This article is very personal to me as Zoë has already had 2 cavities filled at age 4, and Kaylee’s front teeth are decaying rapidly. The dentist told me there is nothing they can do for her teeth other than pull them out if they get bad enough and basically told me it was my fault for letting her suck on a bottle for too long – even though she was never really given a bottle.
We eat what I consider to be a very healthy diet, so I’m interested to delve into Dr. Nagel’s book and see what diet adjustments I can make to strengthen my children’s teeth. I’ll be back with a review of the book for you – and a giveaway – as soon as I finish it. In the meantime, please read this insightful article from Dr. Nagel. You’ll find his bio at the bottom of the article.
Recent news reports show that cavities are on the rise in children. “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported there was an increase five years ago in the number of preschool children with cavities, for the first time in 40 years.” (Source)
If a young child shows up at the dentist with tooth decay, the dentist is likely to parrot the phrase that dentists like Dr. Shenkin, the spokesman for the American Dental Association, use: “Tooth decay is largely preventable, but most parents he sees were unaware they needed to make sure their children brush their teeth and did not know they need to take children to the dentist at an early age.” (Source)
I am here to tell you today that what dentistry is telling parents about their children’s teeth is far from the whole truth. And what dentistry is not telling parents today is that in England, British dentists have studied the relationship between dental treatments in children and cavities. And they have found “no proof” that dental treatments produce any of the desired outcomes for a child faced with tooth decay such as a reduction of pain or extension in the life of the tooth. (Source)
Therefore, dental treatments on young children are usually a cosmetic issue. The tooth extractions and fillings hide the process of physical decay and degeneration that is emotionally difficult and embarrassing to the parent because their child isn’t perfect. I understand what it is like to have children with cavities because I started researching cavities to discover why my older daughter had tooth decay.
But parents whose children suffer from cavities shouldn’t feel guilty, unless you are feeding your children lots of sugar, synthetic or natural. The reason not to feel guilty is because up until now, you probably haven’t been informed about what really causes cavities.
So What Causes Tooth Decay In Children?
Not all children’s teeth are the same. Famous professors and researchers Edward and May Mellanby lectured at universities across the U.S. and England and were able to examine and cure children’s tooth decay. They had decades of research and field studies behind them.
Upon microscope examination of fallen out children’s teeth they found that a vast majority of children were born with teeth that were hypoplastic. That means that the tooth enamel was less dense.
Imagine by comparison, a house made of cardboard, versus a house made of bricks. Hypoplastic teeth are like a cardboard house and have a much lower resistance to the process of tooth decay, then well-formed teeth which are like brick houses.
Children have hypoplastic teeth for the same reason that children have tooth decay. Before conception, and during pregnancy, the parent’s diet did not contain an adequate amount of absorbable minerals. And as a result, the child was born deficient.
When the teeth erupt, even a slight deviation from a robust diet can cause the enamel to quickly fade away. For this reason I wrote a book to teach parents how to have healthy children by taking steps before conception, and during pregnancy to ensure that their child has stronger teeth called Healing Our Children.
The field studies of famous Dentist Weston Price confirmed that our modern diet lacks fat-soluble vitamins A and D and a substance Dr. Price called Activator X. Activator X consists of a variety of fat-soluble vitamins and hormones such as vitamin K2, coenzyme Q10, and vitamin E. There is science behind connecting fat-soluble vitamins with tooth decay.
The USDA nutrient survey reports that on average, women over the age of 20 have an intake of 66% of their daily minimum calcium requirement. So before entering pregnancy many women lack calcium which we know makes up the matrix from which teeth and bones are built.
Further exasperating the problem is the lack of fat-soluble vitamin D. The average U.S. female consumed between 144 – 276 IU of vitamin D per day, when the recommended daily intake for vitamin D is 600 IU per day (Source).
