Updated: Mar 25
Ugh! I just discovered I have a cavity. Due to Covid and a move I've been a little more lax than usual with my dental care. Definitely wasn't too excited about a dentist putting his hands in my mouth in the midst of a pandemic...so anyway...because we live in a universe built on laws, one of which is sowing and reaping, a price must be paid. Sew bad dental habits and eat chocolate, reap cavities. Simple, isn't it?
Over the years I've found a few products that I can really count on in moments like this. Yes, small cavities can heal. I've done it before. It takes diligence and the right products but it's definitely do-able.
First, you need the right nutrients: Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin K2 and Vitamin D are must haves if teeth are going to repair themselves. A good solid multivitamin makes that task easy. Make sure the vitamin K is in the form K2 (see article below) as K2 has been shown to help prevent cavities. If you have a lot of issues with tartar, vitamin K2 might also be of benefit. Years ago, I was told I had to have an expensive procedure called a root planing and scaling because I had tartar below the gumline. I took calcium and vitamin K2 and it miraculously disappeared!
Second, you want to keep sugars and acids off your teeth. Teeth are constantly in a state of flux. We tear down enamel with acids and sugar, and, the body builds it back up through a process called remineralization. Too much tearing down and not enough rebuilding leads to cavities. Limit snacking between meals. If you do have a snack, try to do a light tooth brushing (there are disposable toothbrushes with toothpaste already loaded if you're brave enough to do it at work), or swish with baking soda, xylitol or both mixed together. Rinsing with an alkaline substance like baking soda and xylitol which also kills germs, neutralizes acids, stopping the tear down process and allows the body to start rebuilding enamel. I mix the two together and keep handy for a quick rinse since I'm always snacking. My recipe: 3 parts xylitol to 1 part baking soda. Pour the powder into a little water and swish! Xylitol is also effective for bad breath.
Lastly you need the right products. Ones that help rebuild enamel. Look for toothpastes with calcium and xylitol. Hydroxyapatite is the new calcium on the block that has the same properties and structure as tooth enamel and is capable of remineralizing teeth. Coconut oil based toothpastes are good for lowering bacteria in the mouth and helping to build enamel, and when your enamel is thick and healthy your teeth are whiter. No white strips required, which damage enamel and make you more prone to cavities. Do it long enough and you'll end up with yellow teeth. As your enamel thins, your dentin shows through giving teeth a yellow appearance.
Here are my go to's when it comes to caring for my teeth. Colgate Cavity Protection is hands down my all-time favorite. Highly abrasive toothpastes damage enamel. The same ingredients used to remove stains also damage enamel. They speed up the 'tear down' process. Stay away from those. Use low abrasive toothpastes. If you have an issue with stains, use a natural whitening toothpaste. Dr. Gingers will safely remove stains. If you care to know how damaging your current toothpaste is google its RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasivity). If you are a Crest whitening fan you may be shocked. I try to stick to toothpastes with an RDA at or below 100. Colgate Cavity Protection is low on the abrasivity scale and also contains calcium which helps rebuild enamel.
Saint Toothpaste is only available on their website at saintoralcare.com. Low abrasivity and coconut oil based.
Dr. Ginger's coconut oil based products are a winner as well. Formulated by a dentist. I've noticed some stain removal with the oil pulling mouthwash. drgingers.com
And my holy grail is Frau Fowler. Funny name but this toothpowder...Baby...it works! It burns like sin though, and can be a little awkward if you've never used tooth powder before, but this is my go-to when I've gotten into a little trouble like now. It's also available on Amazon with stellar reviews for healing cavities and gum issues. fraufowler.com
I highly recommend any of these toothpastes depending upon your needs. If you want quick, effective and inexpensive, try Colgate Cavity Protection. Again, unlike most commercial based toothpastes, it contains calcium, and is available at your local drugstore for under a dollar. If you don't mind shipping, you can't go wrong with Saint Oral Care Toothpaste. They also have a fluoride free version. It has lightened my teeth a shade. And if you need a little extra help for teeth and gums, try Frau Fowler. It's available on Amazon. If you find yourself gripping the sink from all the bacteria fighting natural oils like me, use it as a mouth rinse. It can also remove light tartar.
And lastly, if you have cavities. I've had success with the Carifree line before. It's formulated for people who are cavity prone. I've used the toothpaste and the fluoride rinse. The toothpaste contains calcium hydroxyapatite which helps build enamel. I love their fluoride rinse. One of the few that are alkaline and not acidic. Acidic products damage tooth enamel. The rinse contains Xylitol and baking soda which kills bacteria and creates an alkaline environment in the mouth so teeth can rebuild. www.carifree.com
On the path to our highest and best selves, dental care is important. A smile reflects the light within. Not to mention, bad teeth are a burden. If you've made past mistakes like I just did, with your oral care, forgive yourself. Life happens to all of us. It's part of being human. And it's never too late to start again.
To your journey,
Tonya Lampley is an author and Certified Life Coach. She is passionate about living life to the fullest and uses skills learned from her work as a coach as well as lessons from her own journey to write articles providing tips for successful living and to tell stories of hope and personal triumph. Her debut novel was titled A Taste of Love and was a National Indie Excellence Awards finalist. Her short story titled Birthday Surprise received honorable mention in the Writer's Digest Short Story Contest. Her first non-fiction book Bad Men will soon be released. For more information about Tonya and her works please visit www.TonyaLampley.com.