Dental health has come easy for me throughout my life, but for some reason, it has not come easy for either of my children. I always seemed to have few dental problems and so when it came to my children, I taught them how to care for their teeth.
My typical son did not have any cavities, but I did allow the dentist to put sealants in his teeth. When he was little, he had taken quite a bit of albuterol for his asthma, and some say this is what caused his teeth to not develop properly. Of course, I looked seriously at food allergies and gut health, but honestly, I still did not understand what the problem was. He had yellowing on his teeth and it took cosmetic dentistry to cover it up. I took it real personal that this happened and felt like I failed him as his Mama.
Then, my second son was born with a genetic syndrome.
Special Needs teeth are completely different.
Trust me, I am no expert, but I noticed this right off. So many of our special children already suffer from teeth, palate, and jaw deformations.
My special needs son has an exceptionally high palate. Further, when he was little, he was on 9 medications, including growth hormone injections (a standard treatment for his syndrome), which you would think would assist him in tooth strength and growth. However, because he had poor gut motility, it made his digestion poor, and I think that did not help his mineral absorption. I changed his diet and did all of the natural gut things you should do, but it does not change a genetic disability.
When my son was little, he was constantly sick, and his teeth grew in small which he further eroded with a persistent teeth grinding habit. Yet, when I was able to get him off his reflux medications, and changed his diet, his health improved. A lot. Further, as he lost his baby teeth, his adult teeth came in healthy and strong (see above). I was elated.
So, does nutrition make a difference?
I think it does! When we strengthen our children’s and our own bodies with good, nutritious foods, we boost their immune system. Further, when we avoid sugar and other foods, particularly in a special needs body, it will help them. I cannot say that avoiding grains was the answer, because my son was on a gluten-free diet, and we did not avoid grains at all.
There is much evidence which states that good nutrition and health create healthy teeth, which is the backbone of holistic oral health. In fact, some have found that you can reverse tooth decay, if your child has already struggled with this problem.
There is also some studies carried about by the Dr. Weston A. Price foundation on how foods high in phytic acid de-mineralize the saliva in our mouths. According to the foundation, these foods, when eaten make it difficult for our children’s teeth to heal themselves. However, the foods in question are things like tofu, soy protein and beans, almonds, sesame seeds, pinto beans and peanuts. If your child eats a lot of these foods, and they are struggling with tooth decay, then it may help them to eat less of these foods. I don’t know, but it is something to try.
I would also like to add that while I took my son off of reflux medications, it changed his stomach acid. If you are digesting your food properly, then it should increase your motility. Right? Well, at least my non-medical thinking says so. And, well, look at my son’s teeth. They are healthy.
There are other ways to help your child’s oral health.
Boost your child’s tooth health with these ideas:
Vitamin D supplements
A University of Washington study in the 1980s found that vitamin D can reduce a child’s cavities with about a 53% reduction rate, irregardless of diet. This is the top vitamin you can use to help reverse cavities in your child. It will make a difference.
Vitamin K supplements
Vitamin K helps transport calcium to the bones. Given the fact that your teeth require calcium, vitamin K can help strengthen and re-mineralize them.
Vitamin C supplements
Vitamin C even in the form of chewable tablets for children, is a great healer for their bodies. My son is taking about 2,000 milligrams of it a day and generally feels better. If your child has any health-related issues, poor gut absorption, or other issues related to their genetic syndrome, then vitamin C can help detoxify their bodies.
Sugar is a big cause of tooth decay, as well as excessive refined carbohydrates. We support the use of raw honey. We also use stevia, which is not a sugar, but a plant sweetener. I even buy stevia from Dollar Tree.
Athlone Institute in Ireland performed a study on enzymatic coconut oil, which it was discovered to break down bad bacteria in the mouth. In other words, coconut oil, mixed with digestive juices, has proven to reverse tooth decay. Most of us know that coconut oil is already a God-given anti-bacterial and anti-fungal nut.
The art of oil pulling, or rinsing the mouth with coconut oil for about 10 minutes a day, was birthed from this research. Some say it works to fight decay. I am not sure how to really ferment the oil, but I do give my son organic coconut oil every night.
Whole, organic foods
Whole foods are now commonly known to prevent tooth decay. Good nutrition with whole foods, create healthy, strong teeth. Raw meats, grains, vegetables and fruits are boosts for your dental hygiene.
Calcium is actually extracted more from green leafy vegetables, more so than from milk products. This element helps the body grow and maintain strong bones and muscles. Make veggie and fruit shakes with lots of greens, citrus and water, and you have a whole load of calcium. If you must supplement, though, calcium citrate with magnesium digests better in the stomach acids.
Unpasteurized raw, organic milk
Pasteurization in milk and other products breaks down the nutritional benefits. Grass-fed is best, but you may need to search for a local raw milk supplier. We still struggle finding good raw grass-fed milk in our area.
Natural oral solutions
Using thieves oil, and making a toothpaste from bentonite clay are ways to both remove damaging bacteria, as well as remineralize your teeth. You can also brush with activated charcoal to help re-mineralize your teeth.
Mineral drops to help re-mineralize your child’s teeth when there is a cavity. There are already minerals in your saliva, based on the diet you eat, however, if you feel like your child needs an extra boost, you can purchase these in liquid form on Amazon.
But, there are 3 shortcuts to this
If you struggle to introduce good, whole foods and supplements in your family, you can do something else. You may be on the quick track to get a cavity healed, or simply have too many protests from your family about a diet change. Whatever the case may be, you can also try these three things, along with taking extra vitamin D to heal a cavity.
Fermented cod liver oil
Cod liver oil contains good doses of vitamins A, D and K, can actually help reverse tooth decay. This can run about $60 a bottle.
Raw, organic, grass-fed butter
Contains some of the stronger fats and nutrients in cow’s milk and is strong in vitamins. It is kind of the fat equivalent of a multi-vitamin!
Okay, I hate this. I don’t like organ meat very much. I can handle about 1 serving of pan-fried liver and onions about every 2 or 3 months, which is not enough. But, if you are like me, you can add liver to your meatloaf, or cut up small chunks of it and freeze it.
Take the liver cubes as a daily liver vitamin. I have heard it really boosts your overall health and heals your teeth. For kids, I recommend trying to blend it in a shake with berries and stevia. I am sure it can be done.
Really, it all depends on your resources and needs.
Whether you choose to spend the $60, or pull your supplements together with trace minerals, it comes down to what you can afford. These are options which do work, or at the very least, help. I have not yet tried to re-mineralize a cavity, but there are people with results.
While my son’s teeth dramatically improved with diet changes, I was unable to heal cavities that were forming in his mouth. I always point out that his body is different than the average, and his saliva and digestion are unique to his genetic syndrome. But, I am pleased that his teeth were healed in the way that they grow in.
Need some reading resources for more information? Click here These are some top books in the field of holistic dentistry and nutrition.
Have you healed your child’s or your own tooth and/or gum issues? How did you do it?