At Functional Self we love Dr Hisham's Holistic Oral Care System, which helps to support oral health by alkalising, nourishing and prebiotically protecting your teeth. We sat down with Dr Hisham to discuss dental health and complete well-being.
Tell us about Dr Hisham’s Holistic Oral Care System, and how it came into being.
As a practising holistic dentist I was investigating, testing and analysing all dental care products that I could get my hands on from the start. I was wondering and asking questions that were never discussed at the time, which is now 20 years ago. These questions are based on my core philosophy: “Let’s seek health rather than fight disease”.
- why are oral diseases the largest epidemics in the world today (including in my own practice, family and mouth) regardless of age, gender, social status and country?
- if the oral care industry is worth $54 billion dollars per year globally, how come the products don’t work?
- why are standard oral care products full of toxins and irritants that work ‘against’ the normal scientifically known physiological factors of the human mouth and microbiome?
- if we are putting these things into our bodies daily for a lifetime, then they must be food grade health supplements, yet none of what I found, including the ones labeled ’natural’ or ‘organic’ were physiological balancing agents or health supplements. Why is that?
Then came my newborn daughter in 2001, who had severe eczema and allergic to so many things we couldn't even figure out what exactly she was allergic to. So I decided that I will create my own toxin free and highly effective oral care products for her.
I decided to strategically manage her oral and gut health and microbiome for life (before she even had teeth, because I am not thinking about teeth here, it’s about the WHOLE human). That’s when I started mixing the most scientifically proven, biofunctional, natural food grade ingredients like Finnish xylitol, sodium bicarbonate and calcium glycerophosphate (my very first original powder that we used in the family for years). It worked like magic, even though it was pure logic.
Can you tell us about the Dr Hisham’s product range?
Over the last 18 years I have evolved my holistic oral care system to include the world’s first non-toothpaste Vital Serum (with organic oils and cocoa butter and much more). We also have the bio balancing Vital Mints that people can use when they can’t brush, to stimulate their natural alkaline saliva, freshen breath and balance their biochemistry and microbiome repeatedly while on the go.
We have also redesigned the humble toothbrush! We wanted it to be more efficient, safer, more ergonomic, universally biofunctional and environmentally friendly, so we used carbonised bio-bamboo, not fumigated bamboo. We are also continuously improving all of our products and packaging to be the most eco friendly oral care range - both to the inner human ecology and our outer collective ecology. The oral care industry contains brushes and toothpaste tubes (and ingredients) that are non recyclable, toxic and not sustainable.
The evolution will continue as long as I’m alive and new scientific evidence keeps on emerging proving what I intended to do 18 years ago is the right path.
We notice that you don’t use fluoride in any of your products. Can you tell us your thoughts on fluoride?
Fluoride has never been a normal component, natural biological ingredient nor physiological part of the human body or metabolism in any textbooks or literature. It is in fact always known to be toxic in chemistry along with its halide sibling bromide (hence I never use methyl bromide fumigated bamboo brushes like most others) as they compete with the physiologically vital halides iodide and chloride.
I could never understand during my medical studies how mercury (since the 1800’s) and fluoride (only since the 1950’s) are so highly defended and used in dentistry, while our our basic science studies clearly told us how toxic they are and never shown to be natural parts of the human metabolism as I said above.
So I decided early on in my career to stop using fluoride or recommending it, and I never put an amalgam filling in a human mouth since I graduated 21 years ago.
Other than being toxic, the main question I raise with my colleagues and Professors during many debates over the years is this. ‘Is tooth decay a fluoride deficiency disease? Is there such a thing as a fluoride deficiency in the human body, like Vitamin C defiance using scurvy or iodide deficiency causing goitre? The answer of course is invariably NO.
Then that next question I raise: ‘Regardless of the known toxicity and uncontrollable mass fluoride exposure through water, food, irrigation, toothpastes and rinses, has it actually worked in curbing the ongoing rise in tooth decay rates globally?
And the answer is also NO, it hasn’t, the disease is on the increase, because it is caused by an ecological imbalance in the oral cavity of the biochemistry, microbiome and lack of alkalinity, not because of a lack of fluoride!
Simply based on the above questions and answers, I then ask: ‘Isn’t it more intelligent and caring of use then to seek better solutions that actually work to bring on balance and health physiologically, to ALL oral disease at the same time, rather than unintelligently keep on doing the same (and fighting over it) while we watch people get worse, toxicity levels rise and the corporates who push it on us as a profession and society get richer? (You can find out more about my views on flouride on this YouTube video).
The ingredients in your teeth serums are plant-based and natural, how does this differ from mainstream toothpaste?
The magic is in the synergistic combination and physiologically balancing effects of my products, not each individual ingredient. The word ‘natural' in my system is intentionally used to define a natural effect to the human body, not just a natural source.
