A Whole Person Approach 
at Holistic Dentistry 
of Port Washington

Dr. Railand

Dr. Railand

by Sheila Julson

Dr. Laura Railand of Holistic Dentistry of Port Washington came from a family of orthodontists, but she never thought she would go into dentistry. As a young artist in New Mexico, she made jewelry and stained glass. One day she happened to need some small tools to complete an art project, and those supplies were sold at a dental lab. “Everyone in the lab was sitting around making crowns,” she recalls, and she immediately saw a connection between artistic detail and the meticulous work that dentistry required.

However, she didn’t pursue dentistry right away. Railand went to Mills College, in Oakland, California, where she earned a degree in biology, and then she moved to Oregon to participate in an AmeriCorps program. During that time she worked as a water chemist, but later decided to study dentistry at Oregon Health and Science University. She had always been interested in natural health, and during her time in Oregon, she was further immersed in the holistic health culture dominant in Portland.

After earning her dental degree in 2010, she returned to New Mexico to do a residency at the University of New Mexico hospital, which served many low-income people. “There were a lot of patients who were not getting better. They brought us (dental residents) in to evaluate them, and we found that they had a lot of dental infections. Once we removed those infections, the patients were getting better,” Railand says. She became part of a dental team that evaluated patients for dental clearance before surgeries. “The hospital really saw the value of whole-body health, and that was a great experience for me: recognizing the mouth-body connection.”

In 2012, Railand and her husband moved to Wisconsin to be closer to his family, and once there, she decided to start a new practice in the former space of Dr. Steve Carini, a Port Washington dentist who practiced with a holistic philosophy. Carini had retired and closed his practice in 2014. Railand opened her practice, Holistic Dentistry of Port Washington, in September 2016. Since opening, the practice has grown quickly, and she believes it is because patients are recognizing the importance of their dental health and how the mouth affects the whole body.

Holistic Dentistry of Port Washington has a 3D imaging machine that can detect underlying infections in the mouth not shown on the standard 2D X-ray machines common in most dental clinics. The clinic is also metal-, BPA- and fluoride-free. Railand is certified through the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) to safely remove amalgam fillings in a way that minimizes metal exposure for the patient and the practitioner. Patients can then have compatibility testing in order to determine healthier, non-reactive filling options.

In addition to detecting infections early, and offering amalgam filling removal and replacement options, Railand has another focus: children. Today’s environmental burdens and soft diets are causing malocclusion (misaligned teeth) in young kids, resulting in mouth breathing that leads to airway issues and sleep apnea. For this reason, Railand offers functional orthodontics. It identifies these problems early on, and gets children started on sleep appliances and myofunctional therapy in order to change the way their mouths develop, thus opening airways and sinuses.

Railand provides a calm, friendly environment where patients aren’t rushed through, and their concerns are heard. She is passionate about helping people not only look better, but also feel better. “There is a true body-dental connection, and patients shouldn’t ignore what’s going on in their mouths. If they feel like something is off, they should follow through; more often than not, the patient’s intuition is right.”

Holistic Dentistry of Port Washington is located at 222 N. Franklin St. For more information, call 262-235-4525 or visit HolisticDentistryWI.com.

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.

This article was featured in the Milwaukee addition of Natural Awakenings

Helping Children 
Develop Straighter Teeth


There are many theories as to why some children have straight teeth and others don’t. Many believe that crooked teeth may be a combination of inheriting one parent’s small jaw and the other’s large teeth. While science does not have all the answers, research has shed some light on the topic, and there are things that parents can do to help their child develop healthy, straight teeth naturally.

When steady pressure is applied for long periods of time, it doesn’t take a lot of force to move a tooth, and the tongue is a powerful muscle. The natural placement of the tongue is in the roof of the mouth behind the upper front teeth, and the force of the tongue then expands the upper arch out to the sides of the mouth. The proper development of the upper arch enables the lower jaw to move forward, which prevents the “buck teeth” look as the jaw moves to its proper position.

Children that have allergies, enlarged tonsils and other conditions can have trouble breathing through their nose. Breathing through the mouth leaves the tongue on the floor of the mouth, where it is not doing its job of expanding the upper arch. This can cause a narrow upper arch and prevent the lower jaw from moving forward, resulting in crowding and/or the buck teeth appearance.

The same goes for children with oral habits such as thumb sucking or lip sucking that do not allow the tongue to do its job. By catching these conditions early, even as soon as 3 years of age, we can stop the process and help a child develop their healthy and natural facial and dental potential.

Moving the jaw forward allows for a better facial profile, straighter teeth and a bigger airway that can prevent future health problems such as sleep apnea. Many people believe that waiting until the child is older and then moving the teeth back with braces and headgear is the only answer. However, leaving the condition untreated in the young years can contribute to poor jaw position, TMJ dysfunction and a narrowed airway, and may result in a longer, more expensive orthodontic treatment which could relapse, resulting in the need for more orthodontics in the future.

It is important to find a dentist that can recognize these habits and conditions in a young child and understands that early intervention can be beneficial. Early treatment may include allergy testing, habit correction, myofunctional therapy and evaluating whether the tonsils are enlarged and should be removed. A dentist that values early intervention can contribute to the best health outcomes for a child.

This article was featured in the Milwaukee addition of Natural Awakenings 

We are open! Read the Ozaukee Press feature on the opening of our office

Port dentist stresses holistic approach

New practice stresses connection between teeth, full body health.

Starting a new business is never an easy task, but Laura Railand has high hopes for a somewhat simplified life now that she has opened Holistic Dentistry of Port Washington. Railand is committed to a holistic approach to dental care, a philosophy that preaches “do no harm.” It is a philosophy that she said fits in well with the approach used by former Port Washington dentist Steve Carini.

Read the full article here