Vitamin D is an activating substance for the deposition and utilization of the minerals calcium and phosphorous (Source). Without enough vitamin D, children’s tooth buds do not form as densely in the womb. When the vitamin D and calcium deficient teeth erupt, and the baby starts teething, the teeth will usually be susceptible to extensive tooth decay.
One Common Mistake Parents Make
Some parents are concerned that gluten might be the culprit in children’s tooth decay. I haven’t heard enough evidence to make a firm answer on that topic.
What I learned the hard way, because it happened to my own children, was that whole grains can cause tooth decay. Dr. Mellanby found that feeding dogs a diet consisting of whole oats caused vitamin D deficiency that resulted in rickets. He found with his dog studies that “oatmeal and grain embryo interfere most strongly” with building healthy teeth.
Further Dr. Mellanby discovered that “More severe rickets developed when the diet consisted mainly of oatmeal, maize or whole wheat flour than when these substances were replaced by equal amounts of either white flour or rice, in spite of the fact that the former cereals contained more calcium and phosphorus than the latter.”
This explains why I have heard reports of some parents feeding their children junk food, and the children have no cavities. While other parents try to feed their children healthy organic food including grassfed animal foods, and their children suffer from decay.
One key difference in those two diets is the use of whole grain products and bran. The conventional SAD American diet is usually devoid of whole grains, and therefore devoid of phytic acid and grain anti-nutrients.
I don’t recommend parents avoid grains as a solution unless faced with severe and rapid decay, or with tooth infection. It is important that you see that if your child has cavities, their body is deficient in minerals and vitamins.
I discovered through research that the grain toxins are contained in the bran. This research appears to be accurate since parents who follow the program outlined in “Cure Tooth Decay,” are reporting frequent success.
To make it short and simple, for basic easy-to-follow grain guidelines, I recommend using white rice instead of brown rice, and sourdough bread from unbleached flour rather than whole grain wheat flour.
For corn, you can use masa harina, and regular corn meal. Don’t buy “whole corn meal,” unless you want to feed it to your chickens. Why? Because parts of the grains are toxic and should be avoided.
Avoid store-bought grain products that contain whole grains, in particular, granola, crackers, and “whole” wheat bread, regular and sprouted versions. Also avoid whole grain pasta or pasta made with brown rice flour. Instead use white rice noodles, or quinoa based pasta.
Quinoa is fine provided it is soaked overnight in water and rinsed a few times and then well cooked until soft and mushy.
A short article cannot convey all the details and reasoning behind how to cure cavities in children. The full educational model is only in my book Cure Tooth Decay.
But I want to summarize key steps for you to take to help bring your child into remineralization mode:
Add vitamin D to your diet in the form of fermented cod liver oil.
Add Activator X to your diet by consuming plenty of grassfed yellow butter, or use Green Pasture’s Butter Oil.
Add raw grassfed milk to your diet. If raw diary is hard to find, give your children some raw goat or cow cheese from grassfed animals.
Watch out for whole grains. They are usually too toxic to the body and while small homeopathic doses of grain germ and bran can be okay, regular consumption of whole grain products can many times cause cavities in rapidly growing children. I gave some replacement options for your home kitchen.
There is also a strong correlation between whole grains and a deficiency of vitamin C. So boost your intake of food-based vitamin C, such as acerola cherry powder, and plenty of vitamin C rich foods (but not too many sweet fruits), like sauerkraut or broccoli.
Tooth decay in children is a stressful event as a parent. But I want you to know you can slow it down, and remineralize the decaying teeth. Dental treatments do not address the root of cavities. When you truly understand the cause of cavities, you will no longer be afraid of dental visits. Cavities are on the rise in children because our modern diet has gotten worse. And parents go into pregnancies with more imbalances and deficiencies than ever.
Read Cure Tooth Decay for the full story.
Ramiel Nagel is an internationally published author whose tooth decay research has been featured in Nexus Magazine and the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients. Nagel has a BA from the University of California and has ten years of training in emotional health care. Nagel is a member of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation and the Weston A. Price Foundation. He lives in Oregon with his spouse and two daughters.