Welcome to the official blog of The Brand Wellness Center. Please join us for holistic health news, inspirational insights and enlightening ideas on healing. Feel free to add your comments and share our blog with friends.

February 24, 2019

Tooth Erosion

Have you ever noticed that your teeth look thinner than they used to? Maybe even a bit darker? Some wear is inevitable as we age, but excessive wearing away of the tooth surface can have many causes.

According to one recent study, general dental erosion was found in 28% of 15 year olds and 34% of 17 year olds. Basically that means that erosion prevalence is rising as we chronologically age. Additionally, severe dental erosion was found in nearly 20% of adolescents (age 15 to 17). That’s almost 1 out of every 5 teenagers.

Statistics like this are alarming, since erosion of teeth will only lead to bigger dental problems in the future – usually tooth sensitivity, nerve exposure and even breakage of the teeth involved.

This bio-corrosion of teeth is a multifactorial issue that needs to be addressed at an early age, before damage is done, as the damage is usually irreversible.

Tooth erosion can look different depending on the cause. Here are a few different scenarios.

Fronts of teeth are eroded

Teeth edges are eroded

These are the many causes of tooth erosion:
• Clenching or grinding of teeth
• Acidic foods and drinks (carbonated beverages, some bottled flavored waters, ACV or lemon water)
• Medications
• GERD –gastro-esophageal reflux disease
• Eating disorders (vomiting after eating- anorexia or bulimia)
• Overbrushing with electric toothbrushes or hard bristle toothbrushes
• Abrasive toothpastes
• Acidic saliva pH (usually due to diet or toxicity in system)
• Mineral deficiencies
• Vitamin deficiencies
• Swimming in chlorinated pools (See our blog Swimming Can Be Harmful to Your Teeth 

All of the above are correctable, with simple lifestyle modifications. Be sure to ask at your next dental appointment on how we can best address these necessary changes in habit, diet or nutrient supplementation. By being proactive now, you will prevent bigger dental problems in the future.

January 19, 2019

Toxic Dental Floss

Dental floss seems fairly innocuous. But like with any modern-day personal care products, consumers need to be aware of added chemicals that may go into its production.

A new study suggests certain types of consumer behaviors, including flossing with Oral-B Glide dental floss can contribute to elevated levels in the body of toxic PFAS chemicals.

PFA (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) is a highly fluorinated chemical usually added to a wide variety of consumer products to make them non-stick, waterproof, and stain-resistant. PFAs are found in carpets, upholstery, waterproof apparel, floor waxes, non-stick cookware, grease-proof food packaging, and now have been found in dental floss.

Glide dental floss is a staple in most dental offices and in many homes for personal use. It is a great floss as it slides easily between the tightest teeth and is impossible to shred.

According to the recent study, women who flossed with Oral-B Glide tended to have higher levels of a type of PFAS called PFHxS in their body compared to those who didn’t. The study, led by Silent Spring Institute in collaboration with the Public Health Institute in Berkeley, CA, appears online January 8 in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology (JESEE), and is part of a special issue dedicated to PFAS.

PFASs are among the most ubiquitous manmade chemicals in the world. Approximately 98 percent of Americans have PFASs in their bodies. While their strong chemical bonds make them very effective at repelling water and oil even at high temperatures (great for non-stick pans and stain repellant), these same characteristics also make PFASs extremely persistent, meaning they don’t break down easily in the human body.

Scientists are concerned about widespread exposure to PFAS in the population because the chemicals have been linked with health effects including kidney, breast and testicular cancer, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, low birth weight, decreased fertility, and effects on the immune system.

So for those of us who rely on Glide floss to clean the space between our tight teeth, the best solution is to used thin waxed floss with the additional use of a irrigator (preferably magnetic) to remove as much plaque as possible. Other options would be to use unwaxed silk thread (popular in the 1800’s), thin nylon string, or to follow the advice of Dr. Hulda Clark and use a two-or-four pound monofilament of fishing line.

Recently, I have seen other newer types of floss on the market made from coconut fiber and other plants, which seem to work well.

