Website & Content © 2007 Steven N. Green D.D.S.

Holistic Family Dentistry

Steven N. Green, DDS

Frequently Asked Questions about  Natural Dental Health

 Answers to Basic Questions about Oral Health and Pain Control,

Emphasizing Home Remedies


Chapter 1. Learn to Block Pain and Double Healing Speed with Nutrients

Chapter 2. Stress Causes Decay; Fillings Cause Stress

Chapter 3. Nutrition, the Foundation of Health, Happiness & Productivity

Chapter 4. Be Cool with Common Childhood Problems

Chapter 5. Bleeding Gums is Crisis; Periodontal Disease is Premature Aging

Chapter 6. TMJ / Migraine, Related to Asthma, Alzheimer’s, Angina, Cancer & Stroke

Chapter 7. Sensitive Teeth / Sensitive Person

Chapter 8. Whitening and Self-care for the Causes and Effects of Dental Diseases




Suggested Readings



           More fear is associated with the dentist than with almost any other doctor.  Knowledge provided in this book can take away that fear.  Nutrients will give you the power to manage most dental emergencies.  Insights will give you the awareness to select the right dentist for your needs.  Concepts in this book could save many dollars.  More importantly, it could save you the time, stress and risk of unnecessary dental work.

             Current clinical medicine is based on the concept of differential diagnosis.   This is helpful for scientific research, but tangential to health.  Focusing on differences has led to a situation much like the twelve blind men examining the elephant.  Each blind man thinks he has a different animal.  Dentistry is but one of over 250 medical specialties.  Each treats the symptoms of uncontrolled inflammation in its own narrow area of expertise.  For example, the chemistries of cradle cap, eczema, difficult teething, muscle trigger points, tooth decay, gum disease, inflammatory bowel, migraine, asthma, arthritis, angina, and coronary vessel spasm all reflect uncontrolled inflammation.

             By focusing on differences, we specialists have forgotten the basic universal response of the complaining patient:  irritability leading to inflammation.

           Dentists can use the mouth as a barometer of the immune system, helping our patients develop higher awareness of health.  Dental diseases are a signal of health loss.  The root cause is most often addictive behavior arising from low self-esteem or perverted reward-systems.

            Nutritional pharmacology is a uniquely effective approach, especially in treating that transitional area between vibrant health and disease diagnosis codes.  The technology of the emerging age is coming full circle, rediscovering old truths, and giving doctors the power to become healers again.

           This book promotes healthy lifestyle choices and the use of vitamins, minerals, and accessory nutrients.  It suggests herbal and homeopathic remedies.  Freedom from pain, enhanced performance, increased immunity and improved mental attitude are the result of changing the chemistry conditional to tooth decay, gum disease, facial pain, or cancers. 


Chapter 1

Block Pain and Double Healing Speed with Nutrients

 Pain or fear of pain is the motivation for most dental visits.  Hardly any doctor knows more about pain than the dentist.  Pain is a universal experience.  Dental pain has the same mechanisms as pain elsewhere in the body, uncontrolled inflammation.  Learn how to manage sensitive teeth, teething pain, toothache, or gum abscess.  Apply the same safe principles to reduce any kind of pain.   All prescription pain drugs have serious side effects.  By using large quantities of water and nutrients, the chemistry of pain can be quenched more safely. 

 Q.     How can I quench terrible pain?

 A.   Pain becomes overpowering when anti-inflammatory buffering mechanisms are exhausted.  Flood pain chemistry the other way by supplementing with moderate minerals, plenty of water, and massive amounts of antioxidants.  Doses suggested are for someone weighing between 100-140 pounds.  A 250-300 pounder might best double the doses.  If pain does not significantly abate within twenty minutes, do half again the dose.  Repeat at two, three, or three and one-half hours depending on severity of crisis.  Try 2,000 mg of vitamin C and 1,000 mg of ginger or deodorized garlic along with a glass of water every three hours or so.  A good magnesium source really potentiates the brew.  To calm the spirit and make the pain pills more effective, add magnesium (taurate, proteinate, glycinate, or citrate) or other magnesium form such as milk of magnesia or Epsom salts: 100-200 mg every 2 to 3 to 4 hours.  A multi-mineral supplement containing magnesium often works very nicely.

 For fat-soluble supplements, one dose per day is all that is necessary.  For pain, try vitamin E, two – three capsules of 400 IU, natural mixed tocopherols best, totaling 800 to 1200 IU per day.  A tablespoonful of omega 3 essential fatty acids, such as found in cod liver oil or flaxseed oil may also be the missing link if you have not been eating wild game, Alaskan salmon, tuna, or seaweed.

 Q.    Garlic upsets me, or may not be available.  What can I substitute in the previous pain protocol?

 A.  Many other herbs share the ability to block lipoxygenase.  Lipoxygenase oxidizes fats to create the nastiest leukotrienes, our ultimate internal chemistry of alarm, pain, and spasm.  Constrictive pain, cool, throbbing, “head in a vice,” or a “steel band around the head,” often seen with blue rings around the eyes, is helped with warming herbs.  Garlic, periwinkle, gingko, ginger, guggal, curcurmin (turmeric) found in curries tend to help drainage, open arteries, relax a spastic gall bladder duct, or open a urethra.   

Arteries or other ducts can also spasm open.  Sharp, spastic, stabbing expansive pain associated with a red face is best treated with cooling feverfew and bitter sedatives such as hops, wild lettuce, California poppy, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower; also anti-spasm and cooling are the proanthocyanidins found in pycnogenol, grape pips, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, and other richly pigmented fruits.

Milk thistle is often standardized with 70 mg of silymarin per capsule.  Uniquely indigenous American, it has been standardized by the Germans.  The herb can be substituted capsule for capsule for cold-fermented deodorized garlic.  Milk thistle is also a very famous liver detoxifier and relieves sinus symptoms very effectively.

 Q. How can I double healing speed?

 A.     The pain protocol just described essentially stops pain and doubles healing speed. Over thirty years ago, Dr. Cheraskin created gum wounds in junior dental students.  At 1,000 mg of vitamin C every morning and evening, wounds closed in seven days, instead of fourteen days.  To further increase the speed of healing and reduce pain, ingest digestive enzymes.  Taken at the time of trauma, enzymes halt the typical twenty-four hour cascading increase of inflammatory damage.  With inflammation terminated, healing can begin immediately.

