Healing Tooth Decay: Cod Liver Oil/Butter, Xylitol, Spry Gel & Tooth Powder

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Tooth Decay in 2 year old? But we eat so healthy! ….. or do we?

About one year ago I was shocked to find tooth decay on the front teeth of my daughter. We did not realized how soft tooth enamel is in little children baby teeth and how quickly it can be destroyed. Our research online showed us that other parents have successfully stopped tooth decay in their children’s teeth by radically changing their diet. We were puzzled – what could we do better?

The Wisdom of Grandma (and Weston Price)

A spoonful of cod liver oil a day is a bad tasting cliche in our culture – and most of us have replaced that battle to get our kids to swallow the strong tasting oil and opted for pills and supplements instead. Our discovery of the research of a dentist from the last century, Weston Price, DDS, opened our eyes to just how right Grandma and her spoonful a day was. According to Weston A. Prices’ recommendations, cod liver oil mixed with good quality pasture butter, has the remarkable effect of arresting dental cavities and actually helping the teeth re-mineralize and, in effect, heal themselves!

We give Lola a spoon full of cod liver oil once a day (after dinner). We mix it with a little bit of melted pasture butter (heat up only hot enough to get your pan hot and melt the butter, not hotter!) and some lemon juice, to mask the fishy flavor. Right now we are using a cod liver oil that has additional orange taste, but they come with lemon or unflavored, too. Then we sweeten it with some xylitol or raw honey, depending on Lola’s previous consumption of sugary fruit or other sugars that day. It has worked out great, she loves it. And I always make double amount so I can have my share, too.

Shifting to a Lacto-Paleo Diet

We happened upon the Paleo lifestyle and after a lot of reading decided to base our nutrition on its basic ideas, choosing to allow correctly prepared milk products (luckily we found a source of raw goat milk some weeks ago), potatoes and white rice (as they don’t contain a lot of the anti-nutrient phytic acid and don’t seem to be a problem if consumed in small amounts), and  sprouted and dried buckwheat (homemade kashi). An important feature of the diet is to sharply reduce or eliminate all grains. Except for the kashi and rice, we don’t eat any grains and watch for all the little places that wheat sneaks into the diet (you’d be surprised!).

Not receiving all the possible vitamins and minerals from every last morsel of what you eat might not be such a big problem  – if you are on a healthy diet with more than your system needs of each nutrient. However, when you are trying to stop tooth decay and maybe even re-mineralize teeth, it becomes critical to get all the goodies you can. That means avoiding the anti-nutrient phytic acid (quite high in wheat and most grains) at all costs.

I am planning to write more about fermented milk products, cheese making and preparing healthy breakfasts in future posts. This diet makes us all feel a lot better and healthier AND has actually helped stop the tooth decay in Lola’s mouth – Uff!

Please check Ravi’s Primal/Paleo Diet as a Platform for Modern Nutrition Part #1 for more information about our dietary choices and why we make them.

The Changes in Lola’s Dental Health

What we have learned is that the enamel cannot be repaired – so the cavities may stop, but you will not get shiny white teeth again. Don’t expect the tooth damage from the decay to visibly go away when you stop the cavities from progressing. – In Lola’s case we can still see the damaged spots, but they have stopped getting bigger and they are now a lighter yellow. They are yellow because this is the color of the dentin underneath the enamel. Enamel can’t heal itself, but the alive, inner dentin can – that is, it can re-mineralize, adding new dentin where the dental caries damaged the enamel, effectively stopping any further decay. The dentin layers over the holes/damage and is light brown to yellowish in color. And if we are not mistaken, Lola’s teeth are looking lighter colored than when we first discovered the decay (which was deep yellow-brown) and we can see visibly more substance (the re-mineralization) progressing.

Additional Actions that We Think Helped

We brush Lola’s teeth at least three times a day, making sure they are nice and clean without being too rough on the teeth. After brushing she rinses once or twice with a solution of himalayan salt and water. At least once a day I try to have her keep it in her mouth for some minutes (we like to walk around the house while we keep it in our mouths) and then spit it out.

After that she gets half a spoon full of xylitol (chemically a “sugar alcohol”, not a “sugar” that has shown to reduce dental caries in many longer-term studies, it is also the sweetener in some of the “teeth friendly” chewing gums). Xylitol has been shown to inhibit the growth of staphylococcus mutens – the bacteria responsible for cavities. It is not only useful to protect teeth from caries, it is also a wonderfully tasty (about the same sweetness as sugar) and reasonable non-toxic sugar replacement (glycemic index of 7 compared to about 100 for normal white sugar). You do have to make sure to add it slowly to your diet, as it can cause some belly discomfort if your body is not used to it, slowly build up the amount. We use it for sweetening now in almost everything, sometimes with a little bit of raw honey.

Glycerin is NOT good – but it’s in Almost All Toothpaste!

Spry Tooth Gel is the only tooth gel I was able to find that has xylitol in it and NO glycerin. There are schools of thought that consider glycerin the worst thing to put on our teeth, because it actually coats the teeth and prevents the minerals in your now-healthy saliva from being able to re-deposit on the tooth surface. One alternative dental site claimed that it took as many as 32 rinses to get all the glycerin from conventional toothpastes off the teeth! The kicker is that almost every supposedly alternative/healthy toothpaste has it as well.  If you put some glycerin in your sink you can have your own experience of how it sticks to the enamel surface and how hard it is to wash it off. The concept of tooth soap makes a lot of sense to me, too, although we have not tried these yet.

The idea is this: if you improve the nutrition so the saliva in the mouth is no longer so acid, the minerals will actually deposit on the damage rather be further stripped away.

==> Spry Tooth Gel Original

==> Spry Tooth Gel Banana with Brush

Tooth Powder

Additionally we use some homemade tooth powder  made with himalayan salt, xylitol, clove (or ginger or cinnamon or all 3) and baking soda. If you don’t want to make your own, there are some nice ones you can buy:

==> I know and like this one

==> Christopher’s Herbal Tooth Powder

Also we have bought ourselves a Philips Sonicare Toothbrush which we love – it’s like the lazy mama’s tooth brush, and it does a better job than I do –  Lola is to young for their children’s version, but we bought her a Sesame Street Toothbrush (the one we got was not Big Bird!) which Lola loves to brush with.

I am also giving Lola some “cell salts” to help her teeth re-mineralize, I will write about that in a future post.

Finally, to close up this post I would like to give you a link to an article written by Denise Minger – How to Avoid Dental Nightmares for Raw Foodist – she wrote it for raw foodists but I found it generally informative and very clear about what to watch out for when you DON’T ‘t cover your body’s needs through your diet.

I would be happy to read about your own experiences in the comments and would also be happy to answer your questions.


2 Responses to Healing Tooth Decay: Cod Liver Oil/Butter, Xylitol, Spry Gel & Tooth Powder

  1. Pingback: Wheat We Won’t Eat – and Why… carb, low carbohydrates, carbohydrates, « daiasolgaia

  2. Pingback: DaiaSolGaia - Discoveries For A Full LIfe » Wheat We Won’t Eat – and Why…

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