I’ve always been somewhat fascinated with the methods available to naturally boost oral health.
I remember asking my orthodontist why my teeth were crooked to begin with when getting braces. Of course, his answer: simply genetic. Just like my dentist told me that teeth couldn’t heal and that sugar was causing cavities.
As I researched my way into a real food diet, a lot of things started making a lot more sense, but the idea that dental health was sheerly genetic and the presence of sugar on the outside of the teeth causing cavities didn’t make sense at all. Then, I read Cure Tooth Decay by Rami Nagel (much cheaper on Kindle if you have it) and Dr. Price’s Nutrition and Physical Degeneration and things feel in to place.
Like the rest of our body, our teeth and oral health systems are a living, changing environment that is, but just treating from the outside alone (brushing and flossing), won’t fix oral problems unless you address the inside too, though these are still very important.
How to Boost Oral Health
Optimal oral health comes with supporting the body and mouth from the inside and outside at the same time. I saw tremendous changes once I realized this. My teeth were whiter, my gum puffiness went away, and my dentist even commented that cavities were getting better and my plaque was gone!
There were several things that were vital for me to boost oral health for myself and my family members:
- Change in Diet
- Adding Supplements
- Balancing hormones
- Change in oral health products
1. Change in Diet
What you eat can boost oral health as much (or more) than brushing or flossing.
Teeth are in constant state of remineralization as the saliva in the mouth provides minerals to the teeth and the cells in the teeth use these minerals to strengthen themselves.
I first started researching this after reading Cure Tooth Decay by Rami Nagel and Dr. Price’s Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Both books delve into the work of Dr. Weston A Price, a dentist who studied the oral health of people in cultures around the world.
He found that certain tribes that never brushed or flossed had virtually no cavities or tooth decay, and everyone had perfectly straight teeth and wide jaw lines. His research showed that several factors contributed to this incredible oral health in certain populations, mainly:
- The presence of enough fat soluble vitamins in the diet
- Low levels of phytic acid in the diet
- Enough minerals in the diet
I talked about this in depth in this post about how I reversed my own cavities and this one about how to have healthy teeth from the inside out.
I followed the advice in Cure Tooth Decay and made some changes to my diet, mainly:
Diet to Help Heal Cavities and Improve Oral Health
- I drastically cut foods that contained high amounts of phytic acid (grains, beans, etc). I already wasn’t eating grains or beans, but I also cut or limited nuts.
- Limited foods containing even natural sugars or starches– I limited fruit and even starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and focused on mineral rich vegetables, bone broths, meats and healthy fats.
- Ate a LOT of healthy fats. I added extra of coconut oil to my diet each day, and used only pastured, cultured butter.
- I made an effort to consume a lot of homemade bone broth for its added minerals.
To recap: No grains, beans or nuts and limited fruits and starches. Lots of vegetables, protein, LOTS of healthy fats and bone broth.
2. Adding Supplements:
Supplements to Help Heal Cavities and Improve Oral Health
To help the body remineralize cavities, it is sometimes necessary to increase mineral levels with supplements. Many foods are grown in nutrient-depleted soil, so supplements help fill those nutritional gaps. These are the supplements I typically recommend for improved oral health and dental healing:
- Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Blend– This is one of the main supplements recommended by Dr. Price from his research and recommended in Cure Tooth Decay. Only the fermented Cod Liver Oil has the optimal combination of nutrients and is high i Vitamins A, D and K.
- Vitamin D– This was the other main supplement that Dr. Price and the Drs. Mellanby found was extremely supportive of dental healing. The study found that cavities healed when vitamin D was optimized — even if diet wasn’t changed. Of course, the best results occurred when diet was optimized alongside Vitamin D. As a result, I spend time in the sun *gasp* around noon everyday, and take Fermented Cod Liver Oil. That way, I don’t need to supplement with extra Vitamin D.
- Coconut Oil– I take an additional 1/4-1/2 cup a day of coconut oil in a smoothie or melted in tea each day. We get ours from Tropical Traditions, but you can find it many places…. just look for organic, virgin and unrefined coconut oil. My favorite right now is to blend it into coffee to emulsify it with a dash of vanilla.
- Others: I also take Magnesium, Gelatin, and Vitamin C daily, though these aren’t as vital to tooth healing.
3. Balancing Hormones
Hormones can have a dramatic effect on oral health as they can control the acid/alkaline balance in the mouth and how well the body can heal or fight disease. Many of us have symptoms of hormone imbalance and things like optimizing sleep, stress, diet, and fitness can make a big difference in hormone health and oral health.
