Get FREE access to my newsletter, exclusive coupon codes, and links to Mommypotamus recommended products for your health and home!

How I Reversed My Daughter’s Tooth Decay

Affiliate Disclosure | in Health | by | with 226 Comments

Before and After Remineralizing Teeth

I Felt The Sting . . .

Every time she smiled at a stranger and they looked at me wonderingly. I wanted to explain that I wasn’t negligent . . . that my daughter had never even had a processed food, but truth is I agreed with their disapproving looks. How could I let this happen and not do anything about it?

I’m talking, of course, about my daughter’s tooth decay. Though I’ve told this story in bits and pieces, somehow I’ve never put it together in a way that shares our journey from beginning to end. Today I’m going to do just that, so let’s get started!

How My Toddler Developed Tooth Decay While Eating A Weston A. Price Diet

The connection between nutrient-dense diets and resistance to cavities has been well-established, which is one of the many reasons I ate a very traditional diet throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding: raw milk, lots of butter, pastured and organic meats, local eggs and organic produce. I hadn’t braved organ meats at that point, but I did take them in supplement form.

Despite all this, my daughter’s teeth started crumbling when she was 19 months old. One day I laid her down to change her diaper and realized part of her front tooth was missing. It was there when I dressed her that morning, and then it just . . . wasn’t. There was no fall, no trauma. I’d been with her the whole morning. The next day a friend who is a dentist examined her and said her front teeth were just incredibly weak.

How I Reversed My Daughter's Tooth Decay

As you can see in the photo, her right tooth is missing at the tip

Looking back I attribute her weak teeth to two main causes. First, she had an undiagnosed lip tie, which is a condition that has become increasingly common over the past few generations. When a lip tie – also known as a maxillary frenum attachment – is present the mouth has trouble clearing milk away from the top four teeth. In Katie it caused the breast fed version of what is commonly called “bottle rot.”

cure for cavities

Photo courtesy of Dr. Kotlow

Research has shown that cocaine exposure increases the incidence of tongue ties (ankyloglossia), which is not a factor in my case. However, the fact that some chemicals have already been studied and linked to this defect makes me wonder which ones might that haven’t been studied. I’ve been making my own beauty and cleaning products for years, but before that I used a slew of toxic chemicals. I sometimes wonder if the two things might be related.

For those who are wondering whether their little one might be tongue/lip tied, here’s a post on how to diagnose at home and/or get free advice from the top U.S. expert on tongue and lip ties.

The second factor that I think played a role is inadequate vitamins A, D & K. Though we were eating a traditional diet, I still wasn’t fully sold on fermented cod liver oil. From what I’d heard it wasn’t an adequate source of omega-3’s. I’ve since changed my mind, but back then my fridge was stocked with several fish oils that supposedly had different benefits. Knowing what I know now I would have exclusively given her fermented cod liver oil, which I believe might have helped to slow or completely halt the decay. In addition, we were already consuming a lot of organic butter, but it wasn’t necessarily always pastured, which means it was unlikely to contain substantial amounts of Vitamin K.

UPDATE: I remembered a third factor that I believe played a role. One of the most difficult things I experienced during my pregnancy with Katie was that my first trimester occurred during one of the most rainy seasons on record. I deeply craved sunlight during those first few months, which I believe was related to a need for more vitamin D. It was a miserable time, and it had long lasting effects. Katie’s baby teeth, which formed around the second month in utero, were very weak and porous. Fortunately, her adult teeth formed around 20 weeks after I had plenty of sunshine.

