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Thumbs Up: Keeping Kids Cavity-Free

Tara Carpenter, NC.

Originally published on April 23, 2019.

This is a hot topic for parents, for all of us really as who wants to be told they have a cavity while in the dentist chair?! Getting a cavity is never fun, no matter how old you are.

I have two kids; my youngest is 15 and has no cavities. My oldest is 21 and had a tiny one when he was 6. Thankfully, it was on a baby tooth and because my son had a fear of needles, we pulled the tooth instead of filling as he was going to lose that tooth naturally shortly.

As a Holistic Nutritionist, I seek ways to help the body do what it naturally does; to heal itself. I read and study traditional practices, I create old ways of making new recipes. This is truly what I do best and love the most.

When I had my babies, you bet your boots I studied every parenting topic under the sun …. boosting breastmilk, letting child lead the way in weaning, 1st foods, vaccinations, and how to keep teeth strong without using fluoride and sealants.

Ways I keep my kids cavity-free:

  1. Fermented cod liver oil for enamel erosion, tooth sensitivity, gum recession, and cavities. It comes in various flavors (i.e., cinnamon, chocolate) and in capsule, liquid, or gel form. For fast results, oil-pull with Royal Butter Blend. Green Pasture is family-owned and the only folks making this traditional food the traditional way. 
  2. Chicken stock or any meat stock, esp. fish stock, is rich in minerals, gelatin, and collagen. Humans have consumed stocks for millennia as it’s a valuable source of nutrients that are virtually impossible to find elsewhere. Stock does wonders to maintain healthy teeth and heal teeth in a natural way. 
  3. Cultured butter is rich in beneficial flora/probiotics and easy-to-digest. In fact, butter this way is often tolerated by those with fat/dairy sensitivities and best part is it’s easy to make; you only need cream and starter. Butter and other healthy saturated fats (i.e., duck fat, lard, coconut oil) improves teeth because fat carries nutrients from the food we eat and into our teeth and other body parts. “Oil pulling” with any of these fats goes directly to teeth. 
  4. Soak grains + beans/nuts/seeds as they contain enzyme inhibitors (i.e., phytates, tannins, goitrogens); which are anti-nutrients and known to cause tooth decay/bone loss. Phytic acid is the most popular anti-nutrient that interferes with mineral absorption by blocking a large % of minerals, making them unavailable to body. For ex. 80% of phosphorous in pumpkin seeds are blocked by phytate. Teeth need minerals to re-mineralize, so ‘un-lock’ minerals in these foods by soaking them.
  5. Collagen aids mineralization, stability, and bone density in teeth and connective tissue that keep teeth securely in the jaw. As we age (or eat a deficient diet) our bone density/connective tissue dwindles and this means our jaw/gum tissue shrinks and teeth are prone to damage. Collagen is tasteless and can be added to any beverage without kids knowing ;0 
  6. Use stevia and lakanto instead of sweeteners that affect blood sugar and cause cavities.
  7. Bone marrow is fatty, nourishing, and possibly one of the best remedies for teeth. Our ancestors relied on this primal food that can be found inside of the large bones of all mammals. We like beef bone marrow and roast bones at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes until marrow begins to drizzle out. The kids scoop the marrow out of the bone with a spoon (see video of my 3 year old eating marrow). 
  8. Make unsalted probiotic-rich food (i.e., purple potion, young coconut kefir) a normal part of meals. These living foods contain trillions of beneficial flora that alkalize the mouth, balance blood sugar, and keep bad flora in check. The mouth has its own set of bacteria called the ‘oral microbiome’ and this inner world is closely connected to levels of tooth decay. Eating probiotic-rich food on a regular basis maintains microbial balance in the mouth and can prevent tooth decay. My kids have eaten these foods since 2011 and I find them to be an indispensable part of every meal. 
  9. Heal yeast overgrowth in gut (+ mouth) with a yeast/sugar/gluten-free diet to stop yeast from growing. Here’s a candida quiz to see if your child has yeast overgrowth. Candida is most always found in the plaque of kids with cavities. I highly recommend The Body Ecology Diet to reverse yeast overgrowth.
  10. Read Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel.
  11. Teach kids to breathe through nose unless eating or talking; esp., during sleep. If child mouth-breaths at night, they’ll wake with dry mouth/smelly breath which dries up mouth microbiome and means teeth are no longer bathed in saliva. This is a problem because saliva contains critical nutrients to re-mineralize teeth, without enough saliva the mouth pH can become too acidic; allowing bacteria to flourish which promotes cavities. Patrick Mckeown considers mouth breathing #1 cause of cavities, more than diet and dental hygiene.
  12. Choose an extra-soft  toothbrush. Most kids brush too hard, and over-brush certain areas; which can harm enamel covering teeth. Model soft brushing for them. 

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Disclaimer: This content is general information only; primarily educational in nature and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your doctor that you, the reader, may require for any cause whatsoever, now or in future. Consult  a medical doctor regarding any health problem and keep him fully informed to the opinions, ideas, and dietary advice offered on this site you find useful.

May all bellies be happy!

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