Most companies using the word ‘natural’ misleadingly, imply only a natural source. As a matter of fact, all ingredients come from a natural source, including fluoride, mercury, arsenic, lead etc. Yet these (and most ingredients in any toothpaste) are not natural for the human body and should not be applied daily to the human for a lifetime, clawing a benefit!
Toothpaste (natural or conventional) is by definition a combination of detergents, abrasives and humectants, with added other ingredients (maybe fluoride, xylitol or drops of oils or other). That core combination, regardless of the course of the foaming detergent or abrasive, is wrong to apply to delicate human mucosa, gingiva (gums) and teeth daily. That is why I never will make a toothpaste.
I replaced the toothpastes with water soluble plant and bio-mineral ingredients in my dental powder, and added 30% oils to them in a homogenised combination in the serums. No detergents, course abrasives or polyglycerol humectants or other irritants/toxins are in our products.
Also the efficiency is increased dramatically, because all the ingredients work in harmony like I said (as everything works in harmony in the human blood and saliva, rather than a singular ingredient) to bring on balance and health, as the products stay in the mouth and body as supplements, versus getting rinsed out immediately after use like all toothpastes are supposed to be.
Seriously how effective is skin serum you apply to nourish your skin, that you have to rinse away immediately after use, due to its toxicity?
Why is the mouth any different? It’s more vital as the portal to our health, that everything that goes into the mouth is safe, balancing, healing and replenishing to our health, so it must stay in.
Where do you source the ingredients and create the products in the Dr Hisham’s range?
Most of our ingredients come from Europe and New Zealand. We carefully analyse and talk to each manufacturer/supplier to make sure that the ingredients are not just naturally sourced, but also eco-friendly in their manufacturing and ultimately when released into the environment.
Our water is clean, non-fluoridated aquifer water from Katikati in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty, that we then triple filter and ozonate it before using it in the Alkaline Mouthrinse and Dental Serums for example. All our products are handmade with love by my family and team at our factory in clean ‘Mural Town’, Katikati in New Zealand.
We only use birch xylitol from Finland that is truly clean, researched and eco-friendly, not the cheaper corncob xylitol (made by acid hydrolysis of waste cobs of corn!).
Are your products suitable for vegans or those on a keto diet?
We stay with vegan ingredients to keep our products universal and comply with halal, kosher, vegetarian, keto and paleo-based preferences of our global customer base.
Our packing is always chosen to be recyclable, BPA free and refillable. We are working on eco-friendly and more cost effective refill packs for all our products, to increase the lifecycle of the recyclable pumps, bottles and pots. This is totally new to the dental care industry which is known for non-reusable and non-recyclable packaging.
How important is saliva flow in oral health, and what can people do to improve it?
Our saliva is what protects our teeth and gums. To improve saliva flow it really helps to stay hydrated, and make sure that you are enhancing the production of saliva as often as possible.
This is because saliva contains a lot of minerals. We have bicarbonate in our saliva which is there to neutralize acids, which is important because acids are very bad for our teeth, and they promote the growth of bad bacteria. We have calcium and phosphate to remineralize the teeth from an acid attack. We have antibodies that help kill those bacteria that are left behind and keep reducing the numbers.
When people don’t have enough saliva because they’re dehydrated, or they have had too much caffeine, too much alcohol, smoking, there are many factors can cause saliva issues, and this leads to problems with the teeth and gums. We want to stimulate saliva flow and to make that saliva more enhanced and stronger with what it should normally contain and do.
Based on what you see in your practice, is it possible to eat a modern diet that is high in sugar AND have good dental health?
We live in a world where we have a lot of access to sugar. Sugar itself does not dissolve teeth. If you put a tooth in sugar water it doesn’t dissolve. However sugar is fermentable, which is a problem because sugar is digested by the bad bacteria in our mouth, causing the population of bad guys to grow. Sugar is main contributing factor in this bacteria growth, creating an imbalance in the microbiome of the mouth. Cutting down on sugar is going to make a big difference, and we need to balance this with good oral care products. However good oral care doesn’t mean you can eat as much sugar as you want. Stevia and xylitol are good natural options that help the balance and biofilm in the mouth.
Finally, what advice would you give to people who want healthier teeth and gums?
A lot of people think of brushing their teeth, without considering the gums. You need to nurture and nourish your whole mouth and the microbiome that lives in it, rather than using irritants, toxins, abrasives and detergents found in conventional dental care products. Supplementing the mouth using oral care that protects and nourishes, and helps you have cleaner teeth as well.
The mouth is the portal to your health and your whole body. We like to think of supplementing the mouth rather than scrubbing the teeth. This will help you to look better, feel better and be better.