The Plan

cure for cavitiesAs soon as Katie’s tooth broke I ordered Ramiel Nagel’s book, Cure Tooth Decay. This book is a MUST READ for anyone interested in reversing tooth decay naturally. Though as I mentioned earlier we were already eating a 99.99% traditional diet, I did implement several changes after reading the book:

  • No grains (she was 19 months old and had only had sourdough and oatmeal in small amounts, but we cut these out)
  • Limited fruit and honey (even more than usual)
  • Fermented cod liver oil (for vitamins A&D) plus high vitamin butter oil (for vitamin K) every day. Also pastured butter as often as I could get it
  • lots of shellfish for minerals (bone broth, too, but it wasn’t as well-received)
  • foods rich in phosphorous
  • silica (I didn’t know about it back then, but if was going to choose a brand now I’d go with this ionic silica because it’s highly bioavailable and the only other ingredient is purified water)

When Katie was 30 months old, I kissed toothpaste goodbye and started brushing her teeth with Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Tooth & Gum Powder. We went through one container and then I transitioned her to tooth soap. (We now use a homemade tooth powder from my DIY Beauty ebook that we think tastes much better and leaves my mouth feeling the cleanest it ever has.)

Katie's Tooth - Before Photo

Unfortunately, As You Can See . . .

Her incisors became very porous and brown over time. If you’re looking closely you might also notice her front tooth appears to have partially grown back. I’ll explain that later on in the story.

Exactly one year after I wrote the post about kissing toothpaste goodbye I took Katie to a holistic dentist to discuss filling options. Her teeth were so incredibly brown, and I was worried that if the decay went to the root it would harm her adult teeth.

To say I was confused is a massive understatement. Katie had a broad, wide palate and vibrant health in every way. She’d never had an ear infection or taken medications of any kind, so why were her front teeth turning to chalk? I had no idea what I’d done wrong, but it was devastating to watch.

Here’s an excerpt from a post I wrote about that day:

Katie signs in her babydoll and ‘fills-out’ some insurance forms. I make a mental note that my bank deposit receipt is now doubling as a medical record for baby Alex, but just can’t stop gaping at the copy of Cure Tooth Decay front and center on the bookshelf, followed by the Cancer Is Curable Now DVD and Homeopathic Medicine at Home.

Mental calculations on the likelihood that we’ve been sucked into a parallel universe with better healthcare are almost complete when Dr. Petre walks in. She takes a look in Katie’s mouth and gives me the grim assessment, ‘We can fill them or I can try to save as much as I can until they fall out,’ she says, then leans back in to probe a little. Shock floods her face for a moment and she smiles at me. ‘These teeth are completely hard! How is this possible??’

‘Well, I’ve been using that Cure Tooth Decay protocol in your waiting room for a couple of years.’

‘This is what we preach day after day but almost no one actually does it! You are a good mama!’ ***Blush***

Understanding the words coming out of her mouth feels like solving quadratic equations while birthing a baby. They look so decayed and crumbly, but Dr. Petre tells me that Katie’s teeth are healthy and strong. A stained, crusty layer of decay is all that’s left of her “weak” teeth, and in just 15 minutes she’s polished most of it off.”

Here she on Easter, just a couple months before I took her to the dentist.

cure for cavities

And here she is on the day we got home from our appointment. She’s wearing the same dress because **someone** was so excited to document her new smile that they put her in their favorite dress.

Dr. Petre wasn’t able to get the stains off completely because the vibration from the buffer made Katie nervous, but you can see that her front teeth are even, and unlike the photo taken at 19 months the right tooth extends below the tooth directly next to it.

cure for cavities

In just a couple of months it will be two years since that appointment, and I’m happy to say she’s still cavity free! 

Cure for cavities


Two years after writing this post, I discovered that Katie had a cavity! I beat myself up about it for awhile – after all the progress we made I felt like I missed something that would have completed her healing. I’m currently working with a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner to assess whether Katie has a certain vitamin/mineral deficiency I am not aware of. Sometimes we do the best we can and things don’t turn out the way we expect. Personally, I feel that the diet was still worth it for the healing we did see, but I wanted to share this update while we figure things out.