       Enzymes (bromelain, papain, porcine pancreatic enzymes, or versions made by aspergillus) are a time-honored natural remedy for inflammation (spasm, swelling, pain and loss of function).  Enzymes stop the process of swelling and bruising after injury or surgery.  Whether digestive enzymes are produced by our body, or come from a bottle, they have anti-inflammatory effects.  In the original all-raw diet, nature supplied many functional enzymes.  Juicing supplies many enzymes.  Pineapple, papaya, figs, and kiwi supply rich amounts of proteolytic enzymes.  Soaking seeds (pumpkin, flax, sesame) 24 to 72 hours generates an ideal essential oil-protein-enzyme source.

            Production of pancreatic enzymes requires many intricate metabolic processes.   When stress is high, energy is low or fatigue is present, these processes are compromised. The gut has sites that reclaim our own, or extract similar plant or animal enzymes from the raw diet.  Cooking denatures food enzymes.  We produce fewer of these enzymes if we're stressed, fatigued, over 35 years of age, have low body temperature or are malnourished.

             Enzymes are effective against most "itis's" including periodontitis, arthritis, sinusitis, cystitis, prostatitis, laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia or asthma, allergies, pelvic inflammatory disease, or painful swollen breasts.  Enzymes help break down the wall of an infection allowing increased penetration of antibiotics.  The healing process of abscesses and fistulas, boils, carbuncles, hematomas and bruises is shorter, with or without antibiotics.  Enzymes are a primary treatment for hard tumors.

 Q.  What is the most effective way to take enzymes?

 A.  Taken with food, two or three of these tablets primarily aid digestion and help cleanse the colon.  Allergenic potential of foods is reduced, but there will be only mild anti-inflammatory effect on the rest of the body.  When taken in quantity on an empty stomach before meals, significant systemic anti-inflammatory and mood enhancing effects are felt.  The walls of arteries and veins become cleaner are more slippery, skin conditions improve, the blood becomes more fluid, and the articulating surfaces of joints become less sticky, sprained joints become more mobile, antigen-antibody complexes are broken down, swelling and pain is reduced, insomnia and depression disperses.

             A typical dose of digestive enzymes might range from 2 to 10 tablets, depending on body size and severity of the injury.  Government agencies limit the amount of useful information that can be placed on digestive enzyme labels.  For significant inflammatory trauma, double or triple the recommended amount on the label.  Vegetarian proteases, lipases and amylases are also available from Aspergillus oryzae.  Bromelain (at higher doses) is reported by some as being harsh on the stomach.  Papain is found in common meat tenderizer.  Mixing water with meat tenderizer makes an excellent topical remedy paste for swollen gums, or protein poisons from the plant and animal kingdoms (bug bites) anywhere the enzyme poultice can be pasted.  Mashed pineapple or papaya fruit or leaf makes an effective anti-inflammatory paste.  Combining quercitin with bromelain creates a very nice anti-inflammatory effect.  Larger doses are best tapered over the week with subsequent decreasing dosage.  Rest for a day or two.  Then repeat the cycle. The first dose of the day might be upon awakening, with the second dose somewhere between lunch and dinner, the last dose before bed - or even take another dose if awakening in the middle of the night to pee.  For severe problems, doses can be moved to two to three hours apart.

 Q.    What is the most critical time to avoid sugars and the modern grains such as wheat, corn, and peanuts for healing?

 A.  All of the time!  Avoid simple sugars, soda pops, dried fruits, white bread, wheat and gluten, corn, lentils, peanuts, white potato (chips, fries, mashed, or baked), millet, carrot or potato soup, cow’s milk and casein.  Sugars and browned foods put our circulating white blood cells to sleep, markedly reducing their ability to digest germs, viruses, and diseased or injured tissue.  These foods create significant insulin, triggering a burst of cortisone two to four hours later.  Cortisone destroys brain cells, diminishes resistance, slows healing and makes us flabby, and even causes cavities. Healing occurs at all times, but a special emphasis is placed on healing during the sleep cycle.  Our white blood cells are the army of the immune system.  Like the cleaning-crew in a large building, they leave the spleen in droves at night to clean and mop up messes.  Levels of the stress hormone cortisone must drop to zero for release of all white blood cells from the spleen.  If we eat significant calories of any kind after eight o’clock at night, we will have elevated nighttime levels of cortisone.  Less growth hormone is produced, we age prematurely and healing and repair are hindered. 

 Chapter 2

 Stress Causes Cavities; Fillings Cause Stress.

 When we are healthy, a flow of extra cellular fluid pulses through channels and pores of specialized bones called teeth.  Our internal brine washes and protects the slippery surfaces of the teeth.  Glistening teeth do not harbor harmful bacteria.  Instead, growth of beneficial commensal bacteria is promoted.

 Q.    What causes decay?

 A.  During stress states, minerals from bones and teeth are returned to the circulation.  The resultant dry, "lifeless" surface of the tooth attracts scavenging bacteria.  Immune markers of scavengers stimulate the inflammatory process within the tooth.  Tooth decay is immune-mediated inflammatory destruction of teeth infected with bacteria.  Tooth decay is inflammation "out of control, a pimple of a tooth".  The rate of decay is determined primarily by how stress or sugar-disabled our immune gobbler cells are and how high the heightened compensatory chemical inflammatory response.

 Q.  At what ages do dentists see the most decay?

 A.  Rapid growth is the biggest predictable stress one undergoes.  Tooth decay has two peaks of activity in rapidly growing youngsters.  Most tooth decay occurs during the massive pubertal growth spurt.  Low bone density, scoliosis, dandruff, acne, and all kinds of irritable and inflammatory behavior, growing pains, as well as arthritic problems of the hip, knee, ankle, and heel peak at this apogee of growth-induced stress.  The smaller growth spurt (occurs at ages 5-7 when the incisors are shed and replaced) is the secondary peak of decay.

             Childbearing is also a major stressor.  Tooth decay and gum disease are prevalent during and after pregnancy.  This pregnant growth state creates a high demand for nutrients.  All kinds of irritable and inflammatory states occur during and after pregnancy.  Post-natal tetany syndrome also expresses itself as TMJ problems, myofascial pain, nocturnal leg cramps, post-natal blues, depression or even psychotic behavior.

