Last fall I began my three part series outlining how we managed ECCs (early childhood caries) in our home as well as normal, run-of-the mill tooth troubles and decay. It's been a big series to put together, but finally (finally!) I have finished step 3.
You can find the rest of the series here.
Part Three: Supplements
If you're just joining us now, I urge you go back and read parts one and two before digging in with supplements. While starting with supplements may be a tempting easy fix, supplements alone won't get to the heart of the issue and cause healing.
Holistic Tooth Care, Part Three: Supplements
As some of you know we're not supplement-crazy over here. I am not a fan of vitamin pills and prefer instead to nourish my family with healthy, whole foods that provide us the nutrients our bodies need.
That being said, there are a few supplements we keep on hand and rely on. And as we have worked our way through several healing crisis through the years, I find the same supplements often bring healing for a variety of conditions.
We have used the supplements below to heal everything from tooth decay to anxiety to eczema. (All of those things along with diet changes as well, of course.) I believe our modern diet - even as healthy as we can make it - is often lacking in the vital nutrients these supplements provide.
Here are the few that we do take, along with some options depending on your budget.
I have broken the supplements down into two groups below, "Vital Supplements" and "Good to Have". I suggest adding all that you can, but if you aren't up for the whole shebang then I suggest you begin by adding the supplements on the "Vital" list.
Vital Supplements for Tooth Health
Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil (best option)
The addition of fermented cod liver oil and butter oil to the diet to heal tooth decay is based on the work of Weston Price. They are a very available source of vitamins A, D, and K2 and are ideal for healing or maintaining healthy teeth.
Fermented cod liver oil (1 tsp/day)
The single most important supplement we have provided for our family is Green Pastures Fermented Cold Liver Oil (FCLO). We began taking FCLO when Lupine was at the peak of her tooth decay and along with daily bone broth supplements I feel this was a key step in stopping her decay.
It. Is. Expensive. But then so is dental work, so for our family we made it work. Yes, there are times we can't afford to restock. But we save up until we can and then try to keep a bottle on hand at all times. Buying with other families reduces the cost as well since Green Pastures offers a case discount.
I understand that this supplement isn't in everyone's budget to take, but if it is within your means buy some and start taking it immediately.
Fermented Cod Liver Oil differs from other fish oils in how the fats are extracted. Rather than using heat (which destroys the natural vitamins D and A found in the liver) they are extracted slowly using a natural fermentation process.
Substituting other fish oils will not achieve the same goal for healing teeth or slowing decay.
Butter oil (1 tsp/day)
At the same time that we added FCLO to our daily routine we also added Green Pastures Butter Oil. Also extracted without heat, Butter Oil provides a dose of K2 to the body, a vital nutrient that was only discovered recently.
K2 appears to be a key in healthy teeth, especially when used in conjunction with FCLO.
Butter oil is also pricey. If you can not purchase this supplement be sure to include plenty of fresh, raw grassfed dairy in your diet.
OR Vitamin D and K2 supplements (second best choice)
If FCLO and Butter Oil are out of your budget or if you simply can't stomach them, a second option is to supplement with the appropriate amounts of vitamins D and K2.
We tried Dental Essentials for Sage who found it much easier to take than the two oils above. Since his teeth are solid I was fine with him using this supplement but never used them for Lupine since she loved the FCLO and butter oil.
When I spoke with someone at Dental Essentials about the source of the vitamins in their tooth health supplements they were straightforward and told me that if our family could take the Green Pastures products that was idea, but if our kids struggled to take them (which Sage does) then their product was a great option.
I agree. While it is not a naturally sourced supplement, these vitamins are vital to tooth health and even a less than ideal delivery is a very good option for many families. (Especially if the FCLO and butter oil are out of your budget.)
A vitamin D level test might be prudent to determine your child's baseline as well.
Good Additions for Healthy Teeth
More than 80% of Americans are magnesium deficient - thanks to depleted soils, lifestyle choices, diet, and our health. (More on the reasons here.)
And while we think calcium equals health teeth and bones, magnesium is key for the absorption of calcium. They go hand in hand. Without magnesium you can't absorb that calcium! And if 80% of us are deficient, what does that say about the health of our teeth?
Magnesium Calm is a good choice for an oral magnesium supplement, but topical is best when dealing with tooth decay since Calm is slightly acidic and quite sweet.
You can find my DIY Magnesium Oil recipe here.
In part two I outlined foods to add, including an abundance of live-fermented foods.
I list probiotics here as well because while we do not often supplement with one, for some families it is a more efficient way to ensure a child consumes enough gut-healthy flora.
Healthy teeth require more than just calcium and magnesium. Get a variety of trace minerals through a purchased supplement, or better yet by adding kelp to your diet and choosing unprocessed sea salt in place of table salt. (Himalayan pink salt or Celtic grey salt are both great choices.)
Finally, we took the homeopathic cell salts calc phos and calc fluor. I honestly can not say if this worked, but it didn't hurt and was an easy supplement to add to our regiment.
Take three pellets each per day apart from food and dissolve under tongue.
And that, my friends, is what it takes! By setting in motion the steps outlined in all three posts in this series you can find tooth health again.
I know that we did.
If you are dealing with a tooth crisis in your home I suggest you do a little homework now by reading this thread on Mothering.com. It will take you several days to work your way thorough (take your time) but it's absolutely rich with information that can help get your family moving in a healthy direction.
Please note: I am neither a dentist nor an expert. The information above is based on our unique experiences as a family, and is not intended as medical advice. Work together with a holistic dentist and find a course of action that works best for your family.
If this post left you with questions or a hunger for more information I suggest the book Cure Tooth Decay and this thread on Mothering.com.
I also strongly recommend Nourishing Traditions. While we don't follow a strictly Weston Price style diet any more, during our crisis it was immensely helpful. During our time of acute decay this book was an indispensable resource that helped us re-learn how to eat.
Another wonderful book to pick up to help you find a new relationship with food is Practical Paleo. So much wonderful information there on how our food choices effect our health.
None of the links above are affiliate links. Just my own opinions! I was not compensated for this post in any way.