Recommended Resources

If you’re looking for info on remineralizing teeth, Cure Tooth Decay is pretty much THE BOOK on the subject. I highly recommend it.

cure-for-cavities-8Also the Heal Thy Mouth Summit – a downloadable package featuring 21 video presentations from holistic dental experts, authors, and documentary makers –  has great info, including;

  • What to put on a child’s teeth if they have baby tooth decay to slow it down (or even stop it) while you work on diet.
  • How to determine if  certain foods we eat are irritating our immune system or compatible with our body, and why this matters
  • New dental protocols that can help remineralize teeth
  • If needed, how to determine whether a dental filling material is compatible with your unique body chemistry.

Questions? Leave A Comment Below!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

226 Responses to How I Reversed My Daughter’s Tooth Decay

  1. helena says:

    Can you tell me if the protocol works for cavities underneath fillings. And also if the nerve has been taken out. Can you tell me how long it took for your daughters teeth to heal. As a single mum, I’m wondering if its cheaper to get the dental work done if its a matter of years having to buy these expenive products and the $) plus shipping fee each time. Also thanks so much for posting your story. When you dont know if something really has a chance of working or not – its good to find someone who can tell you its the real deal.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Fascinating! Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    Our dentist is recommending general anesthesia for our 2 1/2-year-old, but we have prayerfully decided to opt out for the time being. Instead, we bought fermented cod liver oil and have been giving it to her daily. We eat very healthfully, but haven’t completely cut out sugar (so hard!). Does your family eat any white or brown sugar?

    • Ana Natalie says:

      To all the mama’s ,

      Please let me know how you make your toddler take the fermented cod liver oil with butter oil. I got the cinamon flavored one but I already have a hard time taking it myself! He takes Carlson’s lemon flavor cod liver oil but I’m afraid it doesn’t have the same benefits.
      Any advice is welcome :))
      We just found out our 2 1/2 year old has a cavity… And are trying the WAPF recommended diet…
      Thank you


  3. Sara says:

    Hi Heather,
    I remember reading somewhere that you don’t recommend using xylitol, or you don’t use it. Can you tell me why or sent an attachment to a link about it?

  4. Doris says:

    ok, excellent info! it may be the one thing you may be missing is copper. Critical to the absorption of calcium. Kelp is an excellent source. Keep up the good work, esp the fermented clo.

  5. Teresa Swanson says:

    Hello Heather, Thank you so much for sharing with us your experience with your daughter’s tooth decay. After my 4 year old’s 3rd (small) filling I started doing research and found “Cure Tooth Decay.” My son’s tooth decay is not rampant but he is definitely prone. I now give him fermented cod liver oil every day to see if that helps the problem. My question for you (a mother to a mother) is what do you do about x-rays in monitoring your daughter’s teeth? Research is “inconclusive” but does suggest that x-rays provided at a young age (every year or less) increases the risk of meningiomas. I do not have access to a holistic dentist (nearest is 2 hours away) and I can not find anything over the internet or in books to help me determine where to draw the line with x-rays. This is a bit off topic but I thought you might have info since you are probably having to closely monitor your daughter’s teeth in some form or another.

    Thank you, Teresa

  6. Jonathan Lockhart says:

    Hi Heather,

    Wonderful article. My question is simple – I am 35 and have, well, horrible cavities. I have gumline cavities on almost all of my teeth and a very deep one on the bottom front “sharp” one (bottom eye tooth?) that has gotten bad since the filling fell out if it a long while ago. Anyways I guess I’m wondering if such a bad cavity can be healed up, and will some simple changes bring on some healing fit the rest? I used to smoke until about a year ago, used to drink heavy till a couple months ago but I’ve had dental issues my entire life – I was born 8 weeks early. I’m thinking on adding homemade grass fed ghee, fermented cod liver oil, and making some remineralizing tooth powder based on benzonite clay … Think I’m on the right track if I start with those things? Also, obviously I am going to cut out sugar hehe. Any input would be awesome, its getting to where I’m going to have to get all my teeth yanked eventually if it keeps up. They are still strong right now though. Thanks!!