             The next major burst of decay activity occurs on the tooth roots of people of retirement age.  The difference between graceful slow erosion and root meltdown is the integrity of nutrient-dependent anti-inflammatory buffering mechanisms.  Tooth decay, along with the stereotype of the shrinking, thin-skinned, toxic, cranky old person, is created by failure of cellular immunity and dominant acid-forming catabolic chronic stress response.

 Q.  Is fluoride a poison or safe medicine?

 A.  Fluoride in the toothpaste is perhaps the most common cause of morning nausea.  I have had many patients tell me their worst experience at the dentist was the sickness they felt during and after fluoride treatments.  The reason more do not die from fluoride is that it is so toxic, when ingested it almost always causes vomiting.  Motor dysfunction, IQ deficits, learning disabilities and cancer in humans have been linked to fluoride.  (Neurotoxicology and Teratology, Vol. 17, No. 2, 1995.)  Breeders of purebred bulls know that the tiny administration of fluorides makes the bull more submissive and easier to handle.  During World War II, both the Germans and the Russians added sodium fluoride to prisoner’s drinking water to subtly poison the mind and reduce the power to resist domination. Dental & Health Facts, Vol. 10, Issue 1, January, 1997, Foundation for Toxic Free Dentistry, P.O. Box 60810, Orlando, FL 32860-8010. 

 Q.  If fluoride is poisonous, what will help prevent cavities?

 A.  Xylitol (birch sugar) reduces cavities much more than fluoride, and it tastes good.  This ‘alcohol sugar’ in excess might cause gas or loose bowels, providing a natural control.  Two tablespoons of fruits preserved with xylitol daily, or 18 mints, or a couple of teaspoonfuls of the sugar itself reduce tooth decay 30-40%.  Xylitol is now in toothpastes, nasal sprays, chewing gum and chewable vitamin Cs.  A side benefit is a similar reduction in risk to ear, nose and sinus infections, kidney, bladder, and urethral infections, probably even reducing risk to our number one killer, heart and artery disease.

 Q. Is the mercury or metals or other ingredients in fillings toxic?

 A.  Two antibacterial neurotoxins are regularly used in dentistry to repair decay, mercury and fluoride.  Industry regulators and leaders focus on the small impact of their individual poisonous effluent.  Mercury, and other metals of industry, lead, cadmium, aluminum, and arsenic add up synergistically, compete with and clog up the function of the essential minerals.  The first clue is irritability; the universal signal of toxicity, leading to anger and mood swings and destroyed relationships.  Other symptoms might be grinding of the teeth, burning tongue, dry mouth, or metallic taste.  Neurological symptoms might be apathy and fatigue, nervousness, lack of concentration, depressive mood, gastrointestinal disturbances, insomnia, dizziness, headache, and migraine.

   Strikingly, these symptoms closely parallel extreme vitamin B1 (thiamin) deficiency, beriberi.  Lead and mercury are strongly anti thiamin, binding to the sulfur entity in thiamin.  Mercury also disables the progesterone receptor, promoting estrogen dominance.  Estrogen is now associated with aggressiveness.  Mercury compromises detoxification by displacing selenium, inhibiting the recycling of reduced glutathione, the most important membrane-bound antioxidant.  We develop “brain fog,” or “age dramatically,” an “infection blossoms,” or “we come apart at the seams,” when glutathione wears out.

 Q.    Are local anesthetics safe?

 A.     Most clinical problems have been traced to preservative agents.  But, how could a nerve poison really be safe?  Some of the breakdown products of common local anesthetics become aniline dyes during detoxification.  Aniline dyes are carcinogenic.  What we are worried about here is risk/reward ratio.  The degree of dose versus strong or weak detoxification pathways.  Sometimes there is nothing better than that wooden numbness.

 Most dental procedures really do not require local anesthetic.  Valerian and passiflora herbals are incredibly relaxing.  If necessary, new devices allow the placement of much less amount of local anesthetic to achieve satisfactory pain control.  Less local anesthetic is used if you use general anesthetic.  That is trading one poison for another.  Some poison is excreted in the urine unchanged.  Support detoxification pathways with water, garlic, milk thistle, dandelion, burdock root, St. John’s Wort, greens and richly pigmented fruits and berries.

 Q.    What about the adrenaline (epinephrine)?

 A.     The shaky, heart-thumping experience we get right after a major stress is driven by the hormone adrenaline.  Being on the receiving end of a dental shot is a major stressor for many.  The addition of extra adrenaline to your own increased adrenaline can create a very unsettling feeling.  Relaxation, and awareness that the half-life of adrenaline is but 20 minutes, allows panic to subside.  Adrenaline is the primary fight-or-flight hormone, allowing us to perform superhuman tasks.  Epinephrine constricts our small surface blood vessels, shunting the blood to inner core survival organs.  This constriction of blood vessels can be used to stop bleeding or to hold the local anesthetic in the area longerAdrenaline added to the anesthetic allows a smaller safer dose.

 Q.     Is nitrous oxide safe to use as an analgesic?

 A.     Laughing gas diluted with oxygen creates what we call “happy gas.”  More percentage oxygen is available during the procedure than from room air.  Nitrous oxide seems to act as a mild reversible nerve poison.  Considered the safest of the anesthetic gases, nitrous oxide is a pleasant distraction for most, creating skin and gum numbness, often making the dental shot unnecessary or painless if needed.  At least two B vitamins are oxidized by nitrous oxide, folic acid and vitamin B12.  After a nitrous oxide experience, we recommend replenishing both vitamins with a tasty sublingual form.  Very strong clinical effect of the happy gas is felt if the patient is anemic, even from very low doses of nitrous oxide.

 Q.    Can kava kava be used as a relaxant and analgesic?

 A. If you can get by the taste, kava does numb the gums in a tingly way.  It acts as a local anesthetic.  Kava kava is the only relaxant that improves reaction time.  Kava lifts anxiety without causing drowsiness.  It is an effective muscle relaxant and anticonvulsant.  Allowing the body and mind to relax facilitates healing.  Kava enhances the negotiation process.  It has been used indigenously for a long time.

 A daily dose of 100-200 kavalactones is normally sufficient.  Dr. Atkins believes even more at bedtime might help sleep.  Folks who use excessive amounts of kava for a long time sometimes develop a yellowish eczema that disappears when usage diminishes.  Water extracts appear safe.  Solvent extracted kava has been associated with liver damage.

