The majority of dentists do not agree that it is possible to remineralize cavities. But I have heard too many testimonials from people who have done just that! So, I decided to dig deeper and see what I could find out for myself. I have personally come to the conclusion, that it has been deeply over complicated, and can be done.
What was my personal experience?
Around December of 2017, my 7 year old came back from a visit with his grandparents, opened his mouth up and showed me what was clearly a cavity in his second molar on top. Fortunately, this was a “baby tooth” that he still hadn’t lost, so I felt we had time to experiment. The tooth was already causing him a lot of pain, and was quite hollow and black from decay. In retrospect I wish I had taken a picture, because I believe it was much worse than most would imagine.
How did we treat it?
I’d already had experience with non-fluoride toothpastes, and knew limiting fluoride was important to me. So, I refused to really consider our tooth paste, and skipped over to fermented foods and oil pulling. Within 2-3 days of oil pulling, he expressed that he no longer was feeling pain from his tooth. I would have him take a teaspoon of organic extra virgin coconut oil, and swish it back and forth through his teeth for at least 10 minutes. This seemed like it was doing a lot, on it’s own, so we remained relaxed in our approach.
What else did we do?
Following the birth of my daughter in January of 2018, I began aggressively making my own fermented probiotic foods. This was my attempt at healing my stomach from a traumatic pregnancy. I really did not consider this a part of remineralization, but in retrospect – I believe it was essential. I began feeding my son homemade kombucha, and having him eat small amounts of cultured vegetables. He was never crazy about the flavor, but knew it was healthy so he did it. Throughout this time he never complained about pain from his tooth. We began to slack off on oil pulling.
The final frontier.
By August of 2018, his tooth pain had returned, I checked his tooth and visually it was not worse. But it had not improved. That’s when my Mom started sharing about toothpaste that was remineralizing her own teeth. I did some research and learned that glycerin and other additives in toothpaste create a barrier for remineralization. So, the non-fluoride MLM toothpaste I had been using, really wasn’t so good for us after all! I immediately placed an order from Amazon for the same toothpaste my Mom had been using.
The grand finale.
I trashed the unhealthy oral health products in our home, including mouth wash and toothpastes with glycerin. I replaced it with this AMAZING Earthpaste from Redmond. My son loved the lemon flavor as it wasn’t too “spicy” for him. His breath was fresh, his pain once again left. Then in November of 2018, he came to show me his newly lost tooth. It was his second molar! When he showed me the tooth, I could plainly see that the black decayed hole was GONE and in it’s place was new, off-white enamel that had started to fill in! The cavity was not completely gone, but I am confident in an additional month or two it would’ve been!
So what would I do differently?
Essentially, nothing. Since this was his baby tooth – it felt pretty safe to experiment and see what did or didn’t work. I do not believe oil-pulling was an essential part of the cavity healing. However, it did help with pain so I wouldn’t consider it a waste of time. I definitely would’ve changed toothpastes much quicker though. Redmond has an amazing deal where you can buy a multipack of their product to try different flavors without paying full price. I also believe that fermented foods were an essential part of the process. Other than that, I think the process has been thoroughly over-complicated!
Have you ever tried remineralizing cavities?
So much of the evidence around remineralizing teeth is still just anecdotal. There aren’t many studies I could personally find. I’d love it if you could share your personal experience below to help other readers decide what is best for them! I would much rather take some time to try remineralizing teeth, than jump the gun on amalgam fillings. It’s true that there are alternatives to amalgam fillings now, but it is rarely feasible as most insurances will not cover it.