    • t says:

      In my opinion, it would be a good idea to buy the book cure dental decay, also read about silica and teeth, try healing the teeth for a short while (maybe about 2 months) and if there is no improvement, treat the teeth that can be filled with regular fillings.
      Remember that the longer one waits the worse the cavities might become.

  7. Lorna says:

    Help! I just discovered my son has decay and I am sure it’s from night nursing. :( we follow a process food free, local farm raised food diet and eat sourdough bread from spelt and kamut we grind ourselves… Like you we were shocked to find decay in our sons teeth. I just got the cute tooth decay book but would love more ideas about changing my toddlers foods!!! Thanks so much.

  8. lily says:

    I wanted to know if the buffering increased the sensitivity on the teeth?
    My 3 year old is getting his buffer but I’m not sure if this will affect him negatively.
    The doctor say he just have some stains on the 4 front teeth and it can easily get remove. Do you recommend me to do something before or after the buffering?
    Thanks in advance

  9. archana says:

    My daughtr is3 and het teeths are decaying but we are vegetarian cant have cod liver oil any other substitute please tell

  10. Britta says:

    Hi Heather,
    My son is nearly two and was born with an undiagnosed lip and tongue tie. When his two front teeth were first coming in, we noticed two little dark spots, one on each tooth. Those dark spots have now become growing holes and causing a sliver of tooth missing at the base of each tooth. I’m still breastfeeding and now that the slivers are there its hurting when i feed him. I feel so bad. His poor teeth. can the holes and slivers themselves remineralize and grow back in? Fortunately his teeth appear to be strong other than that. The decay isn’t near the gum line. Any other suggestions?


  11. Pd says:

    can I givethis to my 3 yr old for cavities?

  12. Julie says:

    Hi, I am very intrigued by your post. My son had issues with his front tooth which eventually led to its removal just after his first birthday. His remaining front tooth is beginning to look “weak” as well, and his toenails on his big toe are rather weak as well. I’m planning to purchase cod liver oil for him to begin as a supplement, but I was wondering if you recommend the cod liver oil/butter oil mix.

  13. Ashleigh says:

    Thanks for posting! We used FCLO for this reason, but I should be better about giving it to our kids. They don’t love it, so I’ve done TwinLabs fish oil. Not as good as the real FCLO, I know.
    I caught that you mentioned Dr Petre… are you in DFW?? I had heard awesome things about her, but I wasn’t impressed when I went. Her staff was rude to me. I am glad you had a good experience though! Do you have any other pediatric or adult dentist recommendations? My understanding is Dr Petre doesn’t normally see kids anyway, right?

  14. Donald says:

    Heather, do you believe that enamel regrowth (not just re-mineralization) can happen? And a tooth that has lost enamel, and had become more transparent, may fill-in with fermented cod liver oil and the diet you suggest? Fill-in to a point that enamel loss is reversed? Thank for your article. It was the best article on the web I’ve read about tooth regeneration.

  15. Annie says:

    Hi Heather,

    My daughter, 4 years old, went to see her dentist today and was told one of her molars at the very back has enamel hypoplasia and is crumbling, the dentist suggested capping it with a stainless steel cap. Do you have any suggestion on treating it naturally? Is enamel does regenerate and grow back, is capping really necessary?

  16. Terri Leonard says:

    Hi Heather, I purchased the Heal Thy Mouth Summit. You wrote that the summit discusses “New dental protocols that can help remineralize teeth.” Can you tell me which presentation or Question and Answer session has that information? There is so much information in the summit, and I am trying to remineralize my son’s cavities before the decay eats into his dentin. I need to quickly find the relevant info in the summit. I have already read Ramiel Nagel’s book Cure Tooth Decay. Thank you!

