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Tooth Decay in Primary Teeth

Blog Forums Diseases and Conditions Tooth Decay in Primary Teeth

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    I’ve looked through all the posts I can find on cavities and tooth decay but can’t find enough to work with. I’m actually tempted to schedule a consultation with Matt regarding my kids oral health. Actually, I’m not even sure he’ll consult on minors.

    Well, regardless, here’s the situation: My firstborn (four years old) has a few minor cavities on his molars (so far as I can tell. He sees the dentist in a couple days for the first time). He breastfed to 3 1/2, I didn’t really start to brush his teeth until he was 2, and he was not exposed to sugar in the form of treats/candy until he was over a year old. Whether or not this has to do with his relatively decent teeth, I cannot say.

    Last week I found out my daughter has enough decay on her four front teeth that they want to do root canals and crown them. They also want to crown her premolars because of decay. She is 21 months, still breastfeeds (though I night weaned her over Thanksgiving week, partly because of this decay issue) and I have been consistently brushing her teeth at least once a day (usually twice) for the last six months.

    I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out what I did wrong. Do I let my kids snack to much? Did I not brush long enough? Did I use the wrong toothbrush? Maybe fluoride WAS the answer and now I’ve screwed it all up (the dentist has prescribed fluoride tablets, I have not yet filled the prescription), oh dear lord, what if by not enforcing daily FCLO doses or weekly meals with liver I have thrown my children to the proverbial wolves (AKA dentists)! Also, how crazy I feel thinking that maybe I gave her toxic/acidic breastmilk that caused this!

    I watched Matt’s brief video on how he keeps his teeth strong, and now I’m second guessing and thinking my failure was by BRUSHING her teeth. Sort of. I’m trying to not stress and overthink but it’s really hard. Like Matt, teeth health is my pet health concern because I suffered a lot as a kid from decay. I have two root canals and five crowns in my mouth and my goal is to never ever get anything more.

    I have successfully remineralized at least one of my own teeth between two dentist appointments, so I know it’s possible but I don’t know if my daughter’s decay is too deep for that. I guess the front teeth don’t have a whole lot of leeway for decay because they are so shallow… according to a dentist.

    We can afford to have her teeth “fixed,” so this isn’t a financial issue–although I admit I have no love of mercury fillings or silver crowns, which are the affordable options. If her teeth are decaying there is something else amiss. I don’t buy entirely into the bad-bacteria theory, I feel like there must be something more going on and I’m not entirely sure how to correct it. For the time being, I am spiking her water with xylitol and brushing her teeth after she eats every single time–not as thorough as her morning and night brushing sessions, but a good rinse with a xylitol solution. I admit I have fallen into the sugar paranoia trap since her appointment.

    One other factor, for her front teeth at least, is that she has a lip tie. This can create pockets that food get caught in and supposedly that can result in acids on the teeth as the food breaks down. Or something. I’m not sure I understand altogether. It’s also causing a gap in her teeth. She’s scheduled to have it removed this coming Wednesday.

    I am postponing the appointment to “fix” her teeth until next month to see what I can manage. My only fear is that by delaying she may lose those teeth altogether and need veneers or some such. I don’t know how veneers compare to root canals with crowns, but I certainly would prefer she just keep her own teeth intact altogether.

    Other factors include the fact that up to this point we have used either Earthpaste (clay based) or Dr. Christopher’s Tooth Powder. Now I’m working on a “remineralizing tooth paste” but whether that could actually help is debatable. I don’t stress a ton about diet since beginning to follow 180dh last year but I have tried to be limiting with processed fruit purees and we drink Zevia instead of regular soda when we drink anything other than milk/water. And yeah, we do raw milk and grassfed butter for the most part. I did lean towards WAP principles a lot, though I’ve never come close to “perfect” eating. That fact keeps trying to eat at me too.

    Sorry for the length. Thanks in advance for any helpful advice.


    Hi Arual, I am not an expert on teeth & cavities. I have been doing a lot of reading myself since my last visit to my dentist. She told me I had 4 little cavities. Since I have been eating a wap style diet & was taking fclo regularly, I was in shock & barely heard the rest of what she was saying. When I got home I ordered the butter oil even tho I eat lots of butter from grassfed cows. I almost bought Cure Tooth Decay but didn’t. In case you haven’t heard of it he wrote that book because of his daughters’ constant problems with tooth decay. He ended up taking them off grains, which helped them. I didn’t go that far & I haven’t been back to the dentist yet so I’m not sure if I have been successful with my teeth.

    I have also read that cavities can happen when you don’t get the minerals you need or your body doesn’t use them properly for whatever reason. I really hope your children don’t have root canals. I have read about some supplements that remineralize teeth. I haven’t tried them but I want to. I figure it couldn’t hurt. Best of luck in figuring out what your children need. I have also read raw milk is good for teeth.


    Rami Nagel’s (I feel like that’s spelled wrong but I don’t know where the book is) answer to curing tooth decay isn’t as simple as removing grains, in fact his family eats white rice semi-regularly. It’s been a while but I think his major factors were keeping blood sugar stable and mineral ratios in the bloodstream correct, both of which he says are easier with fewer grains and sugars. The other very important factor according to him is minimizing consumption of phytates, ie only eating grains that have been very carefully prepared or that have had the bran removed. Oh, and of course making sure the body has adequate resources to work with, very similar recommendations to WAPF re liver and seafood and raw milk as nutrient dense nutrition.

    I bought the book when my son started showing decay on his front teeth before 18 months old and it was a very interesting read. I didn’t take away much that was usable to me though. There’s no way I’m going to get my son to eat the recommended diet in Cure Tooth Decay without causing an incredible amount of stress for all of us (and I’m highly suspicious of outright failure with that much stress placed around food). He has never had a strong appetite (except for breastmilk, that was his primary fuel for far more than his first 6 months) so now, he’s three at this point, I’ve just been trying to figure out what it is that he wants to eat, ANYTHING, and get him that so he can just eat the food. I guess I’m hoping that given adequate caloric intake his body will stop cannibalizing minerals from his teeth and go back to building them. I haven’t seen any change in his teeth, they may be too far gone, but he did overcome a 6 month weight stall and SHOT up in height at the same time.

    We’ve had raw milk off and on over the last year and while I can’t say I noticed anything from it, *I* sure do feel better when that’s what he’s drinking. :) We’re going to finally have a consistent source starting next week so I’m pretty excited about that.

    I’m sorry I don’t have any good answers for you, but you’re not the only mom wondering why her children’s teeth are decaying so early. I REALLY don’t believe it’s lack of brushing; we as a species managed to keep our teeth for a whole lotta generations before anyone decided that brushing your teeth every day was necessary. I just wish I knew what it was and more importantly wish I could stop it. Try not to feel too much guilt, it sounds like you’re doing the best for your children that you can with what you have available and guilt does no one any good.

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