There are many alternative options available. Choose wisely.

December 30, 2018

E-cigarettes and Oral Health

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. Concomitantly, many studies show that there is an increase in the risk of death from all cancers for anyone who smokes.

Aside from these obvious statistics, cigarette smoking can cause significant changes in your oral health. The most frequent side effect from smoking is stained yellow-brown teeth. Lesser known effects are bad breath, dry mouth, gum disease, tooth loss and increased incidence of oral cancer.

Looking for a substitute, one may immediately go to e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco. Instead they contain nicotine in a chemical solution that is heated and vaporized so that you can inhale it.

The good news is that it won’t stain your teeth yellow-brown, but that may be the only advantage.

Studies show that e-cigarettes are just as harmful as conventional cigarettes and perhaps even more detrimental. This is because they contain solvents and flavorings that are highly carcinogenic.

Even though these e-cigarettes contain no nicotine, the substitute chemical flavorings added, exacerbate the damage that was previously caused by nicotine. Menthol flavored vapor is considered the most toxic.

While some e-cigarette manufacturers advertise that these e-cigarettes can help you quit regular cigarettes, this has not been proven.
Replacing one toxic habit with another toxic habit is not a solution. The best way to avoid smoking is to never start. Electronic cigarettes are not the solution if you want to quit smoking. There are other choices. It is paramount to speak to your health care professional for further advice.

November 23, 2018

Gratitude for Better Health

The holiday season can be stressful for many, but focusing on gratitude will make a tremendous difference in mitigating this stress. Additionally, it may also change your entire outlook on life.

Here are some simple suggestions on how to have a more positive attitude:
  • • Smile. Children, on average, smile 400 times a day. Adults only smile on average of 20 times per day. ‘Fake it until you make it” comes to mind. Consciously put that smile on, until it becomes innate.
  • Eat healthy. Avoiding junk food (sugar, processed foods and alcohol) will keep your mind clear.
  • • Exercise. Good to keep the energy flowing.
  • • Keep your dental health in check. Regular visits to the dentist, will keep your teeth and gums healthy and pain free. Nothing worse than a toothache to ruin your mindset.
  • • Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t have. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.
  • • Donate. Many studies have shown that donating activates pleasure centers in the brain.

Here is an excerpt from our book Enlightened Indigo Child that may give you a good idea on how to consciously focus on gratitude:

Trick #4: Feel Gratitude
Just like love, gratitude is a high frequency. Having gratitude for the positive memories, lessons learned, and experiences you have, is one step closer to forgiveness.
Say or think the sentence: I am grateful for____________.
Just fill in the blank. Do this exercise as often as you can for as long as you can; for at least ten minutes or longer. It almost becomes a form of meditation and can create an inner peace like no medication could ever possibly achieve.
I often use this as a walking meditation. “What beautiful trees. Thank you for being here and cleaning our air and making the street lovelier. … What a beautiful building. So tall and majestic. Wow. And look at the pretty architecture. … The clouds. They’re so puffy and white. Thank you for providing rain for the plants to grow and giving us water to drink….. And look at that beautiful big pile of garbage on the street. Somebody just cleaned out their home to make room for new stuff……And those dirty pots and dishes left in the sink. So grateful to have such healthy food to eat on these lovely dishes.”
You get the point. Find the joy of everything. It’s there if you change your paradigm viewpoint.
While the old adage says to count sheep if you can’t sleep, I say to count blessings. Not only will you fall asleep quicker, you will be in a very restful high frequency state of tranquility. Your dreams will be better and you will wake up more refreshed than ever. The added bonus is that you will see your life attracting more positive experiences. It’s a paradigm shift of focusing on what you have and not on what you want. The Universal Law of Attraction will always bring more of whatever you think about.
If you worry incessantly on how your parents are mean, guess what? They will be. But if you show gratitude for all the nice things they have done (given you food, clothing, toys, life, etc.) then you will find that they will continue to do more of it.
And for the parents, if you worry and continue to point out how inadequate your child is relative to other kids his age, then you will never see the blessings of their situation. Not everyone can be a doctor, lawyer or rocket scientist, so focus on their strengths and show gratitude for your child’s gifts.