 Q.    Are root canal fillings safe?

 A.     It is my opinion that the majority of root canal treatments done today, with vision enhanced by microscope are clinically successful.  Some experts believe that all root canal teeth are toxic and should be removed for optimal health.  The dead tooth is like leaving a cadaver inside the body.  I have held removed teeth in my surgical glove treated with seemingly successfully root canal treatments that smelled bad and were stained with bacterial activity.  Such teeth create much immune distress.  With anguish I have removed other root canal teeth that were pristine, pure and strategic for comfort and function.  We have reversed cancer in one person who kept his ten root canals.  There are new diagnostic tests that hold promise of helping differentiate between adequate and harmful root canal teeth.  I have also been credited with ‘curing’ shoulder or knee bursitis three times by removing infected teeth and once by performing a root canal treatment on an infected tooth.

 Q.    Is it safe to leave a dead tooth in the jawbone, no matter with what it is stuffed?

 A.     If the tooth feels secure and firm, no more tender than the rest of the teeth, it is a good bet.  On the other hand, if the tooth is a bit extra wiggly, mobile or tender, you might increase your awareness and your antioxidants.  If vertical or lateral pressure hurts the tooth, or if release of pressure creates pain, you are probably squeezing an internal infected chronic pimple.”  If there is a recurrent swelling, bubble, or blister that occurs on the gum to the side of the tooth, you likely have constant drainage of chronic irritant to the nervous and immune systems. 


Chapter 3

Nutrition, the Foundation of Health, Happiness & Productivity

 Q.    What could be more important than to have the energy to give and receive love?

 A.     In fact, love is energy in its most important form.  To give and receive love is our greatest gift.  Gratitude is the healing emotion.  It is almost impossible to either give or receive love when you are irritated, inflamed, or fatigued.

 Q.    What is the best source of energy?

 A.     Ultimately all of our energy comes from the sun.  Periodic exposure to the full spectrum of natural light is necessary for optimal gene expression.  Think of the varied pigments found in plant foods to be frozen energy, even information of the highest order.  Think of filling up your stomach three and four times per day with green vegetables as a starter.

 Find balance in your life.  Respond positively to stress.  Drink water, boost fiber, and engage in moderate exercise.  Smoking is the single biggest risk factor Aim to eat four fistfuls of greens per day.  If you can't consume that many vegetables add alfalfa tablets, barley, blue-green algae, kyogreen, or spirulina supplements.

 Lemon juice in water provides citric acid to charge the citric acid cycle of energy production.  The malic acid in apples or true apple cider vinegar is the next important fuel for the energy factory.

 Enzymes are very energy intensive to produce.  When we are fatigued, it is difficult for the body to make enough digestive and anti-inflammatory enzymes.  Taking the proteolytic enzymes can get the energy machine on its feet once fatigue has set in.  Take two or three enzymes with meals to aid digestion.  Taken ten to thirty minutes before the meal, enzymes provide the most potent combination of digestive and anti-inflammatory effects.

 Q.     What is the first clue to loss of energy?

 A.     Irritable and inflammatory feelings are the first clues to loss of energy.  Do your teeth hurt when you eat cold things? Sensitive teeth or mobile teeth or sore jaw muscles are important clinical signs.  The ultimate cause of enhanced or exaggerated response is reduced electrical charge of the cell membrane.  This immediately reflects in diminished vitality.  Significant amounts of magnesium, best found in four fistfuls per day of deep-green vegetables, can stabilize most irritable membranes.  The number one psychosocial problem of America is irritability.

Synonyms for irritability might be depression, sensitive or mobile teeth, notching in teeth at the gum line, day or nighttime gritting, clenching or grinding of the teeth.  Irritability might show as scalloped tongue or the well-developed jaw muscles expressed as chipmunk cheeks.  Edginess, crankiness, and ticklishness characterize this uncool, hyperactive, attention-deficit over responsive person with a short temper.  Often depressed, this type “A” personality is neurotic and stressed, and typically worse in the morning.  

 Q.    Could there be a nutritional remedy for irritability and depression!?

 A.  Drink plenty of water and eat four servings of green vegetables and several other fruits and vegetables.  Whoops!  What about the eighty-five per cent of the people subsisting on processed foods?  Taking one multi-mineral preparation morning and bedtime, along with a glass of water, is a wonderful balancer for nine out of ten.  Refining foods removes minerals.  Replace minerals.  Teeth are a barometer of one's resilience.  Typically sensitivity comes and goes.  Sensitive teeth reflect tidal shortages of minerals.  Shortages of the major minerals: potassium, calcium, and magnesium reduce the stabilizing electrical charge of the cell.  The more easily triggered cell translates into an important survival mechanism, enhanced edginess and alertness.  Imperturbability is lost and chronic stresses become magnified.  The number one expert on stress, Dr. Hans Selye, said,  "It's not the amount of stress.  It's how you respond to it that counts."

 Q.  What is the most common mineral mistake?

 A.  Diuretics cause the loss of water and minerals.  Stress and stress hormones act as diuretics.  Diuretics are part of the social fabric of our society.  Coffee, caffeinated or not, teas, soda pops, distilled water, and alcoholic beverages all act as diuretics.  Steams, saunas, sweats, and extreme exercise all act as diuretics.  Half the women in America seem to be taking some form of prescribed or herbal diuretic for cellulite or weight loss, rather than give up foods that destroy internal digestive barriers.  Rather than deal with common foods as an immune inflammatory trigger, diuretics are still used as the front line treatment for hypertension.

 Q.  What happens if we do not correct irritability?

 A.  Socially, we take all of life’s little problems, and make them into big ones, turning our personal lives into disasters.  Physiologically, irritability sets us up for inflammation.  Inflammation is characterized by enhanced pain response, muscle spasm, trigger points, diminished joint lubrication, tooth decay, and the swelling, hypersensitivity, premature aging, increased gingival bleeding, pus and putrefactive odors of the periodontal diseases.

      Other synonyms for uncontrolled inflammation might show up as difficult teething, bad breath, plaque build-up, coated tongue, tooth decay, arthritis of the jaw joints, trigger points in the muscles, tooth ache, tooth or gum abscess, sinusitis, ear aches, dizziness, tinnitis or ringing in the ears, nausea, irritable bowel, or colitis.  Unbuffered inflammation leads to menstrual cramps, mood swings, leg cramps, eye twitches, puffy eyelids, dark shiners under the eyes, swelling, bloating, cellulite, and allergies.  Migraine, headache, angina, high blood pressure, asthma, avascular necrosis, osteoporosis, unrelenting fatigue, panic attack, psychosis, and even cancer are expressions of uncontrolled inflammation.     

