12 tips how to prevent cavities naturally
What to avoid to prevent tooth decay (or stop it getting worse)
Much damage to teeth can be avoided by heeding a number of simple rules. If you already have cavities, you can prevent them from getting worse by implementing these measures.
- Shun foods that cause cavities - Apart from avoiding cariogenic sugar and simple starches (learn to recognize hidden sugars from this list of the many "pseudonyms" used for what basically is sugar), watch out for highly acidic foodstuffs such as citrus fruits and vinegar. Their acidity attacks the tooth enamel and repeated such attacks will wear your teeth down. If you do eat them, make sure to rinse your mouth afterwards with water or xylitol and avoid brushing your teeth immediately afterwards.
For a complete list of foods that can cause or promote cavities, see Foodstuffs that attack tooth enamel and reduce dental strength - including many tips how to minimize the damage if you do eat or drink tooth-damaging foods.
- Avoid mineral deficiencies. See Minerals and trace elements ff.
- To prevent cavities, never go to sleep without brushing your teeth. Here it is particularly important to clean BETWEEN the teeth since that is the area where many cavities start. Since nearly half of the total tooth surface is located between the teeth and food rests can easily get stuck in the crevices, this is one of the favourite spots for caries bacteria to start a family. In fact renegade dentist Dr. Nara was an adamant proponent of religiously applied proper daily flossing as the only way to prevent deterioration of already compromised (or still healthy) teeth (see his book How to Become Dentally Self-Sufficient).
For very important details regarding oral hygiene measures to be applied on a daily basis, see General recommendations and advice for oral cleansing.
- Don't forget to rinse your mouth with water or xylitol after each meal. This alone can prevent much of the "work" done by cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth.
- Don't use fluoride - Although the very powerful fluoride lobby and their government mouthpieces will swear on your grandmother's head that fluoride is healthy and good for your teeth because it strengthens the enamel, kills cavity-causing bacteria etc., it ain't so. Worse, fluoride is actually a highly toxic compound and eventually ruins teeth by interfering with bone and tooth mineralization. Learn about the details at Fluoridated water and toothpaste damage teeth and body.
- Beware of too much phytic acid - Phytic acid is a natural substance which hides in many foods commonly considered as very healthy. Learn how to recognize it including techniques which reduce phytic acid content under On the absorption of tooth-friendly phosphorus and other minerals from seeds, nuts, beans and grains.
- Don't use fermented cod liver oil - Some circles such as the Weston A. Price Foundation promote fermented cod liver oil as a product benefitting dental health and healing and preventing cavities. More recently, a number of young deaths among those who had followed this recommendation, but particularly a detailed report titled "Hook, Line and Stinker: The Truth about Fermented Cod Liver Oil" owed to Dr. Kaayla Daniels have raised a red flag regarding the safety of fermented cod liver oil.
Dr. Daniels had Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO) tested at several top laboratories who found it to be rancid, putrid and in contrast to the seller's statements, low in the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K important in the fight against cavities.
- Forget chemicalized, fluoridated toothpaste - This type of toothpaste can contain multiple ingredients which directly damage your health while failing to prevent cavities (and promoting gum disease!). See Toothpaste: hazardous to dental and bodily health? and Salt water brushing has healed incipient cavities: Salt, irrigator & dry brushing better for teeth than fluoride toothpaste.
- Tobacco smoking - Studies found that both adolescents and adult smokers developed more cavities than comparable non-smoking individuals.
For many helpful tips for overcoming tobacco and other addictions, see these Release & Recovery Tips. Since chewing gum can help overcome a nicotine addiction, take good note of the next "what to avoid" point.
- Chewing sugarless gum - While the chewing motion is very beneficial for your teeth (see Tooth remineralisation & demineralisation, saliva & pH: Dental health prerequisite number 6: proper mastication), unfortunately most all such gums appear to contain toxic Aspartame (apart from other chemicals).
To help prevent cavities, try to find chewing gum exclusively sweetened with xylitol. Or for a cheaper solution use the excellent saliva stimulator Mastic gum which additionally boasts numerous medical benefits.
- Glycerin in toothpaste - See Tooth remineralisation & demineralisation, saliva & pH: Dental health prerequisite number 7 to learn why glycerin may need to be avoided to prevent cavities.
- Beware of chemotherapy and radiation treatment to the mouth - Chemo can cause extreme enamel erosion, in children it can lead to missing or shortened roots, irregular and weak enamel. Radiation to the mouth can cause accelerated cavity formation and tooth loss. In children radiotherapy will delay the development of teeth and similar to chemotherapy, cause the thinning or complete absence of tooth roots as well as enamel irregularities.
While the above list mostly tells you what to avoid in order to prevent tooth decay (the "Don't's"), click here to learn about the "Do's" which are just as important: Healing cavities naturally.
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1 See Tobacco use and caries increment in young adults: a prospective observational study and Daily smoking and 4-year caries increment in Finnish adults.
2 Compare Causes of cancer: aspartame.
3 For a more complete and chilling list, see Potential Serious Side Effects of Conventional (Mainstream/Orthodox) Cancer Treatment.