Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Curing Toddler Tooth Decay Naturally

First, I want to start off by saying that I believe that every situation that comes my way is one to challenge my beliefs, to help me grow and learn. This is how I choose to take this experience. I am sharing our personal story to help and inspire other parents who are faced with the same situation to seek alternatives and do research. There is information out there. There are alternatives and ways to help your child’s teeth. There is support.

After  my Son’s 1st birthday I started to notice that something was off with his top 4 teeth. A couple of weeks later his right incisor chipped and his teeth felt soft when I put pressure on it with my nail. I immediately made an appointment with a local Holistic Dentist to confirm my suspicion of tooth demineralization. We saw the dentist but the consult was completely discouraging. The Dentist took a quick look and asked if I gave him fruit juice on a regular basis. I never had! He was exclusively breastfeed up to that point and was not interested in food. She proceeded to tell me that his teeth would get worse, turn dark and that in fact there was Demineralization. The Dentist blamed it on the night breastfeeding. Wait. How? What? Why are there so many children that night nurse all over the world that do not see tooth decay? What was I doing wrong? I mentioned our healthy diet because I knew that our bodies are able to regenerate and heal when properly supported. I also mentioned how he started taking Fermented Cod Liver Oil and how we were starting to incorporate some of the things the Weston A. Price Foundation recommend. I also mentioned that there was a book named "Cure Tooth Decay”. During the Dentist's many years of practice,  she had never seen a case where tooth decay was reversed with diet. I was told that my Son’s teeth were going to get worse and dark. That I also had to stop the night nursing and co-sleeping.  I left that office in tears. I cannot explain the feeling of having failed my son with something so basic. The helplessness and frustration took over me. I didn’t understand. We eat organic, clean food. Why?  That evening,  I sat down, got myself together and reminded myself that our teeth are living organisms just like our skin, our organs and our hair. I knew there was a way to bring them back and was determined to do my best. But before that, I had to figure out why and how this happened so I spent many, many late nights reading and researching.

There is no better detective than a worried, determined mother.

The Pediatric dentistry information I came across is very vague. I came across a lot of information that blamed it breastmilk. This just didn’t sound right to me. I read this article which proves that wrong. Breast milk actually helps clean the mouth. As a mother with a child with tooth decay, I was faced with two options. 

1. Allowing the teeth to get worse and have them pulled later on or 
2. Get teeth filled. 

Both these options require local anesthesia and that simply was not an option for us. It is way too risky to put a child under at his age. There had to be something else out there!

I started immersing myself in information on healing decay, reading success stories and connecting with other mothers in the same situation. I had heard of the “Cure Tooth Decay” book a couple of  years ago and was so intrigued then. Healing cavities naturally is not something that is talked about regularly. There is no money involved or profit to be made by healing naturally so it is kept under the radar as most natural forms of healing. Most folks go in, get their teeth drilled, filled, pay a lot of money and go on with their lives. Months or years later, you go in and get some more drilled. Something is wrong with this picture. You only have one set of teeth. Why drill away? Cutting things off my body is just something that has ever resonated with me. I am saying this as a person who has had many fillings, braces and not the best history of oral health.  I finally got the “Cure Tooth Decay” book from a Mom in the same situation. She mailed the book to me and in the cover wrote that she would pray for both of our families on this journey. That melted my heart and gave me a lot of strength. I knew she had felt what I did at a point and that support really gave me an extra boost to keep pushing. Thank you, Katie! I devoured the book within a night and applied everything I could right away.

Tooth decay is attributed to many factors. It can be attributed to genetics, a diet high in Phytic Acid with grains and gluten, a diet high in processed sugar and fruit sugar as it can have the same effect. It could also come from a gut issue with unbalanced gut bacteria or from a mother who was deficient in nutrients while in utero. I will share what I believe to have caused MY Son's but please do your own research. I can only share what applies to us. I ended up doing the diet with my Son at the begining. I had nothing to loose and everything to gain.

He was already Gluten and Grain-free. Our family used Fluoride-free toothpaste, we drank and bathed in clean water, ate Organic, local and clean sources of meat and dairy so we were already doing many things right. I attribute my Son's tooth decay to 3 things

You can read details about our protocol here.

