My 9-year-old daughter has two cavities we’re trying to heal naturally. If you’ve read up on healing tooth decay, you know there are loads of changes you need to make to your diet and lifestyle to promote healing and remineralizing your teeth. I created a printable Tooth Care Log that my daughter and I can fill out each day (I have two cavities as well!) to help keep track of the routine we’re following.
The Tooth Care Log includes every step our family takes to try to heal cavities naturally, but there are many more things we haven’t tried yet, like taking fermented cod liver oil or eating liver, because ew.
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Here’s a quick rundown of what we’re doing to try to heal our cavities and remineralize our teeth:
- Low phytic acid diet: I’m not gonna lie, it’s no fun to feed kids a diet that’s low in phytic acid, because it means you need to eliminate or seriously limit grains. Most kids are happy to live without beans and nuts, but imagine a world without burgers and pizza. (Focus on what they can have: my kids love this grain free Paleo Chicken Nuggets recipe!)
- Oil pulling with coconut oil: I oil pull twice a day for 20 minutes each time. It’s really hard for kids to oil pull for that long. Jameson can oil pull for 5–10 minutes at age 10, but smaller kids may not be able to make it that long. Do something distracting with your kids while they’re oil pulling, and don’t let them near the carpet (in case they drool, gag, or laugh)! We toss a stuffed animal back and forth across the kitchen to pass the time until the buzzer goes off.
- Brushing teeth in the morning and before bed: I’m supervising Jameson’s brushing, and even helping her brush her teeth as needed.
- Flossing teeth: The easiest way to help kids floss is to have them lie down so you can see all their teeth and floss for them. The pre-strung flossers do make it easier for kids to learn to floss their own teeth.
- Probiotics: Everyone in our family takes this probiotic every day, plus these chewable probiotics as needed for gas, overeating, or a queasy tummy.
- Vitamin D: We’re lucky to live in Phoenix where it’s sunny almost every day, but we also take a supplement. My husband and I take 50,000 IU Vitamin D (yes, 50k!) a day, and the kids take 5,000 IU Vitamin D a day.
- Magnesium: If I could only take one supplement, it would be magnesium. We take this magnesium supplement. The kids take 2-3 capsules per day (250-375 mg) and my husband and I take 4-6 capsules per day (500-750mg). Since magnesium is water soluble I like to space out the doses throughout the day. If your kids can’t take pills (magnesium pills are usually pretty big) try a powdered magnesium like Natural Calm—the variety I linked to does not have calcium, because calcium blocks magnesium.
- Sunshine: This is to track how much time we spend in the sunshine, without sunscreen (to get natural Vitamin D). Getting enough sun is trickier than you’d think in Phoenix, because when it’s well over 100 degrees outside, either you stay indoors because it’s so stinking hot, or you put on sunscreen because you’re going to be in the water for several hours.
- Exercise: I really haven’t read much information on the effect of exercise on teeth, but it’s crucial for proper development and I may as well track it here. We aim for 6 hours of outside play each day. Anything that’s good for your bones is good for your teeth.
- Bone broth: I put homemade chicken bone broth into almost every savory recipe I make. If I can’t find a way to add a significant amount of bone broth to the day’s menu, I give everyone a cup of hot chicken broth with their lunch.
- Fish oil: This fish oil has NO soy, gluten, milk, egg, corn, wheat, or peanuts—it’s not easy to find a fish oil made without soy!
- Bentonite clay: Right before Jameson goes to bed, I pack a tiny bit of this bentonite clay into her cavities. It has no taste, but it does have a fine, gritty texture. (I brush it onto all my teeth and leave it overnight, because the texture doesn’t bother me.)
How to soothe a toothache naturally
Sometimes Jameson complains of her teeth feeling cold; it’s not from eating or drinking something cold, it’s how she describes the pain in a tooth if it gets bumped playing.
A fast way to make a toothache feel better is to swish with warm salt water. You can get Himalayan pink salt at Winco for about $1.30 a pound. My teeth actually hurt when I eat things with a lot of table salt, but I don’t have that problem with the pink salt. Since it’s hard for kids to swish yucky salt water for a long time, I give Jameson about 2 oz of warm salt water and have her take a swig, swish counting in her head to 10, and spit it into the sink until the cup is empty.
A warm salt water rinse soothes cold teeth, sore gums, and toothaches, no pain reliever needed.
I keep little cups of pink salt and healing clay in my car’s glove box so I always have both on trips, just in case her teeth start hurting from all the sugar and junk she eats on our Disneyland vacations. In a pinch (haha) you can ask for salt packets and a cup of hot water at any fast food restaurant, convenience store, or Starbucks on your route.
I just discovered Jameson’s cavities (yikes! Those are the cavities I found in the photo!) and we’ll be following all the steps in the Tooth Care Log for at least 30 days; I’ll update next month, and hopefully her cavity will be healed—or well on its way to healing!
With just a few dietary changes, two of Jameson’s cavities healed, according to our holistic dentist, who had documented the cavities with xrays. Visually, the cavities had disappeared, but since I won’t be giving her xrays again, a visual observation will have to do.
One baby tooth that had a cavity fell out.
I did end up having the cavity in the photo filled* because it was very hard to keep the area clean because food got stuck there every time she ate. She had that big cavity between her teeth for months, and I maintained it and I think even reduced it a bit, as it was clear (not black!) and not so gaping when I took her to our holistic dentist to fill it, and it never hurt her.
*Our holistic dentist uses BPA-free filling material. If your dentist laughs at you when you ask for BPA-free filling material, Google a holistic dentist in your area. It is wonderful to have a dentist who cheers me on instead of telling me I’m crazy!
I reduced phytic acid in her diet (really, for everyone in the family, since we eat the same things) by eating a Paleoish diet.
- When we did eat wheat, I made sourdough bread with organic wheat, although I’m not sure how helpful that is if it’s not super duper freshly ground ancient wheat kissed by fairies. But, she would happily eat grassfed butter on it, and sourdough bread and grassfed butter is one of the examples of foods that create healthy teeth in the Weston A. Price book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
- She really loves beans, and I’ve always soaked them, but I started doing this method for soaking beans:
- Soak overnight, or for at least 6 hours, on the counter.
- Rinse the beans and refill the pot with water; bring to a boil and boil for 1 hour.
- Drain and rinse the beans a second time, refill the pot with water; bring to a boil and boil until tender.
That double rinse does make a difference because nobody gets gassy from the beans I make, not even family members who are sensitive to gassy foods. I figure that means the beans are being easily digested, so the phytic acid has been thoroughly reduced.
- I also started giving her 5,000 units Vitamin D a day in addition to sending her outside to play in the sunshine as much as possible. The capsules are very small, and the Vitamin D3 in the link has organic coconut oil as well.
- And, of course, I limited sugar even more than I had before the cavities. Our Disneyland trips are still sugar-saturated, but at home, we try to serve sugar intentionally instead of incidentally. It’s more fun to eat a big ice cream sundae once a week instead of using 1/4 cup of ketchup every day. The ice cream sundae has half as much sugar as just a cup of ketchup, and Jameson had been getting into the habit of putting ketchup on everything!
Have you healed your cavities naturally? Share your story in the comments!