Most of our kids have good teeth, but one of our daughters came home from Ethiopia at 20 months of age with decayed teeth. At age 2 we had four of her baby teeth capped and some others filled, and she’s continued to be most prone to tooth decay of all our kids. Recently after yet another not-so-good dental exam, and observing that she also was developing dental fluorosis, I started doing some research on diet-related changes that we could make to help improve all of our dental health. Here’s what we’ve decided to do, with pertinent articles linked after each action point.
- We’ve quit swishing with fluoride mouthwash. (Read here about the dangers of fluoride)
- We’re swishing with coconut oil instead. (Coconut oil helps fight common bacteria that causes tooth decay).
- We’re swallowing fish oil capsules every day and drinking raw milk as much as possible. (Omega-3’s in these foods/supplements help strengthen tooth enamel).
- We’re eating soup made with bone broth at least 2-3 times a week for some naturally-occurring glucosamine. (This helps fight gum disease).
It remains to be seen whether these things will massively improve our tooth health and stave off cavities. But we’re giving it a try and see the potential for it to also improve our overall health. I wish I’d done this with our kids from the day they came to us. Thankfully we did do some things right. We’ve used butter for years, we drink almost no soft drinks, and we have plenty of fruits and veggies in our diet. But I’m optimistic that these new changes will help our family be even healthier.
If you’ve been reading this blog long, you’re probably wondering about the costs associated with these types of diet changes. Costco is one of the most affordable places that I’ve found both for coconut oil and fish oil capsules.I’ve also gotten coconut oil at Azure Standard and on Amazon. Raw milk is spendy– most weeks we drink only a couple gallons. Some weeks we skip it. Bone broth is very affordable– right now I’m making a big batch using turkey legs that I bought for $.88/lb. But to put the changes into perspective, at our last dental visit, we spent about over $1000 on dental bills AFTER insurance, not to mention the pain of having multiple cavities filled. We’re going to try paying just a bit more at the grocery store in hopes of paying less at the dentist.
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Also of interest in this discussion: Can a Weston Price diet cure tooth decay?