I love going to the dentist. Yep, I’m one of those. I love the scraping and the picking and the general discomfort of the whole procedure. It’s like getting a tattoo or walking on hot coals. Kinda hurts, kinda feels good. I fall into a sort of zen-like meditative state when I’m in the chair. It’s totally weird but I don’t care.
Anyway, other than achey gums and sensitive teeth, I have never believed that going for a cleaning could be hazardous to my health. That is until I saw this article in the Daily Camera, a local paper in Boulder, Colorado.
Boulder Dental Arts, as Aimee Heckel reports, offers totally gluten free dentistry. Meaning all of their professional dentistry cleaners, pastes, polishes, and whatever are entirely gluten free. When I first read this I was elated. But then I began to feel alarmed, and ashamed, and kind of stupid. Stupid because I thought that I had done an amazing job of eradicating any form of gluten from my life. I thought I had it all figured out. I’m embarrassed to say that it had never occurred to me that gluten could be hiding in my torture chamber of pleasure, the dentist office. I have gluten free toothpaste and floss at home, but the dentist? I felt sick.
“How many times had I been glutened by my San Francisco dentist and the others before him? Now that I think about it, I always felt a bit off after a good 6-month cleaning. If I hadn’t seen this article, how long until I would have figured this out?” My neuroses began to spin out of control.
Once I got a grip, I went to their website and sure enough.
“Enjoy the comfort of knowing we carefully work with our manufacturers to ensure all of our dental materials are gluten-free”
Reads their homepage. In the article, Aimee explains that the good doctor’s brother is a Celiac.
“What exactly am I putting into people’s mouths?” he asks.
That’s when he replaced all of his dental products with gluten free versions.
I gave a quick call to the office to find out that they use a manufacturer called DMG America. I also asked the receptionist what kinds of dental products may contain gluten and she said basically that, depending on the manufacturer, everything can. The pasty stuff they use to polish those pearly whites, the impression material to make molds of your teeth, all of it. And I know that I’m swallowing little dribbles of these products no matter how hard I try not to. You can’t tell me that with all of the air blasting and water flying in my mouth, little droplets of gluten laced water aren’t going down my throat. It’s mint-flavored poison water!
The news article is an optimistic oracle for the progression of the gluten free lifestyle and the strides we’re making as a movement. But it’s also a warning. We can never be too careful to root out sources of hidden gluten everywhere in our lives.
If you’ve been gluten free for a while and you’re following your physician’s protocols and you’re still not getting better, take a look around. Gluten may have crept back into your life. Do yourself a favor and double check. Call that doctor’s office and make them aware of your restrictions. Check with that manufacturer to verify ingredients. And if you can’t get a verification or you’re not being taken seriously, don’t go away mad. Just go away. Take your business elsewhere. Life is too short for you to walk around sick when you don’t have to. If it goes in or on your body it must be scrutinized. It could be a food additive or a new product formulation. Or something unexpected, like my pleasure palace of pain, the dentist office.
The article is below.