 Q.  How can we control inflammation?

 A. Controlling inflammation involves identifying and reducing immune triggers and boosting anti-inflammatory systems.  Besides bacteria and other environmental toxins, favorite addictive foods are common immune triggers, causing a cascading oxidation of fats.  Look to your primary mucus-producing foods as causing bloat and cellulite.  The most noxious chemical warfare of the immune system oxidizes fats, with most damage done by  "friendly fire."  Dietary omega-3 fats diminish inflammatory response.  Rich sources of omega-3s are seaweed, cold-water fish, and canola, flaxseed, sesame, and walnut oils.  Although necessary, omega-6 fats are more inflammatory when oxidizedOmega-6 is plentiful in corn-fed and soybean-fed beef and milk products, pork, turkey, chickens and their eggs.  Important anti-inflammatory nutrients are found in deep-green vegetables and in fruits.  Garlic or milk thistle contains very important inflammatory blockers.  Anti-oxidant nutrients can quell inflammation with fewer negative side effects than currently available pharmaceuticals.

            Stop inflammation: 1) take water and multi-minerals morning and night, 2) identify & eliminate immune triggers, 3) balance dietary fats, 4) quench with antioxidants.                                                                                             

 Q.    Is milk a good source of minerals?

 A.   Drink water.  Eat vegetables.  Cow's milk is not what it used to be, and is now associated with triggering juvenile diabetes Pasteurization destroys enzymes and homogenization makes the fats poisonous.  Vegetables are a far superior source of minerals, avoiding excessive protein, fats and calories.  Mineral supplements stabilize better in small frequent doses and as “mini meals,” as if we were nibbling on green vegetables all day long.  If you are irritable, it may be because of temporary mineral shortages.  If there is a tendency to neglect fruits, berries and the three to four fists-full of green leaves that are a prime source of minerals, add a teaspoonful or two of authentic apple cider vinegar to a glass of water periodically.

 Q.  What are ways of identifying immune problem foods? 

 A.  One of the most effective tools for identifying harmful foods is a symptom and food diary.  Simply look for a pattern of offending foods preceding the symptom, typically in two to four hours, but sometimes as much as two days.

Try having seventeen meals per day!  Each hour and meal is its own food.  Observe for a significant mucus response, an increase in pulse rate, drowsiness, headache, nausea or other symptom.

            There are many ways of testing the body.  Muscle strength and response can be evaluated after exposure to a stimulus, using strategies of applied muscle testing.  Electronic versions similar to a lie detector can also evaluate for food and environmental sensitivities.

 Q.  Why do I love the food, situation, activity, or person that is bad for me?

 A.  A reward system has become perverted.  Normally animals receive an endorphin reward for performing certain necessary functions.  An endorphin is an internally produced morphine.  Eating foods that cause mild distension of the bowels creates endorphin reward.  Breathing deeply and exercise, having sex, defecating are all accompanied by a delightful endorphin reward.  Endorphins quiet, soothe and diminish pain.  The stress-driven hormones from the pituitary gland that stimulate the adrenals also contain endorphin molecules.  If a food or relationship creates stress, it also creates endorphins.  Find healthier ways of generating endorphins.  Some foods actually contain endorphins, making them as addictive as heroin and morphine.  Gluten contains endorphin mimics called exorphins and is found in wheat, oats, rye, corn, lentils, buckwheat, and peanuts.  Casein, a cow’s milk protein also contains an addictive exorphin.

 Q.  Water, green vegetables, don’t we need carbohydrates for energy?

 A.  Most of us best base our diet on lean animal protein and vegetables, roots, seeds, fruits, nuts, and berries.  Refined sugars, processed grains, hybridized grains, or low fat / high-carbohydrate meals trigger an aggressive insulin response.  Two to four hours later, a stress response is demanded to bring up the blood sugar lowered by the massive insulin response.  This pattern puts our immune system to sleep, melts muscles and turns them into flab around the waistline.  If we eat this way before bedtime, the nighttime healing of growth and repair is hindered, and immunity is compromised.

The type A blood types (30 % of Americans, mostly of Scandinavian or Japanese descent) do best with less animal protein and do well with the modern grains, wheat, corn, lentils, and peanuts.  The type A’s actually handle carbohydrates quite well.

 Q.    How does blood type affect food choices?

 A.     Dr. Peter D’Adamo has enhanced and spread his father’s work in this area.  Certainly the wrong blood transfusion creates havoc inside the arteries.   These same markers do exist in every cell of the body.   Through the magic of molecular mimicry, many plant molecules bear similar surface markers to human blood types.  If the gut is leaky, these molecules gain entry and create immune havoc.  Leaky gut can be caused by many situations: stress, alcohol, diarrhea, loose bowels, steroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, parasites, yeast, and paradoxically cause and effect, foods that one is sensitive or allergic to.  Even our personalities are affected by this primary immune response to the immediate world.

 Q.     What about protein?

 A.     Quality protein is key for so many things.  Look to your blood type for optimal choices.  Often overlooked is the wonderful combination of protein, active enzymes, fiber and high quality essential oil found in soaked seeds.  Soak your pumpkin, flax, and sesame seeds for twenty-four hours.  Discard any floating seeds.  Add hydrogen peroxide if things tend to mold.  At 24–72 hours of soaking, enzyme activity is the highest.

Vegetables consumed in significant qualities provide effective protein.  Most of us do best emphasizing vegetables in the diet.  Type O, B, and AB blood types need higher levels of protein from animal flesh or modern whey-based or rice-based protein powders.  Type A blood types can obtain adequate proteins from the grains. 

 Q.  What about fat?

 A. Inflammation is a chemical version of burning fat, triggered and fanned by oxidizing enzymes.  The bad smell of putrefaction (rancidity) is due to an exponentially exploding cascade of oxidized fats.  The powerful local hormones, the prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and thromboxanes are oxidized fats.  When these oxidized fats are considered hormones, the lungs become the largest endocrine gland in the body.  The halitosis odor of putrefaction is the result of lung membranes decomposing due to oxidative overload and diminished buffers.  This is an important clinical symptom.  The fatty insulators of brain circuitry are undergoing oxidative meltdown as well.  Antioxidant buffering mechanisms are exhausted.  More serious symptoms are on the way.

