Written by Cara, Contributing Writer
Have a baby, lose a tooth. Unfortunately so far that adage has been true for me!
After the removal of my second back molar, I knew that had better get on top of the real cause of tooth decay so that I could prevent further loss in myself, and take preventative measures for my children. I'll share what I've decided to do in our family. In addition, you can see the other posts I've done on holistic dentistry on my blog.
Fluoride: Friend or Foe?
The first item I looked into was fluoride, because it seemed the most controversial. There were toothpastes that were specifically fluoride free, and toothpastes that touted the benefits of fluoride.
Upon further research, in short I found that fluoride is a toxic waste product of the aluminum and fertilizer industry and is a known carcinogen, ingredient in rat poison, and it had been used by Nazis to sterilize prisoners. (read more about this at nofluoride.com)
I did not feel the benefits, if any, of fluoride outweighed the very real risks associated with its use, and we discontinued using fluoridated toothpaste. We use Tooth Spritz (liquid soap) to brush with, and even the kids don't mind, it's not as bad as you'd think!
It's What's Inside That Counts: The Enormous Impact Nutrition Has on Dental Health
The book Nutrition and Psychical Degeneration really revolutionized how I thought about cavities. Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist, searched the world in order to find the cause of tooth decay. What he ended up finding was that when our bodies are not properly nourished, our teeth are the first part of our body to noticeably be affected.
What foods did he find necessary to keep our teeth well nourished? Meat and/or milk from grass fed animals. Seafood harvested from healthy waters. What foods should we avoid eating to keep our teeth healthy? Any refined food that has all its nutrients stripped from it such as white sugar, white flour, and other processed foods.
Weston Price encourages the avoidance of refined foods not because they 'sit on your teeth and cause them to rot' as I had been told as a child, but because they displace nutrient-dense foods that the body needs in the diet.
Without a diet full of wholesome foods as God created them, there just are not enough nutrients to go around and your teeth suffer. You can read more about Dr. Weston A. Price's work at westonaprice.org.
What to Do if You Already Have a Cavity
I actually have some cavities that our holistic dentist told me about. After much research, I have decided to avoid having them drilled and filled as long as they aren't causing any pain. In the book Cure Tooth Decay, Ramiel Nagel recommends a nutrient dense nutrition protocol to halt and prevent tooth decay.
I haven't followed his protocol exactly, I did keep in mind that it should be a priority to make sure my fats and proteins are from very healthy (grassfed) sources, I made it a priority to include more fish in my diet, and I take raw fermented cod liver oil daily. I also watch the sugar in my diet to make sure I'm not filling up on nutrient-void calories.
Brushing with soap made for teeth that I talked about above, also helps really clean off the teeth, and doesn't leave a glycerin coating as most commercial toothpastes do. This allows the saliva to interact as God intended with the teeth- modern toothpastes leave a coating of glycerin and prevent the saliva from penetrating the teeth as needed to bring them nutrients as well.
Between improving my diet, with a focus on healthy fats even if they are more expensive, and using tooth soap I have had a good experience with not using typical dental procedures.My teeth used to be really sensitive to cold, and after doing these natural treatments for over a year now I have very rare cold sensitivity.
My front teeth also were somewhat transparent at the ends, and that is filling in with opaque color. I suspect the transparency was from over-the-counter tooth whitening gels that I used while in college. The cavities that I know of and can see have not gotten any bigger, and I don't have any pain at all!
As I'm learning the more I learn about holistic medicine, it isn't possible to separate different parts of the body. It's all connected, and in this case, tooth decay is the sign of bigger problems to come so it's best addressed quickly and nutritionally.
As with everything, please research for yourself before trying anything I've recommended! This is just what we do in our family.