“There’s a soft spot on your tooth we should keep an eye on or schedule an appointment to get that filled,” says your dentist. You would respond but the dental instruments are still in your mouth, so you just stare up at the light. Your dentist is really nice, but who likes sitting in that chair for an hour while they drill into your tooth?
What if we told you that there’s another option? In many cases, you can actually heal your teeth and reverse tooth decay! Your teeth are regenerative.
We assume the only option is to drill, but you can regenerate your teeth. Let’s talk about how tooth decay happens. A bad diet is often the first culprit to address. A nutritionally poor diet does not provide teeth with the minerals and vitamins they need to remineralize on a regular basis and stay healthy.
So what can you do to prevent tooth decay in the first place? Let’s take a look!
6 Steps for a Healthy Smile and to Reverse Tooth Decay
1) Balance Your Gut
Your dental health starts in your gut. What causes tooth decay? Bacteria that are out of control. If you’re getting lots of cavities, there is likely an imbalance in your gut bacteria. Sugar and carbs fuel those bacteria, causing tooth decay. That’s not a tooth problem. That’s a gut problem! Sugar negatively impacts health in so many ways.
How do you bring balance to your gut? Remove sugar and other inflammatory foods from your diet. Get tested for your allergies and check with a Wellness Way doctor to determine if other tests may be helpful for you as well.
2) Swap Sugar for Xylitol
There is an easy swap for sugar that’s not harmful to your teeth. Get this: it’s actually good for reducing cavities! Replace sugar with xylitol. Make sure it is xylitol made from birch trees, not GMO corn. (Birch xylitol is sometimes labeled hardwood xylitol.)
Xylitol is an amazing cleanser for your mouth, as it keeps plaque and microorganisms from adhering to your teeth. It actually promotes mineralization by increasing the salivary flow. It also may reduce gingivitis and bad breath. (1)
Xylitol-sweetened chewing gum promotes salivary production, which removes bacteria and promotes mineralization. You can also use it in your cooking and baking. It’s a 1:1 ratio swap for sugar in recipes. You can start with a recipe like this butternut squash soup recipe or pumpkin chip bread.
3) Eat Your Vitamins and Minerals
A big problem with our dental health is that many people aren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables with bioavailable vitamins and minerals. Skip the soy, beans, grains, and products that are high in phytic acid. Phytic acid binds to minerals and removes them from the body.
Be sure to add more colorful vegetables, especially red ones and some leafy greens to get beta-carotene, vitamin K, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and other fat-soluble vitamins. Pro tip: eat vegetables with healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, fermented cod liver oil, and other fish to increase absorption.
You also want to make sure you are including animal foods like poultry and beef, especially bone broth, for minerals that will help rebuild that smile. But, of course, skip any foods that are on your allergy list. They will bring your gut out of balance. If a food is on your allergy list, it is not healthy for YOU!
4) Brush with a Remineralizing Toothpaste
Your teeth are always changing. The building blocks of those teeth are minerals and sometimes your teeth lose those minerals. You need to replace them! Many brands of toothpaste have chemicals that are hazardous to health. That’s why they come with a warning label not to swallow the toothpaste. (Fluoride, for instance, is a neurotoxin.)
Don’t worry. It’s easy to make your own remineralizing toothpaste at home that can help reverse tooth decay. Here’s our recipe.
5) Brush Occasionally with Activated Charcoal and Add Oil Pulling
Activated Charcoal is great for binding to plaque and bad bacteria. Don’t worry; it won’t harm the good flora. Brush with it in your DIY mineralizing toothpaste. You can use it once or twice a week by adding a bit from a capsule to your toothpaste.
Don’t be alarmed when your teeth turn all black. It rinses away. Activated charcoal will also help remove stains from your teeth.
Oil pulling is an ancient ayurvedic technique that helps detoxify the mouth with benefits like treating tooth decay, stopping bad breath, preventing cavities, and whitening teeth. It’s easy to incorporate oil pulling. Our favorite oil to use is organic coconut oil. In the morning before your brush your teeth, swish 1 tablespoon of coconut oil gently in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. Spit the oil out into the garbage. Don’t swallow it because it contains pulled bacteria. Don’t spit into the sink because the oil can clog pipes. After you swish and spit, brush your teeth as normal.
6) Get Out in the Sun
Make sure you are getting enough vitamin D by getting outside and soaking up the sun for 20 minutes a day. When your body is exposed to sunlight it makes vitamin D. Vitamin D is used to make a hormone that regulates 1,000 genes in your body. It does a lot to keep your body healthy! Studies have shown that children with low vitamin D in their blood serum have higher risk of cavities. (2) (3)
Vitamin D is difficult to obtain through food alone. That’s why it’s important to get enough sunlight and consider supplementing with a high quality vitamin D as well.
Reverse Tooth Decay and Keep Smiling
Take these steps to keep yourself from spending extra time in the dentist chair. Sounds like a much better idea than a drill, right? Did you notice that most of these steps will bring you healthy teeth plus a healthy body? Our teeth and our health are connected. You have to take care of the whole. You will feel better when you reverse tooth decay!