 Q.  Can fat be good?

 A.  Fat is not only good, fat is necessary.  The dietary balance between families of fats, primarily the omega-3s and the omega-6s, determines the balance between the more benign odd-numbered prostaglandins and aggressively inflammatory even-numbered prostaglandins. 

The omega-3s are generally less inflammatory: canola (improved rapeseed oil), walnut oil, flaxseed oil (I love soaked flax seeds), sesame and olive oil are good for cooking, avocado oil (excellent and tasty), and the oils from cold water fish or seaweed (EPA, DHA, cod liver oil, salmon oil, super blue green algae). 

Still primarily necessary, but often out of proportion to the omega-3s are the even numbered omega-6s.  The potentially more inflammatory omega-6 fats come from corn, sunflower, safflower, soybean, and grape seed oil.  Our primary mistake is eating animals fattened on these modern hybridized grains.  Unless you are allergic, the oils in the vegetables themselves are beneficial.

         The impact of dietary animal fat found in meat, chicken, or fish on inflammation is profound.  Animal fatty acids have been converted to metabolically more active forms.  Besides storing poisons, animal processed fats bypass normal controlling enzymes and directly enter the inflammatory cascade.  Besides lack of vegetables with their fiber, antioxidants, and their minerals, the major defect in the American diet stems from the uncivilized way we treat and feed farm animals.   Our big mistake is making "corn-fed" or "soybean-fed" animals a substantial part of our diet.  Smaller portions of "grass-fed" beef or game, or "range-fed" turkeys promote health.

 Q.  How do sweets increase inflammatory pain?

 A.     Pain is primarily caused by derivatives of the prostaglandin 2’s.  Insulin shifts prostaglandin 1’s toward prostaglandin 2’s.  Fats from plants are reshaped and regulated by several controlling enzymes.  These enzymes are altered by high insulin response to carbohydrates, shunting the prostaglandins into their pro-inflammatory pathways.  Plant oils have a much milder effect on the inflammatory process.  Corn, soybeans, sunflower or safflower seeds are good foods, supplying essential omega-6 oils.  Generally we need more omega-3 oils in the modern diet.  Bean, legumes, spirulina, blue-green algae and seaweed are good sources of beneficial omega-3 oils.  My favorite supplement is a daily heaping tablespoonful of flaxseeds or pumpkinseeds soaked overnight in water.  Soaked flaxseeds garnish rice pudding, hot breakfast cereals and protein shakes.  Grape seeds are best chewed and swallowed, giving us essential omega- 6 fatty acids and incredibly potent antioxidant pycnogenol-like proanthocyanidins. 

 Q.  How can we use fats to reduce inflammation and diminish pain? 

 A. Cold-water fish oils block inflammatory interleukins and produce odd-numbered prostaglandins that significantly modulate inflammation.  Effective doses range from five - fifteen one gram capsules of cold-water fish oils, containing 2,000-6,000mg of the active EPA and DHA fatty acids.  Salmon oil is generally the richest and cleanest source of omega 3 fatty acids.  Look for pharmaceutical grade, or valid testing for heavy metals. 

            Evening primrose oil (EPO) has been given a high priority in treating inflammatory conditions from PMS and fibrocystic disease to arthritis and cancer.  First clues for need might be dry mouth of excessive thirst, brittle nails, skin lesions, and dandruff, thinning hair, acne, eczema and tooth decay.  EPO is 75% linoleic acid and 10% GLA (gamma linoleic acid) a direct precursor to the prostaglandin 1 series.  Borage oil or black current seed oil have proportionally double the GLA, and are perhaps a more economical way to enhance this pathway.   Remember insulin disables this pathway, and insulin is the response to meals containing more than 40% carbohydrates. 

            The anti-inflammatory prostaglandin 1's can be manufactured from omega-6 fatty acids.  However, high carbohydrate diets promote insulin production, which blocks synthesis of the GLA precursor of the prostaglandin 1's.  Alcohol, infections, trans fatty acids from margarine and shortenings, and excess saturated fats also block natural GLA synthesis.  Avoid low-fat high-carbohydrate diets.        

             Omega-3 fats help circulation by limiting arterial spasm, reducing high-risk cholesterol, making sluggish blood slippery, and normalizing blood pressure.  This reduces risk of heart attack and stroke. 

             Odd-numbered prostaglandins improve fertility and prolong gestation.  High levels of an even numbered prostaglandin derivative called prostacyclin trigger spontaneous abortion and premature delivery.  Omega-3 fats relieve cradle cap, eczema and psoriasis.

 Q.    Can the correct fats enhance mental function?

 A.  Mental retardation and blindness are less common when cold-water fish oils are a substantial part of the diet.  They aid in brain and retinal development.  Cod liver oil, sesame or flaxseed oil can be absorbed directly through baby's skin.  These essential oils are not in most baby formulas.  Mom needs to have precursors in her diet so that the best mix will come from the breast.  Essential fatty acids reduce migraine, asthma and irritable bowel.  They reduce excessive stomach acid and enhance the mucus lining of the gut.  They reduce gastrointestinal disturbances, fever, myalgia, arthralgia, and arthritis, as well as autoimmune destruction.

             Cold water seafood rich in omega-3 fats: salmon, northern herring, mackerel, northern sardines, Pacific oyster, sablefish, trout, eel, whitefish, and squid.  Limit fish to twice per week due to the mercury content.  

Chapter 4

Be Cool with Common Childhood Problems

        That first visit to the dentist can be such a challenge.  You are scared of communicating your fear to your child.  The first thing that pops to mind is the hopeful promise, “It will not hurt.”  Do not say, “It will not hurt.”  Promise no rewards for going to the dentist.  Make no bigger deal about the visit to the dentist than a trip to the store.  If there are questions, say, “They are really nice.  They explain everything before they do anything.”  This concept works for swimming lessons too.

Q.  What is the biggest gift I can give my newborn baby?

A.  Give the baby breast milk. If you are at all inclined to breast-feed DO IT!  Advantages include decreasing the incidence of infant ear infections, allergies, and diarrhea and bacterial meningitis; and may also protect against childhood lymphoma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and diabetes.  Breast-feeding moms have reduced risk to ovarian cancer, early breast cancer and the fractures of osteoporosis.  Aim for a full year. A year is better than a month, but a month is better than a week and a week is better than nothing. Mothers begin breast-feeding within the first hour of birth and feed newborns on demand for as often as 12 times daily if needed.  Look for sucking motions, rather than waiting for the baby to cry, which is a sign of a late stage of hunger.