4. Change In Oral Health Products
Many conventional toothpastes and mouth products contain chemicals and artificial ingredients that can do more harm than good! Ever read the label on a regular tube of toothpaste? There is a list of cautions and warnings as even a small mouthful of toothpaste can kill a small child… not something I want sitting on my counter with teething toddlers running around!
The good news is that switching to natural toothpaste (like my Wellnesse brand whitening and charcoal toothpastes!) is often easier than switching diet, exercise or (*ahem*) getting enough sleep.
I’ve been making my own remineralizing toothpaste for years, and been using it in conjunction with OraWellness Products. In that time, I have had no new cavities, and several areas that the dentist was waiting to fill at my next appointment weren’t there when I went back! It also used to take them a long time to scrape down my teeth at each appointment, and now it literally takes a couple of minutes at most.
I’ve also been whitening my teeth naturally, though my method sparked a lot of controversy on Pinterest!
Here’s my full oral health routine that I used when I was actively trying to remineralize my teeth.
What is your biggest oral health challenge and what steps are you taking to overcome it? Share below!
Discussion (143 Comments)
I am learning so much fron your blog! My oral health challenge is grinding and clenching at night. My dentists only suggestion is a mouth guard, but I cannot sleep with it. Looking for alternatives!
I just got my first “adult teeth” cavities and I’m so upset about it! So my challenge is to try to heal them naturally. But making the dietary changes-0 limiting fruit and starch, and cutting out grains– is definitely hard. I also have sensitive gums. But I do brush with the Bass brush from OraWellness!
You are right Lauren that to create lasting positive changes to our oral health, we must address it from within the mouth as well as through system wide changes (like diet, stress levels, health giving exercise, etc)! From our obviously biased perspective, you are heading in the right direction using Bass brushing and our products! We look forward to hearing how you benefit from it!!!
I eat a primal diet – no grains, sugars, etc for the most part. I supplement (vit. D, magnesium). I also make my own toothpaste.
I really don’t have a huge oral health challenge, just a tiny one. I’ve always had good teeth. However, I haven’t yet gotten over not having that “minty fresh” feeling after brushing. Yes, my mouth is clean but I loved that minty feeling. I do add mint EO to my toothpaste, but it irritates my gums if I add too much.
Sounds like you are on it. You are right, you want to make sure that the EO isn’t so strong as to irritate the gum tissues, which would obviously be heading in the wrong direction. Also, you may want to consider using other oils with mint. Our concern is only using cooling oils over time could imbalance the whole system. That’s why we created the OraWellness formula using both warming and cooling oils, thus energetically balanced.
Thank you for the reply! My toothpaste also has cinnamon EO, which does counter the cooling of the mint. But that too has the risk of being too irritating in larger amounts.
I just purchased a few Bass brushes, which is another step in the right direction. 🙂
I’ve been fighting gum disease for several years now. I brush and floss daily but I didn’t see any results till I went grain/starch free in my diet. I’m working up the courage to try brushing w/ charcoal! Thanks for your blog! 😀
Way to go Sue! It sounds like you are on top of the situation in your mouth! We love to hear stories how folks have successfully come back! Keep it up!
I am in my early 30s and do not have a healthy mouth regardless of changing my diet. I would like to use quality products in my regimen to make myself and my family more healthy.
It sounds like you could benefit from strolling around our site. We offer lots of free video tutorials and downloads to help folks navigate to greater oral health. Holler with any questions. We’re here to help.
To your health!
my biggest challenge has been weak enamel and a poor diet affecting my teeth. I started following WAPF and am still making changes to my diet. I just started using your tooth powder recipe and OraWellness EO blend. LOVE it! I would love to continue using these products and see how my teeth change!
Thanks for the testimonial here Nichole! We’re so glad you find benefit using our products!
Holler with any questions. We’re here to help!
I have a lot of fillings (I blame incompetent dentistry, coupled with a few years of being too lazy to brush my teeth). My biggest challenge is to stop the remaining teeth I have from falling apart!
I have slightly crooked teeth in the front and my teeth are not completely white. I oil pull every morning with coconut oil and I floss with tea tree oil floss and currently use PerioWhite toothpaste from a holistic dentist, but I am trying to get more basic and natural with the toothpaste. I also try to follow the Weston Price diet as much as I can.
I have been ‘oil pulling’ with coconut oil and have already noticed less bleeding when I floss. My biggest challenge is crooked teeth; but can’t afford braces 🙁
I currently brush with peppermint castile soap and baking soda…I would like to learn more about other ways to improve my oral health. I have had a few cavities in the past, but for the most part my mouth has been healthy and I would like to keep it that way!
If you want to learn more about how to improve your oral health, we encourage you to come on over to our facebook page and especially our website. We have lots of free video tutorials and downloads to help folks navigate to greater oral health.
To your health!