Holistic Dental Care: Looking at the Causes and Prevention of Cavities

tooth and xray

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.

Child Smiling

Healthy Teeth!

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.

What does your dental care routine look like? Do you agree about the impact of nutrition on your teeth?

Photo Credit

About Cara

Cara lives in Montana with her family. She enjoys parenting with a purpose with a goal to nurture the whole child; physically with nourishing traditionally prepared foods, through play and education with the Waldorf and Charlotte Mason educational methods, and spiritually by teaching about the awesome God of the Bible that she serves. One of her children also has special needs, which are a major driving factor in her desire to pursue holistic methods of health care. She writes about food and natural health at her blog Health, Home, and Happiness.

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  1. Ewa Gula says:

    Thank you for sharing your views on the connection between teeth and nutrition. I am happy to find more people that are searching for real answers to preventing tooth cavities.

  2. SUNIL JOSHI says:

    I want to know that how formaldehyde work for stop in hyper sensitivity of tooth. is any role to prevent hypersensitivity

  3. I agree with the benefits of a healthy diet and how it affects oral health. How do you feel about the importance of antioxidants in the body and how they affect oral health. I have recently read that our oral health is a good
    indication of our overrall health and that the health of our gums can affect a number of other systems of our body.

  4. Catherine Salazar says:

    We have been making our own tooth paste for some time.. we use baking soda, kosher salt and tea tree and peppermint ess oil..we also add Glycerin to get that gooey texture…Im so glad I found this information..we will omit the glycerin. My children are wearing braces and their Dentist told us they have never seen such clean teeth especially with braces!! She was quite impressed…: ) I do like the idea of using Coconut oil as a base..Love Coconut oil for so many uses. Thank you for your information

  5. if you choose to ignore your diagnosed cavities, eventually the tooth will either get an abcess or fracture because the inside is all decayed. even if you are doing a good job brushing, there are harmful bacteria in those cavities… you are eating those, and will just do more damage to your teeth long term, as well as to your overall health.

  6. I recently went to the health food store, and the only toothpaste I could find that didn’t contain glycerin was called “Coral White.” I’ve been using it for about a week now and love it. It balances the pH in your mouth, and promotes remineralization of the enamel due to the ionic coral minerals it contains (from above the sea so no damage is caused to lival coral).

  7. My 3 yr old son had a cavity for 3 months. I started giving him extra Vitamin D, and went gluten-free (he had already been taking cod liver oil and butter oil) and starting drinking raw whole milk…. the cavity was gone in a couple weeks. We got the “all clear” from the pediatric dentist yesterday… NO cavities!! :)

    He also uses the Xylitol toothpaste by NOW foods. Great tip! I didn’t know why it worked till now, just that it does. We do not use flouride at all and have none in our water either.

  8. bridgette says:

    Preventing tooth decay is a simple, but complex problem, I’m a mom and dental hygeinst with a great passion for helping other parents stop decay in their months, so they can prevent this problem in their children (since the kids become infected by the bacteria in our saliva which, I feel, is the biggest cause of decay). l am surprised that with all your investigating you didn’t run across information on Xylitol. It is great!! It is a “real” sugar (not man made, not a sugar subtitute) that when we put it in our or our children’s mouths the bacteria that cause cavities eat it, and they can not use it as energy (because it is a 5 carbon sugar and they need a 6 arbon sugar to breakdown for energy) and the bacteria basically “die”. When we have a out of balance level of bad decay causing bacteria our mouth is acid or decay prone. If we eat xylitol the bad bactera levels reduce and the pH in our mouths go up to a neutral level which makes it possible for the natural minerals in our saliva to flow into our teeth and remineralize or harden our enamel which equals less cavities. And on a side note, if the pH of your mouth is acidic or below neutral (5.5pH) no matter how much added fluoride you use (through toothpaste or in the water) it will not soak into the enamel of a tooth. I think reducing the bad decay causing bacteria imbalance that is causing the acidic/low pH is the KEY to preventing decay. Xylitol is safe for infants (just not our dogs, but neither is too much chocolate – and i’m not giving my weekly chocolate treat). Here is a couple websites to checkout http://www.xclear.com or http://www.carifree.com on Xylitol and pH balance.


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