So you’ve decided to skip using fluoride with your kiddos because of its toxic effects on the body. Good for you, mama!
Perhaps you feel good about that decision, but up until this point, you’ve been relying on fluoride to strengthen your child’s teeth and prevent cavities from forming. So, where do you go from here?
I mean, what can you do to actually prevent cavities from forming? Are there natural options you can use?
Today I’m sharing 5 things that I’ve found to help keep my kids teeth strong and healthy. Psst… they’ll work for your kiddo’s too!
What Causes Cavities In The First Place?
From my understanding, cavities are caused by bacteria… not plaque. The bacteria stick to the teeth via plaque, but plaque isn’t what eats away at your teeth… it’s the bacteria in the plaque.
Now, we all have a protective coating on our teeth called enamel. It protects the inside of our teeth from the outside elements. Enamel lasts a lifetime, but certain things can wear it down… specifically acid. For those that eat a lot of acidic foods or have a more acidic pH in their body, this could be more of a problem.
So what causes cavities… bacteria eating away at enamel that’s been worn down by acid.
How To Prevent Cavities Naturally
Below are some things to consider when you’re opting to skip fluoride (which builds enamel back up so that bacteria can’t get through it as quickly) but want to get it’s benefits in a more natural way.
1. Keep Enamel In Good Shape.
There are two things I think of when I hear that.
- Keep my and my kids mouths (and bodies) more alkaline than acidic so there is less demineralization going on.
- Read up on remineralization via the books, Cure Tooth Decay, All Natural Dental Remedies, and Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye. Here and here are also some great blog posts by Wellness Mama all about remineralizing teeth too.
2. Reduce Bacteria In The Mouth
Since bacteria cause cavities and dental decay in the first place, it makes sense to try to decrease bacteria in the mouth.
Bacteria thrives in acidic environments and it feeds on sugar… even natural sugar. So cutting back on these kinds of foods will help the mouth to not be such a prime environment for bacteria to reside.
Another way to help with this would be to sip on water or herbal tea throughout the day to keep the mouth washed out and to use essential oils in your homemade toothpaste that are known to have antibacterial properties like peppermint, tea tree, and lavender to name a few. Don’t forget the xylitol either… it’s known to discourage cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to teeth!
3. Keep Teeth Clean And Plaque Free.
Since bacteria stick to teeth via plaque, it would make sense to try to keep plaque off the teeth.
The best way to do this is via brushing. It’s recommended that you and your kids brush twice a day, but after every meal is really ideal. Not only will it get the leftover food out of the mouth and get plaque off the teeth, but it will alkalize the mouth and help reduce bacteria if you’re using baking soda and antibacterial oils in your toothpaste.
Homemade toothpaste is easy to make and use. Plus, it tastes great, and it’s safe for your little ones. Try making this yummy coconut oil toothpaste or this tasty remineralizing tooth powder/paste the next time you’re looking for a healthy homemade toothpaste.
4. Supplement With Calcium And Vitamin D.
Now I’m not real big on taking a ton of supplements on a daily basis. I think we should do our best to get these “supplements” via our foods or other natural avenues, but if you can’t do this or if you can’t get enough, supplements are the next best thing.
Two things that have been shown to help prevent dental decay are calcium and vitamin d. You can get calcium via your food and vitamin d via enough sun exposure. To read more on how vitamin d helps prevent cavities, check out this article by the NaturalSociety.com.
Okay, so now I know what to do to keep my kids teeth healthy and cavity free without subjecting them to risky fluoride. Now it’s your turn. What are you going to do with this information you’re learning? You’re responsible for your children’s health. The choice is yours. If you’ve still not come to a decision, do more research and make a decision… an informed one.