“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 going to sit in that chair for an hour while they drill into your tooth? What if I told you that you don’t have to. In many cases you can heal your teeth and reverse tooth decay. Your teeth are regenerative. Really!
We assume the only option is to drill, but you can heal your teeth. Of course, it would have been better to prevent damage. Let’s be real- before we look at how to get that healthy smile back. Let’s talk about how tooth decay happens. A bad diet can leave the gut a mess and doesn’t provide the teeth the minerals and vitamins they need. The better way to do this is to prevent tooth decay in the first place. We have to change our thinking! Don’t fix problems – build a healthy body!
Let’s start by getting that healthy smile back.
6 Steps for a Healthy Smile and to Reverse Tooth Decay
1- Balance Your Gut
As most things having to do with health, 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 an imbalance in the bacteria. Sugar and carbs fuel those bacteria causing tooth decay. That’s not a tooth problem. That’s a stomach problem! Sugar is bad for you 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 to see if there are other tests you need to. How is your poop doing? You might need a poop check.
2- Swap Sugar for Xylitol
Don’t stop reading because you love your sweets! There is an easy swap that’s not harmful to your teeth and BONUS- it’s actually good for reducing cavities. Replace sugar with xylitol. Make sure it is xylitol made from birch trees not GMO corn.
Xylitol is an amazing cleanser for your mouth. Xylitol keeps plaque and microorganisms from sticking to your teeth. It actually promotes mineralization by increasing the salivary flow. Xylitol gets rid of gingivitis. With all the work it’s doing in your mouth, it also gets rid of bad breath. (1)
Because xylitol is so good at cleaning out bacteria, you may experience some stomach problems. That’s good- keep going. It’s killing any infections.
Swap the sugar that promotes tooth decaying bacteria for an option that promotes healthy teeth. You can start with the gum. Chewing gum promotes saliva which removes bacteria and promotes mineralization! You can also start using it in your cooking and baking. It’s a 1:1 ratio swap for recipes so if it calls for a cup of sugar you just swap in a cup of xylitol. 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, bean, grains, and products that are high in phytic acid. Because they bind to minerals, they don’t allow you to digest the minerals and vitamins you need.
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 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 fish 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. Just like our bodies! The building blocks of those teeth are minerals and sometimes your teeth lose those minerals. You need to replace them! Those major brands of toothpaste have chemicals that you don’t want to put in your body. That’s why they come with a warning label not to swallow the toothpaste. Didn’t you know? Fluoride 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. Your teeth will be whiter too when it takes away all the coffee and tea stains. Activated Charcoal doesn’t look like it would taste good but, luckily, its tasteless and works great.
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 and our favorite oil to use is organic coconut oil. In the morning before your brush your teeth, swish 1-2 tablespoons in your mouth for 10-20 minutes.
An easy way to incorporate it is to do it in the shower. After 10- 20 minutes, spit the oil out in the garbage can. Don’t swallow it because it has all the pulled bacteria in it now and also avoid the drains because over time the oil can clog your 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 and takes that 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)
You can get Vitamin D in foods, but it is difficult to get it in sufficient amounts through diet. Be sure to get enough sun and supplement with a quality Vitamin D3.
Reverse Tooth Decay and Keep Smiling with Health
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!