  17. Heather says:

    Hi I am having a problem with my 18 months old four front teeth being decayed. The whole front enamel is off completely. I took him into the dentist yesterday and he said that they could not be save able and need to be pulled out. The moment I heard this i began to cry. The doctor stated that he would have to be put to sleep in order to do this and this is a very alarming issue to me. The doctor also stated that there is a couple back teeth that need to be filled. The doctor hasnt done any xrays either. My question is how did know that yours daughter teeth were still saveable? I really do not want his teeth pulled yet I’m concerned for his adult or infection setting in. At this time I’m giving him silica phosphorus homeopathic tablets and all natural toothpaste. Also how did they fill your daughters other teeth cavaties? Did they have to put her asleep? I’m sorry I’m all over the place I’m just really scared and concerned for my son and at a loss at to what the right path is to follow.

  18. JD says:

    The problem is that I absolutely could not stomach fermented cod liver oil. I thought changing my diet (no sugar and processed food) would prevent cavities but apparently it’s not enough. Just how do you get your child to take fermented cod liver oil? It makes me want to throw up!

    • Nancy says:

      I actually do throw up when I take FCLO!!! It makes me sick to my stomach, literally. I was choking it down for 2 years and usually gagging on it, but then started actually throwing up. I know that nothing was wrong with that particular bottle of FCLO because my daughter has no problem taking FCLO. My body just doesn’t seem to tolerate FCLO, yet I am the one with the cavities, which didn’t begin until all the vomiting during my pregnancy (hyperemesis gravidarum), continued through breastfeeding and still having cavities 10 years later.

    • Alina says:

      Hi JD!

      Try Rosita Real Foods Virgin Cod Liver Oil:
      They also make a great butter oil. The FCLO burning my throat and my 2 year old’s, but this stuff is great! It’s raw and I know of other bloggers who recommend it! So much easier to stomach and has amazing benefits as the FCLO.

      Hope this helps!

  19. Melissa says:

    Hi Heather,

    I just came across your blog today. My daughter has cavities in her front teeth and I have purchased the book “Cure tooth decay”. Just wanted to ask you since you have seen the healing power, how much of the cod liver oil/butter did you give your daughter per day and also could you please tell me what you fed her that she loved? My daughter loves sweets and I need some good recipes that she will love and eat to try the healing. If you could give me a brief rundown of what she ate during the day, breakfast, lunch, dinner and meals. I would appreciate any help you can give. Also does she eat gluten free bread. Thanks so much for your help.

  20. V Rogers says:

    We’ve just started, and I may just be enthusiastic, but our three year old’s teeth appear to be improving! We started looking for alternatives when the dentist wanted to drill out four of her teeth. They looked just like your daughter’s and we never had any luck with any store toothpastes. Hope this continues. We all use the same tooth powder now, something we found on Paleomama, and I never knew my teeth could feel so clean. Wow.

    Just wanted to say thanks for giving us hope and getting us started. <3

  21. Alexis says:

    Thank you so much for this inspiring story. Without it, we would have never thought to check under our son’s upper lip after we sadly noticed signs of tooth decay a few weeks ago. He’s 20 months old. We also would have never looked at our diet as the cause. We already ate real food but very plant based. We have since totally revamped it, added cod liver oil, and are planning to get the lip tie procedure done soon- since he is still nursing. I was wondering if I need to adopt the same diet since I’m still nursing him. I pretty much do, but I have a weakness for nuts! Also, the pediatric dentist we brought him too is a conventional one and she is suggesting flouride treatments every few months to remineralize. I bought Cure a Tooth Decay, so I know the author is very opposed to flouride. I also would rather not use it, but worry that I’d be taking away an opportunity to further help his teeth. Do you know if flouride treatments would inhibit the regrowth of enamel that would happen through nutrition (kind of like glycerin in toothpaste)? I thought we were very healthy before (eating a mostly vegan diet), but whoa I have learned so much in these past few weeks thanks to you!!!