Fruit Sugar
This whole breast milk thing had me reflecting on my diet. Was I providing the healthiest of milk for him? I came to the realization that I was taking in way too much fruit. You see, it was the middle of the summer where local cantaloupes, watermelon, peaches and nectarines were abundant and cheap. I could eat fruit all day! But it is fruit. Isn't fruit GOOD for you? It is still sugar. My Son consumed a couple of pieces per day just like I did and he loved it. Unfortunately, that did not help his already weak teeth. The busy SAHM lifestyle and the quick, easy meal to go was ideal for these situations. Can you say 5 bananas a day? Oy! We also used to snack a lot. Once on our protocol to heal tooth decay, fruit was completely cut out from both of our diets. We also condensed meals to three times per day and did not snack. Fruit sugar can throw off your blood sugar levels and your body needs to leach phosphorous and calcium from your bones in order to balance out. Teeth are usually the first place where those minerals get leached from. Aha! 

Vegan Diet
Yes, I am going there.  Prior to my pregnancy, I was Raw Vegan for 1.5yrs and vegetarian prior to that. I had sensitive teeth for most of the time which is thought to be “normal” for that diet from what I read. I was adviced to cut down on fruit and rinse often.  Little did I know there was a underlying issue. I cleansed and detoxed so much for so long and didn't replace the minerals. When I was pregnant and up until my birth I really wasn't fully comfortable eating animal products until today. I felt amazing while vegan for the first year on the diet but after that something began to happen. I craved eggs, fish and cheese. I have always loved those three things but remained committed to my diet. Little did I know that all that time my body was craving Healthy fats, calcium, K2, vitamin D and minerals that it needed. At the beginning of my pregnancy I was tested for Iron and vitamin D. Both came back extremely low so I began to supplement both while still mentally trying to maintain a vegetarian diet. This was a huge shock because I  ate very well, supplemented and kept on top of that stuff.  Later on, I realized that a diet lacking animal products while pregnant was not safe for ME. Yes, there have been women who have had healthy children while vegetarian, vegan, raw, etc. For me, this was not the way. I had to change. My body was craving it and I had to put my beliefs aside and nourish my growing Baby.

FAT SOLUBLE vitamin D, A, K2, and cholesterol are vital for healthy, strong teeth. These vitamins are found in grass-fed animal products, raw dairy, seafood and organ meats. Animal products nourish the body while vegetables cleanse it. I realize that now. You do not have to agree with me on that. I also don't feel like I should be supplementing things that I can get from healthy, clean sources. 

I was low in minerals - now I drink bone broth! I was lacking most of these important vitamins. I also learned that the top 4 teeth are formed in Utero at around two months. If the mother is lacking nutrients around that time, the child may also.

Unbalanced gut bacteria at a young age or while in Utero and may also cause decay which is the case of many other Mothers I have met. This is caused by taking antibiotics while pregnant, or the child being put on antibiotics at a young age for ear infections. Balanced gut bacteria is vital to healing decay.  We make sure to take a form of Probiotics daily and rotate often. 

Upper Lip Tie
My Son had an undiagnosed Upper Lip Tie that was missed by his pediatrician and the first Dentist. What puzzled me about his decay is that it was only the top 4 teeth that were affected. It was mysterious. The top bottom 4 teeth were white, strong and in great shape. While conducting my research I came across many similar cases. All of them had one thing in common. An Upper Lip tie! These are diagnosed along with tongue ties early if there is nursing trouble. Since we had no trouble and I had a very forceful letdown A lip tie did not cross my mind. I DID notice that his upper lip was a little tight when he smiled.  Also, many children live with lip ties and don't experience decay. The skin stretches or naturally tears during the toddler years (which is what happened with my Son at 2yo). Dentists do not really look for it either. I had to ask the dentist about it for him to even look at it. In most cases, these are corrected by putting the child under and snipping it or by a child being held down for a 5 minute lazer Frenectomy. Both of those were not options for us. No, I was not going to put him through it unless I really had to. I knew that there was an underlying nutrition and hygiene issue in our case. Once the nutrition was corrected and with now being aware of the Lip tie, I took extra precautions. After every meal, before a nap and before bed I make sure he rinses with water and I clean under the lip and apply coconut oil. That has worked very well for us.  

Could Breast milk and an upper lip tie cause the decay? The combination may contribute to the decay IF there is a nutritional deficiency in my opinion. That upper lip area needs to remain clean and rinsed after meals and before naps and bedtime. I always add a little magic antibacterial and antifungal coconut oil to the affected area.  

After about a month of following the protocol, I began to see positive changes. His teeth began to look strong and shiny and less chalky. The color started changing to a more of a white tone and since then I have not seen the decay get worse. With child tooth decay, things happen very quickly. I learned to identify the stages of decay and how to tell if it was active or not by how hard or soft the area was. Baby teeth are not as strong as adult teeth and more susceptible to decay. After about 4 months I compared photos from previous months and was ecstatic! I saw growth above the decay that looked white, strong and healthy. What was even more amazing was that the area of decay started to fill in with new enamel. Could this really be what I thought it was? I decided to share it with my Mommy tribe and they confirmed my suspicions! It was NEW growth. Healthy and strong! I began searching for an open minded local dentist that would simply confirm what I was witnessing.  I finally got a recommendation for a mainstream but open minded dentist. I had to know and finally took him in.