Blessed thistle, alfalfa, Vitex (chaste tree), dill, caraway, fennel, garlic, and authentic apple cider vinegar promote milk production.  There are many good reasons, nutritional, developmental, and psychological to breast-feed.  However, breast-feeding is very stressful to the mother's mineral reserves.  Mineral supplements are suggested upon arising, at bedtime, and with mineral-weak meals.  Supplements are best continued for at least six months after weaning to replenish lost minerals from mom’s body. 

Q.  What about putting the baby to sleep with a bottle, or on my breast? 

A.  Allowing the baby to sleep sucking on the bottle is a no no!  Plain water is okay, but milk and juices can rot the teeth pretty quickly.  That's called "baby bottle mouth".  Allowing the baby to sleep on your breast, with pooled milk sitting on the teeth can also encourage this ‘early childhood caries.’  Tooth decay is caused by an exhausted immune response.  This is caused by very early ‘syndrome X’ a pre-diabetic metabolic imbalance caused by too little protein and fat, plus excessive carbohydrates, such as cereals, white or sweet potatoes, fruits and their juices.  Avoid pasteurized fruit juices, even organic.  If the baby has difficulty sleeping, extra minerals in an accessory bottle will help sleep and reduce risk to tooth decay. 

            Iron deficiency may be associated with baby bottle mouth.  Iron deficiency is very common, especially in bottle-fed infants and rapidly growing children.  Lack of iron can slow baby’s progress.  Look for pale tongue or gums. 

Use an anatomical pacifier, if you choose to use one for your child. Remember that constant gnawing, or later on, clenching or grinding of the teeth is an expression of essential irritability that can be soothed by increasing mineral intake.  The most common cause of extra jaw movements is an unfavorable mix of bacteria in baby’s digestive system.  Lactobacillus bifidus in the first six months and lactobacillus acidophilus after that can often correct such bowel bacterial imbalances and tone the immune system. 

When early childhood caries decays the front teeth, parents are very alarmed.  If the infection has not reached the central pulps of the teeth, brushing the teeth each day with 2-3 drops of essential oil of lavender has prevented any further progress of the decay.  Of course, the carbohydrates must be reduced and nighttime bottles can be just water.  This means that general anesthesia surgery may not be necessary to repair the damage.  Except for photo album concerns, these front teeth can be lost without any damage to growth and development.  When the child is past three years of age and cooperative, the teeth can be repaired. 

Q.  Why do we barely notice the eruption of some teeth and for others there is terrible teething pain? 

A. The inflammatory process used to erupt teeth is like squeezing out a pimple.  Teething can be thought of as a “stress test” for immune and inflammatory balance.  Children respond with great differences during the eruption of teeth.  Mary Bove, N.D. notes that teething is often accompanied by symptoms of dribbling, chewing on fingers and objects, red swollen gums, fretfulness, irritability, clinginess, sleep disturbances, facial rash, lack of appetite and bowel changes. 

  Similar to tooth eruption, shedding and expulsion occurs during the menses.  The premenstrual time is also a time of heightened inflammation. Menstruating women benefit from this natural monthly awareness check of balance of hormonal and inflammatory systems.  Extra vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, vegetables and essential fats are best emphasized.  Teething symptoms occur when the inflammatory forces overwhelm exhausted detoxifying systems.    

Q.    What are the remedies for teething pain? 

A.     Herbs can minimize discomfort, reduce inflammation and modulate the immune system.  Useful herbs might be calendula flowers, catnip, Echinacea, elder or linden flowers, lemon balm or usnea combined with chamomile flowers, willow bark, or wintergreen leaves.  These herbs can be prepared as poultices, teas, Popsicles, glycerites or tinctures.  Chewing on carrots, or peeled frozen grapes or dried apples can distract.  Combination homeopathic remedies are available at the health food store.  Gums can be rubbed with a dab of honey mixed with a drop of tea tree oil or the essential oil of wintergreen or clove to provide a local numbing and soothing. 

For colic, crush two tablespoonfuls of fennel seeds; simmer for twenty minutes in one and one half cups of water.  Feed by the teaspoonful once cooled. 

Q.    How do you get a child to love vegetables, and perhaps even defuse a “sweet tooth”? 

A.     Start with human or goat milk.  At four months, start with an egg yolk a day.  Do not just start solid feedings with “fruits and vegetables,” use the following guide:

1.                  At about six months, pureed or cooked green beans, peas, and limited pumpkin, squash, and sweet potatoes.  No fruit.

2.                  At nine months start spinach, beets, turnips, carrots, and collards.  (Baby's liver is not ready until now for foods naturally rich in nitrates).  No fruit.

3.                  At one year start vegetables before fruit.  Then applesauce, peaches, apricots, pears, nectarines and plums.  Cook first, then mash.

4.                  Cow’s milk, wheat, corn, soy, peanuts, lentils and buckwheat are best not fed to baby in the first year of life.  As alternatives, try coconut water, Irish moss or other seaweeds, wild rice, millet, tapioca, rice, taro, and barley malt, wheat, rye or barley grass. 

Q.   What is the most important thing about health? 

A.     Self-esteem is the primary emotion related to health.  If one has poor self worth or is depressed, there is little motivation to do the hard work required for health.  It is difficult to find the discipline for regular sleep, quality foods, to stretch and exercise.  Participating in a sick society and culture makes giving and receiving love a challenge.  Faith can give us extra strength. 

High self-esteem is a critical key to health.  The most loved and effective healers and teachers are "good helpers."  Just before one falls asleep, there is a direct window into the subconscious.  This creates an opportunity for the strongest hypnotic suggestion, even if you are not a hypnotist.  You just need to be there as your child drifts off to sleep, and affirm night after night, "You are such a good helper!” 

Q.  What is the best age to begin seeing the dentist? 

A.  A sense of identity and personal empowerment rarely exists before age three.  A general dentist might suggest you wait until then.  An eager pediatric dentist would suggest an examination at age two.  This is appropriate if as caregiver you examine the baby’s mouth and have any fears or questions. 

