If you're anything like I was a couple of years ago, the very idea that you could CURE tooth decay and not have to undergo the drilling and filling, would be a mind blowing, earth shaking kind of realization. It was for me!
A year ago my (then) 3 year old had a cavity. It was the first of any of my 4 children, so I was pretty shocked by that. Thankfully, it was so minor that there wasn't even a need for any numbing to do the drilling and filling. (I wish I would have known then what I know now and we would have NEVER done that!) Since then, I heard about, and started reading the book Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel.
Even still, I hadn't actually put anything into practice. I was just kind of flirting with the idea that it may be a possibility. You know, kind of soaking it in, marinating in it, wallowing around in the complete and utter hippiness of the idea. If you all know me at all, I'm all for alternative medicine. But THIS! This seemed just too unbelievable to actually be legitimate at all. Yet, the more I read, the more valid it seemed, and the more my eyes were opened to this possibility. There are tons of online resources for this sort of thing. Online group pages, website, forums, etc.
What finally gave me the kick in the pants to really get a move on and start implementing some of what I was learning was our most recent trip to the dentist for cleanings. Now, my 4 year old had cavities (with an s, as in plural!!!) as well as my 9 year old! I just about fell out of my chair! Seriously! Their teeth LOOK beautiful! I couldn't SEE anything wrong with them, it's not like they had visible decay or anything and we hadn't actually been doing anything different, so what happened to change their dental health?
Well, I'm still not sure of what the trigger was, and I may never know. But, I was being given the push that was needed in order to actually start implementing all that I had been absorbing. Now, it's highly possible that in my attempts to help them heal naturally, that I may fail. That is always a possibility. If that's the case, what do I have to lose? Absolutely nothing! The outcome would be the same either way. Don't try and have the dental work done. Or, do try and possibly have healing...if it doesn't work, we have the dental work done. It's really that simple. And I don't really feel I'm out anything at all by giving this a shot! Yet we have everything to gain.
The idea that clicked for me in all my reading and research was the basic premise that teeth are bones. They are alive and living. Just like the bones in the rest of your body. If it breaks, cracks, gets fractured, it heals. Right!? Of course! We don't just drill into it or rip it out! Teeth are like that too! They can heal! They can remineralize! Decay can literally reverse! (or so all the books and websites say)
We are about 2 weeks into this journey and it has been difficult. Mostly because it's a HUGE change for the kids. It's tiring. And it's a long road. I can't expect results overnight. One of the first things we did was to add in Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil by Green Pasture's Products.
I've also added in what's called cell salts by Hylands that I ordered from Vitacost or Amazon. Both Calc Fluor and Calc Phos. Basically they are forms of calcium that are good for lots of things, but especially for remineralizing bones (and teeth). Magnesium is another that I'm still working on, as well as probiotics. For my oldest child, she can just swallow a probiotic, but the younger can't, so it's a bit more challenging. We had luck sprinkling some on fruit, but I've since learned that since we are in the healing stage, that we shouldn't be eating fruit. Pretty much none at all. As it raises the blood sugar levels and prevents healing during that time.
Obviously, sugars are out as well! We are also grain free and mostly starch free. Although I have on a couple of occasions had some potatoes or rice. Yogurt and oatmeal had to go for now too. Which is huge for us. We love homemade yogurt! But even it has sugars from the milk that can cause an environment allowing for bacteria growth in the mouth. Honey can only be used sparingly, if at all. I use it in my coffee each day, but just cutting out yogurt that we'd sweeten with honey will be a big help (and I don't have cavities, only 2 of the kids...which aren't drinking coffee with honey ;) ). Again, it's the blood sugar balance to encourage a stable and healing environment within the body.
Incorporating bone broths and gelatin into the diet has been a task. I've made my own broths for years, but usually served in a chicken noodle soup and the kids aren't real hip on soup without noodles or crackers. :/ It's been suggested by others to use the broths in mashed potatoes and when making rice, but since we are virtually starch free at this point as well, it adds even more of a challenge. Many suggestions are out there of hiding unliked stuff in sweet things, or fruity smoothies, but if really trying to stick to the diet and cut out sweets and grains, then that's not going to work. It's more important for me to keep the bad out at this point, than to get the good in. Because getting the good in is going to be pointless if the body isn't able to properly absorb the necessary nutrients due to imbalance. (This is a thought similar to the idea behind the healing through GAPS diet as well.)
This past weekend I made some tuna salad and put it on some sprouted grain bread for the kids. A real treat, and a bit off the 'diet', but I don't want to be so rigid as to never allow for leeway. I figure once a week of veering towards a still healthy snack or food, is ok. But to stick to the regimen as much as possible. It was the first bread they'd had in over a week and you would have thought I was giving drugs to an addict! LOL They inhaled it with the sweet words coming from full mouths of "Oh man. This is SO good." :) A week ago they would have snarled their noses up at tuna salad. So I guess it has it's perks. :)
Since I'm still reading the book and learning, I'll figure out more as we go along. Like, I've just started making my own toothpaste. I've never given the kids fluoride toothpaste, and was using a xylitol toothpaste. But I just recently learned about how glycerin in most toothpastes coat the teeth and take numerous washings out of the mouth in order to remove that coating. Sealing and coating the teeth is one of the last things you want to do when trying to heal them. You could seal in any of the bad bacteria and allow it to continue doing damage. The toothpaste is still a work in progress. The kids hate it. I tolerate it, and hopefully I can find a recipe we like better.
Other things we've been doing is to mix up a few drops of Thieves Oil with safflower oil, dip their floss in it and use that on the problem teeth. In hopes for encouraging healing on those places, and killing any bad bacteria. As well as doing a xylitol swish. Xylitol is supposed to correct the ph in the mouth to prevent bad bacteria from growing. There is some controversy over the safety of it being ingested and some of it being from corn. You can get xylitol made from birch trees, if that's a concern. Plus, using it as a swish, means spitting it out, so no ingesting, which can cause gut problems.
And finally, I'm being ultra diligent in making sure that teeth are brushed and flossed approximately 20 minutes after eating. When bacteria amounts are highest. And I've put a stop to grazing. The 4 year old loves to graze throughout the day and would eat massive amounts of fruit. Well, they all would, really, but she was the worst! We already incorporated raw milk, butter, and cheese into our diet so that wasn't a change, but it was of great importance in the book.
I'll keep you all posted as we go along on this journey and learn more. But I thought I'd write about our experience so far because I'm sure it will be very interesting to some! Especially those who were like me just a year or so ago with no idea something like this idea even existed!
Would love to hear your questions, so leave me some! :)