Question: What is happening when my 6 year old child’s teeth are breaking and falling out? The existing teeth are damaged with small cavities. Is there anything I can do to strengthen her second set of teeth to stop any further damage to her existing teeth?
Answer: This is a question that I get asked quite a lot from mothers concerned with their children’s teeth. For the most part they are following a diet low in processed sugars and have a rigorous dental regime. Teeth, like any part of our bodies are living organisms that renew themselves from minerals in the food that we eat, supplements we take and the fat soluble minerals such as vitamin A, D , E and K that we obtain from healthy fats. If teeth are crumbling then there are not enough minerals and healthy fats in the diet to help create healthy teeth. Problems with teeth can also occur with usage of fluoride based antibiotics,(fluoroquinolone antibiotics) taking fluoride drops or drinking fluoridated tap water as fluoride reduces minerals such as calcium and magnesium that we need for healthy teeth.
The super news is that teeth (bless their wisdom) can remineralise. The pulp in the tooth contains special cells called odontoblasts that secrete a hard mineral substance whose job is to generate new dentin from the nutrients we ingest. As long as we have enough nutrients secondary dentine is laid down.
What steps can I take to remineralise my child’s teeth?
* The first thing to do is to avoid fluoridated tap water as fluoride depletes important minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Fluoride causes dental fluorosis causing white spots to appear on the teeth. Fluorosis weakens the enamel, the hard white surface covering the teeth. As the water in Ireland is fluoridated we use a reverse osmosis water filtration unit that removes fluoride from the water. I find this to be the most cost effective way to have fluoride free water and it's very efficient.
* Avoid using fluoridated toothpaste and use a more natural toothpaste from the health store or you can get Georganics Remineralising natural Organic Coconut Oil Toothpaste.
* Include nutrient rich bone broths in both soups and stews. Bone broth contains the amino acid lysine which helps calcium absorb into bones. If you don't want to make bone broths and would like to use gelatine in soups, smoothies or making healthy jellies. I recommend the Great Lakes Unflavoured Gelatine
* Drink ½ pint of carrot and celery juice or add to a soup/stew for alkaline minerals.
* Eat free range eggs that are high in omega 3 fats. I used to buy organic eggs but found that my local egg producer in Ardfert had free range egg yolks that were much healthier and tasted so much better.
* Make sure that your diet includes a wide variety of vegetables as these are mineral rich and help to offset the acidity of meat and grains.
* Purchase grass fed meats and fish that is not farmed
* Weston A Price found that cavities healed quicker when fermented cod liver and butter oil capsules were taken at the same time.
* Check your child’s magnesium status as magnesium plays a role in the strengthening of teeth. It is magnesium that helps to form the strong enamel that resists decay.
If there is a problem with dental cavities then I would avoid even natural sugars for the time being such as from honey, maple syrup, dried fruits, and fruit juices. Avoid all processed foods if you are looking to remineralise the teeth.
If you want to learn more about remineralising teeth and healing tooth decay then I would highly recommend reading the book .Cure Tooth Decay: Remineralize Cavities and Repair Your Teeth Naturally with Good Food By Ramiel Nagel.
To Your Healthy Teeth,
P.S If you want any health questions answered please send them in to be answered on my Friday Q & A blog.