I went in to that office not expecting anything but also prepared not to be walked over. I knew than many Dentists aren't aware of the protocol and simply don’t believe that teeth can REminiralize. At the beginning of our visit, he looked in my Son’s mouth and I pretty much felt like our first visit. He blamed the decay it all on breast feeding and advice that I take him to the local Children’s hospital to put him under anesthesia to get those filled. He chuckled when I told him I had been following a protocol to heal his teeth. Once he asked what we were eating everything changed. I explained how we were eating a WAPF diet of healthy fats, clean water, grass-fed meats, pasture-raised beef and tons of vegetables. Then, I decided to show him a of photos above and he was amazed. I took a minute to ask what the white line above the decay was and he confirmed my suspicion. NEW, HEALTHY growth! He told me to keep doing what I was doing, that I had nothing to lose and all to gain. I walked out of there with the biggest smile in my face. It was all worth it!

My Son is worth it. His teeth are worth it. There are other options out there. His Baby teeth may never look the same way they used to. But I know that the decay is halted, that healthy growth is coming in and that I am doing all I can to ensure that his adult teeth are nice, strong and decay-free. 

He is perfect to me. We are happy, hopeful, continue to nurse and have kept his body intact. 


  1. Awesome Mama! Congrats on the results ! This only happened because of your love and determination. You rock! So glad you are sharing your experience and knowledge.

  2. So awesome and INSPIRING! I love the quote above; "There is no better detective than a worried, determined MOTHER"

    I may want to use it, but I want to give credit where credit is due. Is that your quote or did you find it elsewhere?

    CONGRATULATIONS Momma, Keep fighting for your littles!

    1. Thank you so much, Angie! <3
      I cannot take full credit for the quote. I have heard it somewhere before but I did add the "determined" part. Worry can only get you so far! :D It is so true though, isn't it?

  3. Thank you so much for sharing and showing that reversing decay is possible! Unfortunately it was too late for my little boy, nothing I did helped and he had his top 4 pulled. When I saw the teeth they gave us though, I realized that they HAVE started to remineralize, that the decay was stopped. My 5 year olds decay has been successfully arrested as well. So I have hope, but it's so hard right now to keep them eating healthy. My husband keeps buying food they shouldn't be eating and doesn't realize how much harm it does.

    1. Thank you, Anastasia! Much love to you. Keep doing what you are doing. All we can do is our best and that at the end of the day will ensure healthy adult teeth. Keep pushing, Mama! *Hugs*

  4. Did you continue to nurse at night throughout the healing process? My son is showing signs of tooth decay (especially in his incisors) he has a lip
    Tie and nurses frequently at night (we bedshare) he has never had any grains or refine sugar. I have now limited his fruit to only berries (only in the morning) and added bone broth and FLCO. I still worry his incisors are getting worse. It has only been two weeks but I keep wondering if my nursing at night is cancelling out all the other dietary changes we have made. I brush with earthpaste and put coconut oil in her mouth and on his teeth many times throughout the day. So I guess my question is- did you still see major progress even while still nursing at night?

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read, Jennifer.
      Yes, we continued to co-sleep and night nurse 6+months into the protocol. Weaning just didn't feel right to me so I kept it going. The healing process has taken time and they have been discrete over time. I found that taking photos every 1-2 weeks (when I could because he wont allow me) allowed me to see progress. This whole things can get very stressful and I was very anxious at the beginning. You are doing the best you can by applying all those changes. Stay positive, keep pushing because the body is amazing! <3 *hugs, mama!*

  5. My son is 3yrs old and has terrible decay. I brush and floss his teeth every single day and it breaks my heart that he still has decay. We visited the pediatric dentist today and she said it was due to nursing at night. I am so frustrated. I ordered cod liver oil and butter oil today and am going to start him on raw milk this week as well. How long did it take before you started to see improvement?