Q.  Does my child require a pediatric dentist, or will the general dentist be best? 

A.  If the child is younger than three years, has serious medical compromise, or if you do not want to be around when the child is treated, choose a specialist.  If the family wants to participate, in general, choose a generalist.  We encourage family members in the treatment rooms, even during treatment times.  Children receive prizes for visiting the dentist, not for being good or brave.  That means brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends also get to explore the treasure chest for their prize.   Conquering fear of the unknown is a wonderful experience. 

Q.  What should I expect at the first visit? 

A.  Fun should be expected at the first visit.  But we always accomplish what we set out to do.  We keep our goals low.  We count the teeth, “to make sure that there are the right number.”  If that is successful, we offer a rubber-cup polish of the teeth with special flavors of toothpaste.  

Q.   How do I prepare my child for the first visit? 

A.  As little as possible.  Make no bigger deal than going to the bank.  Promise no rewards.  DO NOT SAY, “IT WON’T HURT.”  If there are questions, simply say, “They are really nice.  They explain everything before they do it.” 

Q.  The lower permanent incisors erupt to the tongue side of the baby incisors.  What to do? 

A.  The most common abnormality (not to worry about) is the lower incisors erupting to the tongue side of the baby incisors, or the upper incisors erupting in front of the baby incisors.  Usually just waiting six months solves the problem.  Typically the retained baby teeth loosen and fall out.  The permanent tooth erupts vertically enough to become a “paddle,” pushed into position by the natural forces of the tongue and lips. 

Q.  What is the best age to evaluate a child for braces or functional orthopedic devices? 

A.  Some severe skeletal problems lend themselves to orthopedic treatment as early as ages 5-6.  Until age ten, the fulcrum of the hinges of the lower jaw slides along a flat table.  Typically at ages 10-11, the cheekbone eminence forms, creating a hollow for the mandibular condyle and a slope for the moveable fulcrum of the jaw.  This limits the forward position of the jaw in the face.  Many people have under developed lower jaws (not developed to our full genetic potential) due to the incomplete ‘information’ found in foods of commerce.  Age 10 presents a unique opportunity to position the mandible forward with a retainer-like device, and assist growth orthopedically.  This usually creates stronger jaw joints, better-aligned jaws, and more full, handsome appearance.  This dental “face lift” can be done at any age, but the results can be most dramatic ages 10-11. 

Q.  How do I help my child remove a baby tooth held in by just the gums? 

A.  Once the baby teeth have loosened, ice is the best anesthetic for removing children’s teeth.  First apply ice to the tooth and gums around it.  After a minute or so, using a dry paper towel, apply quick twisting leverage to the splinter-like baby tooth. 

Q.  What can the tongue tell us about health? 

A.  The normal tongue is covered with shag carpeting of filiform papillae.  The pink filiform papillae are covered with a light whitish film of friendly bacteria and shedding skin cells.  Atrophy of the filiform papillae is a clue to stress driven tissue breakdown.  Poor folic acid metabolism diminishes expression of growth causing atrophy of faster-growing filiform papillae.   Strawberry spots (fungiform papillae) begin to appear on the whitish dorsal surface of the tongue.  A vigorous rug of filiform papillae should hide the isolated submerged reddish fungiform papillae.  Folic acid insufficiency is a most common problem.  Folic acid is limited in supplements due to archaic governmental edict.  Easily injured by heat, folic acid is found primarily in fresh raw green vegetables (that’s before vegetables are shipped to your grocery).  Spina bifida is an extreme expression of folic acid deficiency. 

            Smooth and red to magenta tongue can reflect inflamed arteries and poor oxygen exchange, atrophic gastritis, poor digestion, low stomach acid, low vitamin B12, increased liver stress, dark shiners under the eyes, allergies, ear infections, poor Eustachian tube function, bronchitis, asthma, colitis, depression, irritability, and pain. 

Q.    What is the most common cause of mouth ulcers? 

A.     Gluten sensitivity, present in perhaps fifteen percent of Americans suggests intolerance to wheat, barley, spelt, Kamut, couscous, oats, rye, teff, amaranth, quinoa, and perhaps soy.  Wheat sensitivity is the most common cause of mouth ulcers.  Clinically, there is a definite link with consumption of arginine-rich grains and chocolate with bursts in the expression of herpetic viral vesicles in mucus membranes; or on dry skin, thickening, crusting areas on the lips, fingertips, or nose.  Blocked by mercury and other heavy metals, zinc and selenium are “birth control” for virus.  White spots on the fingernails are classic clues for zinc insufficiency.  Flaking skin is associated with lack of either zinc or selenium. 

Q.    What does cracking at the corners of the mouth mean? 

A.   Cracking at the corners of the mouth might be anemia or yeast.  Look at the tongue.  If there is a magenta or purple color, or visible fungiform papillae (strawberry spots), order the serum homocysteine test or begin a therapeutic trial of sublingual vitamin B12, along with B6, folic acid, betaine (TMG or trimethyl glycine), and dimethyl glycine (DMG) balanced with the other B vitamins.  In adults, excess homocysteine connotes disordered sulfur metabolism and compromised detoxification, enhancing risk not only to depression and pain, but also to heart disease, cancer, and stroke.   If you suspect yeast, reduce sugar.  To treat topically, try tea tree in olive oil, or one of the inexpensive over-the-counter athlete’s foot creams.   

Q.    Could ticklishness be a significant clue? 

A. During ticklish times, magnesium depletion allows wasting of potassium.  Potassium shortage creates loss of mental alertness, difficulty with decisions and insecurity about memory.  Mental and muscle fatigue develops.  Endurance declines.  Sensitivity to cold develops.  Twitches or cramps might develop.  We become irritable and have difficulty sleeping well and may develop joint soreness.  Paprika, kelp, apple cider vinegar, honey, cream of tartar, grapes, apples and cranberries are rich sources of potassium. 

            The miraculous molecule chlorophyll is our best source of magnesium.  Chlorophyll traps the energy of the photons of the sun and converts it into useful food for us.  Our bodies convert chlorophyll to hemoglobin by removing its central magnesium and replacing it with iron, changing its vibration level from green to red.  The hemoglobin of our red cells is photoactive.  We are indeed photoactive beings. 

Want to build imperturbability and have stronger skin, nails, muscles, hair, teeth and bone?  Eat gr


In association with Miami Dentist Dr. Ted Herrmann & Assure a Smile.