5th & 6th avenues)
New York, NY 10001