Gratefulness is a mindset, and a gift in and of itself. My hope is that you experience deep gratitude this holiday season, and appreciate the gifts that are freely yours each day.

If you like this post you may also like An Attitude of Gratitude

October 24, 2018

Amazing Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency is rampant. While less than 2% of Americans have been estimated to experience magnesium deficiency, one studysuggests that up to 75% are not meeting their recommended intake.  In most cases, deficiency is often overlooked until the person becomes extremely symptomatic. Even then, a different health condition may be the diagnosis with no regard to magnesium deficiency being the actual cause.

                                             Epsom Salt - A Good Source of Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency can be linked to many symptoms and diseases; most commonly muscle cramping and twitches, palpitations, anxiety and trouble sleeping.

Here is an abbreviated list of hypomagnesemia’s most prominent symptoms:
  • • hypertension and cardiovascular disease, palpitations, irregular heartbeat, atrial fibrillations
  • • kidney and liver damage
  • • migraine headaches
  • • muscle cramps and fasciculations
  • • other nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin K, calcium and potassium
  • • restless leg syndrome
  • • depression and anxiety
  • • insomnia and trouble sleeping
  • • osteoporosis
  • • a depressed immune system
  • • tooth cavities
  • • bruxism
  • • muscle weakness and cramps

If you believe you may have a magnesium deficiency, your suspicions can be confirmed with a simple blood test. However this may not even be accurate, as a blood test will tell you how much magnesium is circulating, not how much is actually being absorbed.

There are many good food sources of magnesium, but most people have compromised gut situations where they do not break down their food properly and as a result do not absorb magnesium (and other nutrients) efficiently.

If you are looking for natural sources of magnesium, here is a list of the top ten foods: (the RDA for an adult is 300 -400 milligrams/day):
  • 1. Spinach: 1 cup cooked: 157 milligrams
  • 2. Swiss Chard: 1 cup cooked: 150 milligrams
  • 3. Black Beans: 1 cup cooked: 120 milligrams
  • 4. Mung Beans: 1 cup cooked: 97 milligrams
  • 5. Almonds: ¼ cup: 97 milligrams
  • 6. Cashews: ¼ cup: 91 milligrams
  • 7. Potatoes: 1 large: 85 milligrams
  • 8. Pumpkin Seeds: 1/4 cup: 42 milligrams
  • 9. Avocado: 1 raw: 39 milligrams
  • 10. Bananas: 1 banana: 37 milligrams

Consequently, supplementation may be the best solution.

Here is a list of magnesium supplements and their typical uses:

  •  • magnesium carbonate — used in antacids; strong laxative effect
  •  • magnesium citrate — most popular all-around magnesium supplement; moderate laxative effects
  •  • magnesium glycinate — considered ideal for correcting deficiency; has a calming effect, good for muscle issues
  •  • magnesium hydroxide — found in milk of magnesia; laxative, antacid
  •  • magnesium malate — fatigue, fibromyalgia, insomnia
  •  • magnesium taurate — high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, calming
  •  • magnesium threonate - most readily enters the brain. Its unique ability to permeate brain cell membranes and elevate magnesium concentrations in the brain makes it particularly useful for treating anxiety and depression, and for cognitive enhancement.
  •  • magnesium oxide- only hast 4% bioavailability, acts as a laxative
  •  • magnesium oil - a good source for transdermal supplementation, especially good for anyone with a compromised intestines or prone to diarrhea
  •  • magnesium chloride – can be mixed with water to make magnesium oil. Most effective for transdermal absorption
  •  • magnesium sulfate – also known as Epsom salt. Great for soaking in the tub to soothe tired muscles or transdermal supplementation

There are few risks associated with magnesium supplementation. Most common is diarrhea, nausea or cramping. It is possible to take too much magnesium. To determine which magnesium is best for you, it is a good idea to speak with your educated health practitioner.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:   The Miracle of Minerals

September 15, 2018

Flossing Really is Important

Here’s a newsflash.

