By Ramiel Nagel
This article is also excerpted in Mothering's recent guide Healing Teeth Naturally. Check it out for a wealth of information.
My Daughter Had Severe Tooth Decay
At a little over one year old, my breastfed daughter developed a small white spot on her tooth. The spot later turned brown and then, at around the age of a year and a half, the tooth crumbled apart. Her mouth became riddled with cavities. We ate organic food and did not feed her processed sugar. I knew something was wrong with what I was reading about tooth decay in young children because they call it “baby bottle tooth decay,” yet she never had a bottle.
My daughter is now nine years old, her eight adult teeth are cavity free. Her teeth that were severely decayed have protected themselves. Here are some tips and explanations on how you can prevent tooth decay and even remineralize your child’s teeth.
Modern Dental Treatments for Early Childhood Cavities are Usually Traumatic
Modern dentistry does not offer any appealing treatments for our little ones suffering from tooth decay. Conventional dentistry uses the following treatments to treat cavities in young children:
To treat significant tooth decay in babies and children, most dentists work towards extracting decayed baby teeth, and/or placing metal crowns on the decaying tooth (which contain highly toxic aluminum). A new trend within conventional dentistry is to perform a root canal on a baby tooth. The least invasive treatment offered for children’s cavities by dentists is usually fluoride. Unfortunately, fluoride is highly toxic. If these treatments stopped tooth decay then perhaps the suffering and toxicity might be worth it. Studies and research from England show that drilling and filling is not an effective way of dealing with children’s cavities as it does not usually prevent pain or suffering or stop the decay.
What Dentistry is Missing
What modern dentistry does not understand is that tooth decay in children is a result of a lack of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals. It’s not just the teeth in the child’s body suffering from this deficiency, but their entire body. So even if dental treatments hide the result of this deficiency and make a child’s teeth look aesthetic, the cause of tooth decay is not addressed.
Professor’s Edward and May Mellanby, who were successfully treating tooth decay nutritionally in the early-mid 1900’s found by microscopic evaluation of children’s teeth that a large percentage of baby teeth erupt with weak enamel. Parents whose young child has severe cavities must understand that it has to do with the fact that their child's teeth came in weak. So their teeth are more sensitive or prone to decay. Usually childhood cavities is a mixture of poorly mineralized teeth coming in, and a lack of nutritional density in the diet.
Conventional dentistry misses the cause of cavities because the training of dentists is designed to make them good at treating cavities surgically. The industry has only a small interest in prevention because of a myopic and limited view on the cause of cavities, based on fear in which bacteria are blamed and people are just hopeless victims to it. This theory is a very convenient way to push their treatment agenda and dare I say, make more money.
Groundbreaking Dental Research in Indigenous Cultures
Dr. Weston Price was a dentist in the 1930’s who spent many years studying the traditional diets of indigenous groups who had no or very low incidences of tooth decay. He found one key common characteristic between the groups is that they ate regularly from two of the following three food categories:
1. Raw, grass-fed dairy including, milk, cheese, cream and butter;
2. Organs of sea animals including fish organs, fish heads, fish eggs, oysters, clams, mussels, and crab and lobster with the innards;
3. Organs of land animals including liver, bone marrow, tongue, heart, kidneys, pancreas, adrenal glands, gonads and for the more adventurous - brain, eyes and the stomach lining;
Our modern diets are noticeably lacking in sea and land animal organs and most households do not even consume raw grassfed diary. It also can take a real commitment to finding creative ways to incorporate these foods into our diets. However, it is possible to make these changes and the nutritional value of these foods is truly phenomenal in their ability to strengthen your children’s teeth and overall health. It is important to keep in mind that it is not necessary to consume large quantities of these foods. What is important is that we eat them frequently and eat enough of them to meet our nutritional needs.
Our modern diet is essentially devoid of these nutritionally dense foods. Since these foods are not consumed on a regular basis in the modern world, it is no wonder our children’s bodies and teeth are so often characterized by disease or poor immunity.
The key component in these special foods is fat-soluble vitamin D. Fat-soluble vitamin D is proven to reduce cavities by 47% in a survey of historical studies.
Summary of Key Findings About Reversing Childhood Tooth Decay
1. Tooth Decay is not caused by breast milk or prolonged breastfeeding; do not be afraid to continue breasfeeding your decay prone child. If you are concerned about the breast milk affecting their teeth, you can wipe your breastfeeding child’s teeth with a soft cloth after nursing. Breast milk is anti-bacterial and builds your child’s immunity to all forms of illness.
2. Tooth Decay is not effectively prevented with fluoride; be especially wary of taking fluoride internally because it will damage enzyme systems and poison the body.
3. Grassfed ghee or butter should be included in your child’s diet as soon as possible. Coat vegetables or meat in high quality yellow butter.
4. Breastfeeding moms should take approximately 1-2 teaspoons per day of green pasture’s cod liver oil which is high in vitamin D. The vitamin D will travel through the breastmilk to the child. They also sell a mixture with high quality butter. Here is approximate dosage amounts for children. Of course, these should not replace medical advice or your own feedback.
25 pounds 1/8 teaspoon twice per day
35 pounds 1/8+ teaspoon twice per day
45 pounds 1/4 teaspoon twice per day
55 pounds 1/4+ teaspoon twice per day.
62 pounds for severe vitamin deficiency:
4-5 Royal Blend Capsules Daily or
1/3 teaspoon of the gel 3x daily.
Occasionally some highly sensitive children may not do well with cod. The taste of this cod liver oil is not very pleasant. It can be rubbed on the child’s skin, and there are some child friendly flavors as well.
5. Don’t be afraid of raw grassfed dairy products. Even if it is just aged cheese you give your child, dairy is a highly dense source of calcium. Dairy from happy animals is magic for growing children. Find a source you feel comfortable with. Raw is optimal, but if the cheese or butter is grassfed but pasteurized, that is acceptable and will still be beneficial.
6. Liver may not be on your list of delicious foods or favorite tooth decay remedies. But adding liver to your child’s diet, chicken or beef, from organically raised animals will provide a mixture of trace minerals and vitamins.
7. Seaweed is loaded with trace minerals. Seaweed as a snack or addition to meals will add minerals to your child’s diet. Note: children with significant sensitivities or heavy metal toxicity may react to seaweed.
8. Watch out for high intensity sweeteners of any kind. Some sweet food in your child’s diet is fine, but if they have cavities, very sweet things, or highly refined sweeteners will be disastrous to your child’s teeth. Don’t be fooled by sweeteners that are new on the market or low glycemic, they too will cause cavities.
9. Packaged or store bought breads, pasta’s and crackers made with whole grains are usually or always detrimental to children’s teeth due to large amounts of grain toxins. I know this is shocking, you can read my article on phytic acid to learn more why this is.
How to Take The Next Step Towards Healing Childhood Tooth Decay
I recently published a book called, Cure Tooth Decay: Remineralize Your Teeth & Repair your Teeth Naturally with Good Food. This book has a special section that teaches parents how to remineralize their children's teeth. If you take the time to thoroughly read my book, you will become your own tooth decay expert. You will know exactly why your child has cavities, and exactly what treatments are needed, and not needed. By making some adjustments to your child’s diet you will completely change the entire health of his or her body. This healthy foundation will affect not just their teeth but their personality and overall health for years to come. The book is available for PDF download and purchase on the website, or for download on kindle and ipad.