    1. Hi Christina! So sorry for the late response!
      It took a couple of months for me to see any improvement, most importantly, I didn't see things getting worse. With toddler teeth, decay happens rapidly (at least in our case).
      BF is usually blamed for the decay, by many professionals but I don't believe it to be true (see the KellyMom link). It is important to strengthen the teeth from the inside out. Bone broth really helps.
      Sending you much love on your journey! Stay positive <3 :)

  6. Hi, im so glad i found this. my 16 month olds teeth are falling apart. our story is very similar to yours, with co-sleeping, extended nursin, me being veg for 5.5 year up until he was 6 months, antibiotics when he was a new born. My questions is, did you guys use raw milk or any dairy? we ant get any in louisiana and the 1 raw cheese i found gave him an ear infection and mucus really bad. also how much cod liver oil and butter oil were you giving? we do 1/4 tsp of each each morning. im not sure if this is too little or too much. we do sardines, fish eggs, and salmon. bone broth as well. grass fed meats. help?

    1. So sorry for the late response, Mama.
      Yes, we started doing Dairy. Reach out to your local Weston A Price foundation chapter in regards to milk and dairy products. I am not a huge fan of cow's milk because if does cause mucus on me but my Son does really well on Goat milk. We do lots of butter. If you have no access to butter, the next best thing is Kerrygold butter which can be found at Costco.

      We did about 1/2 tsp of FCLO at the beginning and reduced it when we were able to get a handle on things.

      Also, look into adding forms of gut bacteria, it is really important to add fermented foods like sauerkraut to make sure the child is digesting and absorbing the nutrients. Bone broth is great also. We couldn't have done it without broth!

      Keep pushing and staying positive! <3 It can be done!

    2. Ah! But make sure to have the Baby rinse with salt water after having anything acidic to balance the PH of the mouth.

  7. thank you so much!!! we have been following your notes as best as we can. i printed your last post as a cheat sheet and keep it posted in my kitchen. i wish i could say we doing as well as you and your child are, but we are trying hard to get there! it takes time, i know! have you seen any more improvement since this post? Thanks for giving me hope! :)

  8. Thats me, btw!! both comments, same person, cloudsandclovers ;)

  9. Thank you for posting a success story! I just notices decay in my sons mouth about a month ago & immediately made changes. We stopped breast feeding soon after his first birthday. Although our nightly breastfeeding is being blamed, I wish I never stopped. To me, it seems like the best way to provide all the vitamins & minerals without any struggle at all! (He is 15 months old & a picky eater)
    My question for you is when did you notice significant changes in the teeth? I am very concerned & barely even sleep. He's been on the CLO/BO blend for two weeks, raw milk for about a month & grass fed meat & organic veggies too. I'm so desperate for results that I feel like I'm just making myself miserable. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    From your blog I'm quite sure you know exactly what I am feeling & rgus hasn't been a good month for me! Thank you so much in advance!

  10. I just noticed the same problem with noah! except on all 4 of his canines.getting ready to see if this can work for us.

  11. My son is about too turn 2 in may i just took him in too get his teeth looked at due too him have all 4 front teeth bad i sat for 20 min Getting bitched at for still breastfeeing my son and him having cavitys at a young age they want too but him down nd get all 4 teeth pulled out but his is so lil idk what too do help bby dont need too go through all that

  12. First off, thank you so much for this post! I just saw a bit of something on my 15 month old's front tooth this morning, and immediately the mommy-guilt kicked in, so now I've become that "worried and determined mother" you spoke of earlier! I'm so glad I came across your page, though! In my house we're not the vegetarian/vegan/extra-organic family, but my daughter rarely ever eats any kind of sweets, but she love mashed potatoes and French fries and rice and peas. She doesn't do cow's milk and she is still being nursed at night and throughout the day whenever she requests it. I've been reading so much info that I'm honestly overwhelmed and I really just want a simple, mapped out solution to help stop/reverse the decay, and avoid anymore of take home points from your post are FCLO and bone questions to you are, 1. How much bone broth does she need daily...2. Is milk really necessary in the healing process? I ask because we've been trying to avoid it for her (and also looking for other options to give her once I finally wean)...and 3. What are your thoughts on xylitol and coconut oil on toddler teeth? I'm sorry this is so long...any help you can give would be very appreciated! You're awesome!

  13. Hi. My almost two year old had severe tooth decay. I was told she needs "baby root canals" on her four front teeth and crowns. Also she will need a crown on her back tooth. I am wondering if it's possible to reverse severe tooth decay like this. They said the decay has gone all the way to the nerve. Any advice?

  14. Informative blog!! Thanks for sharing this information here. My niece was also facing this problem. So consulted to dentist Redondo Beach who is very famous in city. He recommended her medicines and soon she got relief with that.

    1. Omg, Im reading and can't believe, it's like our story... I'm just at the beginning of journey with my 22 months old, exactly same problem, dentist blaming breastfeeding... The only difference is that we are on a plant based diet, so I have to do my research. Please can you update how is your son been doing, did you heal completely his delay? Thank you so much for this article