When You Don’t Agree with the Doctor’s Orders

Is plastic safe to put in your mouth? Since my diagnosis of endometriosis, I’ve tried to be mindful of my use of plastic.

I don’t believe that any single use of it will have detrimental effects. However, I do think that anything that we do on a regular or daily basis can add up.

Plastic is suggested to affect our health, specifically our reproductive health, negatively.

Research found that, “much of the reported disruptive activity has been in relation to the action of estrogens, androgens, and thyroid hormones, and concerns have been raised for adverse consequences on female and male reproductive health, thyroid function, metabolic alterations, brain development/function, immune responses, and development of cancers in hormone-sensitive tissues.”1

This isn’t stopping me from occasionally drinking out of a plastic water bottle I buy at a snack stand or convenience store. But it’s heightened my awareness of anything that I use regularly.

This brings me back to my original question, “is plastic safe to put in your mouth?”

Doubting my doctor

It seems like an obvious “no” to me. So, I was confused when my dentist recently suggested I wear a night guard made of plastic every night (six to eight hours every day).

What was more surprising is that he seemed surprised that I even raised a concern and asked if there were alternative materials. He said it was the only material he was aware of as an option. While he didn’t try to dismiss my concern, I could tell we weren’t on the same page.

The part of this process that frustrates me is that I felt it was a legitimate concern, and I did my best to open the conversation collaboratively. I was seeking more information; I wasn’t going against him.

I agreed with his recommendation for the guard. Still, given that my body is already managing three autoimmune diseases, I wasn’t exactly eager to expose myself repeatedly or unnecessarily to plastics.

The question is, where do you go from here? What do you do when you disagree with the doctor’s orders?

Can you continue to go to the doctor if you don’t take his advice?

I believe he’s a good dentist, and I’ve had a great experience with his practice. While I’d love to go to a holistic dentist, the out-of-pocket expense is not in the budget.

So, for now, I decided to remain with this dentist and seek alternative solutions for this specific recommendation. It wasn’t a deal breaker for him, so why should I lose a good dentist?

Doing my own research

I have to know going forward that he only speaks from a traditional perspective, and it’s on me to do the leg work of finding more natural alternatives if and when needed.

It requires a lot of discernment when researching alternatives on your own. There are a lot of products out there that claim to be natural but aren’t effective – and vice versa. They claim to be effective but not natural.

I start with an online search (welcome to Google University!) and make sure that I look at company facts, ingredient lists, reviews, etc.

I’m also grateful that I have a health and nutrition background so once I’ve narrowed my search, I can reach out to colleagues for their insight.

In this case, I would bring any alternatives I find back to the dentist to get his opinion on the best of the other options.

I, of course, will go into that conversation knowing that he’s already made the recommendation that he believes to be best, but it can’t hurt to see what he says, and I won’t take his response personally.

So, what do you do when you disagree with the doctor’s orders? Please share below so we can learn from you too!

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