Flossing your teeth BEFORE you brush has been proven to be the most effective way to get your teeth their cleanest. This recent study recently published in the Journal of Periodontology has just confirmed exactly what I have been telling patients for years: Floss First! (You can take a look at our blog written 4 years ago to get the details on this)


Apparently, by removing all the interproximal plaque and food debris, you will actually be able to clean more of the tooth surface and gums. Makes perfect sense to me.

Consequently the question that pops into my mind is: why do all the directions on the toothpaste tube say to brush first and then floss? Here are a few reasons:
• Brushing is easier than flossing
• Toothpaste taste better than floss
• Toothpaste is advertised everywhere and more socially acceptable, floss isn’t
• The more you brush, the more toothpaste you will buy (therefore the label advises you to brush first)

Finally, if flossing is so important for dental health, it is best to make sure you are doing it correctly; most people aren’t. At your next dental visit, make it a priority to ask your dentist/hygienist for a quick demo to master this critical part of keeping your teeth healthy for a lifetime.

August 3, 2018

Is Glyphosate Affecting My Health?

Glyphosate was first introduced in the United States in 1974. It is best known for being the active ingredient in Monsanto’s popular Roundup herbicide. It is used on crops of all kinds, from corn to soybeans to wheat to potatoes. Unfortunately it is now being found in many organic crops as well, due to wind dispersing it from nearby farms. There really is no way to avoid it; glyphosate is everywhere.


Trace amounts of glyphosate are found in all foods, and as a result, in our bodies. At high exposure, it has been classified as a “probable carcinogen” and assumed to have a significant correlation with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. (See usrtk.org/pesticides/mdl-monsanto-glyphosate-cancer-case-key-documents-analysis/ 

According to one study, the major health issues associated with glyphosate are:
• Alzheimer’s disease:
• Anencephaly (birth defect)
• Autism
• Birth defects
• Brain cancer
• Breast cancer
• Cancer:
• Celiac disease and gluten intolerance
• Chronic kidney disease:
• Colitis
• Depression
• Diabetes:
• Heart disease
• Hypothyroidism
• Inflammatory Bowel Disease (“Leaky Gut Syndrome”
• Liver disease
• Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS)
• Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
• Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
• Parkinson’s disease:
• Pregnancy problems (infertility, miscarriages, stillbirths)
• Obesity
• Reproductive problems
• Respiratory illnesses

That’s a long list of health problems.
The good news is that it is simple to detox from glyphosate. The challenge is that this detoxing will now be a lifelong practice that needs to be done routinely to be effective.

Most effective ways to detox from Glyphosate:

• Sauna
• Oil pulling –sunflower oil (as opposed to other oils for oil pulling) seems to be the most effective in pulling out the oil soluble toxin

Gyphosate is a fat soluble toxin. Mobilization of fat from the body is the best way to excrete it. Use of a sauna may be difficult for the majority, but oil pulling is accessible to everyone. You can learn more about Oil Pulling here.

June 30, 2018

Candida Infection of the Mouth

Oral candidiasis -- also known as Oral thrush, is a condition in which the fungus Candida albicans accumulates on the lining of your mouth and tongue. Candida is a normal organism in your mouth, but sometimes it can overgrow and cause symptoms. When the fungus begins to grow uncontrollably, an infection can develop.

Oral Candida

Oral thrush most often occurs in infants and toddlers, people receiving cancer therapies, diabetics, and anyone with a compromised immune system. If you have any history of taking antibiotics or heavy metal toxicity (including mercury fillings),  you are a prime candidate for a Candida infection. 

There are many cases of patients with a long history of “stubborn” candida overgrowth and yeast infections that couldn’t be easily healed. Only when the heavy metal toxicity problem was addressed, the candida overgrowth became easier to manage. This is very common in people that have mercury fillings or a known exposure to mercury.

