Can Your Child’s Tooth Cavity Heal Naturally?

Nabil Mockbil May 9, 2019
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Dental cavities in children are very common even if you, as the loving mum, take every precaution to prevent them through proper nutrition and great dental hygiene habits. Although children have temporary teeth that eventually fall out, keeping this set of teeth healthy until they fall out naturally is important for the permanent teeth that erupt later on.
While preventing cavities is a better strategy for your child’s dental health, there are a few tips and tricks that you can use to prevent a small cavity from worsening.

Preventing and Healing Cavities

Vitamin D

Ensure your child has adequate Vitamin D, which can be obtained from sunlight and from a healthy nutritious diet. When you or your child are in direct sunlight- remember that too much sunlight is not healthy either. Limit your sun exposure to between 15-30 minutes daily when not wearing sun protection.
Dietary sources of Vitamin D include fatty fish like salmon and eggs. Vitamin D can reduce the chance of cavities because it helps your body absorb minerals like phosphate and calcium. These minerals are important in keeping the teeth strong and healthy.

Calcium

Ensure your child is getting sufficient calcium in the diet. It will make his bones and teeth strong. Calcium is found in dairy products like cheese, yoghurt and milk.

Drink Enough Water

If your child doesn’t drink water regularly, especially if he is very physically active, he will become dehydrated. This will lead to a dry mouth which makes the perfect environment for the bacteria that cause cavities, to grow unchecked.
Ensure he is drinking enough plain water during the day. Fruit juices and sodas should be kept to an absolute minimum. The sooner you start the habit of drinking water rather than sweetened drinks, the easier it is for him to stick to this good habit as he grows up.
If your child needs a bottle at bedtime and tends to fall asleep with it in his mouth, substitute plain water for his regular drink. Any juices or powdered milk that you may give your child at bedtime is full of sugar. Prolonged contact of this sugar with the teeth will cause tooth decay and cavities.

Limit Unhealthy Foods

Limit unhealthy foods that are sticky, like candies. These tend to stubbornly adhere to tooth surfaces thus providing the best fuel for cavity-causing bacteria to grow. If you do give your child the occasional sweet treat, ensure he brushes his teeth thoroughly thereafter.

Include Fluoride in Diet

Use fluoride-containing toothpastes when you and your family brush your teeth. Another source of fluoride is normal drinking water. This is another reason to encourage your child to drink plain water. Fluoride is also a mineral that is very important in keeping the tooth’s enamel strong and cavity-free.

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is an old practice that involves swirling oil in the mouth for a few minutes and spitting it out. This is usually coconut or sesame oil. Swirling the oil around allows it to pass through all the small gaps between teeth.

The idea of this practice is that the oil removes any toxins from the mouth.
If your child is old enough to understand the concept of spitting out and doesn’t mind swishing oil in their mouth, this may be a good holistic approach to cavity prevention. Oil pulling is also thought to reduce bad breath, gum inflammation and plaque build-up by killing the bacteria that cause them.
The liquorice plant extract has also been used in the fight against cavity-causing bacteria. Liquorice lollipops are available- so you can give your child a sweet treat and combat cavities!

Schedule regular dental visits for check-ups so that any potential cavities can be prevented.

Key Points to Remember

Change Your Child’s Diet

A healthy diet should include all the vitamins and minerals like Vitamin D, Calcium, Phosphorus, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, among others. A good diet will ensure strong tooth enamel. It will also guarantee good general health.

Reduce an excessive sugar intake because this will only cause the cavity to worsen.
Limit your child’s phytic acid intake until there is an improvement in the cavity. Phytic acid is found in seeds and it interferes with the body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients.

Practice Good Dental Hygiene

Show your child how to brush properly. Apply medium pressure to the teeth- brushing too hard also damages the tooth enamel. Once he is old enough, show him how to floss effectively so that bacteria in hard-to-reach areas is removed.
You should begin flossing your child’s teeth after 2 years old. Once he has the co-ordination, he can floss himself with the proper instruction.

Regular dental visits are very important for spotting potential problems before they occur. Dentists have an arsenal of sealants and remineralising products to help small cavities heal.
Whilst there are a few steps you can take to prevent a cavity from worsening, it is best to let the dentist make the judgement call. Your child’s dentist is in the best position to spot any dental trouble and take the best action to ensure continued good oral health.
On your side as the child’s caregiver, you can ensure that the child learns good eating habits and dental hygiene. These good habits will last him a lifetime if they are instilled from a young age and will ensure healthy, strong teeth for a long time.

Author bio:

Dr. Nabil Mockbil received his DDS in 2001 from Umea University in Sweden, regarded as having the best dentist programme in Sweden for undergraduates. He’s now the founder of Swedish Dental Clinic in Dubai.