Oral Symptoms of Candidiasis:
• Creamy white lesions on your tongue, inner cheeks, and sometimes on the roof of your mouth, gums and tonsils
• Slightly raised lesions with a cottage cheese-like appearance
• Redness, burning or soreness that may be severe enough to cause difficulty eating or swallowing
• Slight bleeding if the lesions are rubbed or scraped
• Cracking and redness at the corners of your mouth
• A cottony feeling in your mouth
• Loss of taste
• Redness, irritation and pain under dentures (denture stomatitis)

Other Symptoms of Candidiasis:
• fatigue
• skin issues
• sugar cravings
• autoimmune disease
• digestive issues
• joint pain
• headache
• brain fog

Some Simple Remedies for Treating Oral Thrush:
1. Salt water rinses
2. Oral probiotics throughout the day: yogurt, manuka honey, probiotics lozenges
3. Coconut Oil Pulling
4. Apple Cider Vinegar to maintain proper pH and increase good bacteria in the mouth
5. Tea Tree Oil or Peppermint Oil rinse. Gargle with few drops added to warm water
6. Baking Soda to maintain good pH by neutralizing acids in the mouth
7. Chewing garlic
8. Grapefruit seed extract rinse
9. Aloe vera applied directly to the lesions
10. Visit your dentist for treatment with ozone or laser treatment  

In severe cases, usually related to cancer or a weakened immune system from HIV/AIDS, the lesions may spread downward into the esophagus — the foodpipe stretching from the back of your mouth to your stomach. If this occurs, you may experience difficulty swallowing and pain or feel as if food is getting stuck in your throat.

Thrush is uncommon in healthy children and adults, so if thrush develops, see your doctor to determine if further evaluation is needed to check for an underlying medical condition or other cause.

May 13, 2018

Activated Charcoal for Tooth Whitening. Does it Work?

Using activated charcoal for whitening teeth can be effective, at least, initially. Long term effects can be damaging. A recent study has just proven exactly what I have been telling patients for years. Brushing any abrasive substance (activated charcoal, bentonite clay, kaolin paste, diatomaceous earth, etc.) on your teeth may initially whiten them by polishing the discolored enamel, but eventually it will lead to an end result of harmful effects.

Activated charcoal toothbrushing

According to this study, the teeth may start out getting whiter, but with continuous use, the outer white enamel layer will be worn away (abraded), exposing the secondary layer of brown or gray dentin. The other concern with further use is the thinning of the teeth themselves, making them more translucent (thin and see-through), and ultimately prone to chipping, cracking or decay. As a side note, activated charcoal powder scores about a 70 to 90 on the RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasivity) scale, while most whitening toothpastes score between 100 to 200 RDA.

So when looking for natural ways to whiten your teeth, consider these parameters:

• Try Oil Pulling. See our post on Oil Pulling for further information.
• Brush with Baking Soda. It has a low abrasive level. It has a Mohs hardness value of 2.5 and an RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasivity) value of 7. See this chart below for Abrasive levels of different toothpastes. Also read our post on Baking Soda and Oral Health.

• Avoid staining foods; particularly coffee, tea and turmeric.
• Avoid smoking cigarettes or smoking anything.
• Eat fruits and vegetables to naturally clean your teeth.
• Increase mineral consumption to strengthen the tooth structure which will prevent stains from absorbing.
• Rinse your mouth with water immediately after consuming acidic foods.
• Brush and floss after every meal to remove staining food and acid buildup on teeth.
• Avoid excessive fluoride intake to prevent fluorosis (mottled staining) of the teeth. See our many posts on Fluorosis.
• Avoid antibiotics, especially Tetracycline in childhood. Tetracycline stain has been documented in causing irreversible intrinsic staining in developing teeth.

To answer our original question about activated charcoal – does it whiten teeth?

The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’. It only will whiten teeth by removing the outside layer of tooth structure. Not a very holistic choice for whitening. It might be better to use it as a rinse instead of actually brushing it on your teeth. Just swish it around for a few minutes in your mouth and it will absorb the surface stains on your teeth. I have seen several patients whose teeth suffered erosion due to the overuse of  brushing with charcoal. Use with discretion.

April 15, 2018

Osteoporosis and Heart Disease

Most people are aware that there is a strong correlation between periodontal (gum) disease and heart attacks. Bringing this a step further, one can see that there may also be a strong correlation between bone loss and overall heart disease. Since most periodontal disease involves not just gum inflammation and pocketing, but also loss of the bone height supporting the teeth, we can assume that this bone loss, along with the gum inflammation is involved with the heart attack as well.

According to a recent PubMed study, Correlation between Osteoporosis and Cardiovascular Disease, patients affected with osteoporosis, have a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases than subjects with normal bone mass. For years we were told that this may be due to bacteria getting into the bloodstream and causing blood clots (stroke or heart attack) in the blood vessels, but there may be a bigger culprit to consider.

It has been found that low bone densities are strongly associated with high calcification of the blood vessels. Via nutritional deficiency, minerals are deposited in the lining of arteries instead of the bones. This can be seen on standard x-rays, where dense calcium deposits in the aorta are seen juxtaposed to thin, calcium depleted vertebrae.

Calcification may even form around the heart valves, leading to decrease blood flow and thickening of the arterial walls.

An additional  study has shown an almost six time greater risk of heart disease in people with osteoporosis.

When we consider that the people of our country (USA) probably eat more dairy and take more calcium supplements that anyone else in the world, one has to wonder why osteoporosis and heart disease is rampant.

We may be getting all the minerals we need but apparently, these minerals are being deposited in the blood vessels, not the bones.

This is most likely due to Vitamin K2 deficiency, the necessary nutrient that deposits the minerals in the bone and reduces vascular calcium deposits. It is almost impossible to get enough from food, so it is best to supplement.

March 11, 2018

How to Avoid a Healing Crisis

It’s wonderful when we are proactive for our own health. Taking charge of a good diet, and implementing effective daily detoxing is one of the best ways to get out from under a chronic inflammatory condition.

Sometimes however, we can be a bit over ambitious, detox too quickly and feel worse than before we started. This is called a Healing Crisis or Herxheimer Reaction.

Healing Crisis is a term used to describe the uncomfortable side effects that occur when we rapidly detoxify chemicals, heavy metals, pathogens and/or accumulated wastes from tissues and cells.

The symptoms usually include:
• Serious headaches
• confusing mental fog
• intense unexplained anxiety
• insomnia
• constipation or digestive upset
• lethargy
• respiratory problems
• rashes
• palpitations and tremors

Needless to say, this can be scary and extremely uncomfortable. Sometimes the Herxheimer can be so intense that it may feel like an emergency situation that requires a visit to the hospital emergency room.

With that being said, it is always important to detox slowly, at a pace your body can handle. I know that we are all in a rush to get healthy immediately, but slow and steady is really the way to go. The journey to better health is forever on-going and it may take months to notice an improvement in health. It took years for to develop this chronic illness and it may take just as long to get well.

Here are some basics to help:
• Begin all detox plans slowly. You can never be sure how your body will react, so give it at least 3-5 days (or more) for a slow transition before going up to full dosage.
• Take supportive nutrients for the detox pathways. Begin at least 2 weeks before you start any detox plan. Liver and gut support are paramount. It might be best to work with an informed health practitioner to support you on this.
Body brush or take salt baths are helpful to expedite detoxing through the skin, your largest detox organ.
• Keep your bowels moving daily to prevent reabsorption of die-off toxins.
If you have a constipation issue, do not even start a detox program until you have at least one bowel movement each day.
• Always follow a clean diet, avoiding sugars and all processed foods.
• Drink plenty of water with additional minerals to keep the systems hydrated and the cells communicating.
Get enough sleep. Eight to ten hours per night is essential for the body to go into a healing phase.
• Alkalinize to buffer toxins. Chlorophyll drinks may be helpful for this.
• Take plenty of antioxidants to neutralize the oxidative stress from released toxins.

Herxheimer reactions can be quite intense and frightening. Good planning will make a tremendous difference for a smooth experience.

More information on detoxification can be found in my book: My Secrets to Regaining Health