  22. Dr Judene Benoit says:

    Okay I just have to add a little plug for myself 😉 As a
    dentist who has seen hundreds and hundreds of remineralized cavities ranging in
    size from small to huge, I wrote a book about how people can go about healing
    teeth naturally. It is called, How to Stop Cavities: A Natural Approach to
    Prevention and Remineralization.

    Healing a cavity (called ‘remineralizing’ and ‘arrested
    decay’ in dentist terms) does not result in the missing tooth structure growing
    back, but does result in a hard surface that functions as normal and is not
    susceptible to further decay. It usually does not require a filling! I like to
    compare healing a cavity (remineralizing/arrested decay) to accidently cutting
    a fingertip off. When the finger heals, the missing fingertip does not grow
    back but the skin is hard, functions normally and no longer at risk of
    bleeding. Remineralization of cavities is an awesome capability that each and
    every one of us possesses!

    Happy Teeth, Happy Life!!

  23. Alina K says:

    Hi Katie!

    You stated that you were trying to figure out if Katie had a vitamin/mineral deficiency that caused tooth demineralization two years after this post. I was wondering if you and your practitioner have figured anything out?

    I am trying to remineralize my teeth and my boy’s teeth as well. He was lip-tied, and I found out thanks to your post (our chiropractor confirmed that he did indeed have a lip-tie).

    Thank you so much for all you do!

    Alina K

  24. Angela says:

    What FCLO do you recommend? He is 2

  25. Mandy says:

    How did you get you toddler to take the fclo? I tasted it and puked, they deffinately will not stomach the horrible fishy taste. Any ideas??

    • Dawn says:

      We found a flavored version on Amazon. The Norwegian brand. And mix it in yogurt. My son is pretty sensitive to most tastes, and *knows* it’s there, but if you mix it just right they can’t taste it.

    • Kari says:

      Did you try giving it to them? My 18 mo old girl and my 17 mo old niece both just ate it with no issues. We just put it on a spoon and acted excited about it.

  26. Deanna R. Jones says:

    It’s incredible how you were able to reverse your daughter’s tooth decay. I find it pretty impressive that completely changing her diet can drastically affect her teeth. I’ve heard about how the Vitamin D and Vitamin A in fermented cod liver oil helps to improve tooth health. How were you able to get your daughter to take a spoonful of it every day? I’ve been trying to get my kids to take cod liver oil to improve their teeth, but getting them to cooperate has been difficult.

  27. Kara says:

    Guys the missing element is phytic acid! If you eat plant based diet with unprocessed grains as a staple this will erode teeth. Phytic acid is what plants use to ensure that the “packaging” stays fresh until plants are ready to sprout. This packaging also binds with micronutrients and can create deficiencies. At this point white, bleached processed carbs are safer than whole wheat grains (wwg). WWG must be processed differently in order to reduce the phytic acid and increase the nutritional content. Usually this involves some type of sprouting mechanism. I wish you mommies luck!

  28. Kari says:

    Do you have any pediatric dentist recs who believe in remineralizing with food? Or perhaps an idea for finding them? Thanks!

  29. menakshi says:

    my 3 year old son has cavities(bottle feed decay) in her front teeth .dentist advice us for surgery we are worried because he is so young
    I would appreciate any help you can give

  30. Cherie says:

    I am so excited to try your plan for reversing tooth decay! I was just wondering if you knew if the Homeopathic Silica would work as well as the ionic silica? Thanks!!

  31. Jennifer says:

    For those of you having trouble getting your wee ones to take fclo, here’s a great blog from The Healthy Home Economist:

    I’ve been putting fclo on my 2 1/2 yo’s bum for a few months now. So far, no further decay. :)

  32. Jennifer says:

    Me, again….
    My wee one can’t have dairy, so any suggestions there would really help. I have the Cure Tooth Decay book, bu it helps a lot to hear from other parents going through the same issues :). Thanks!

  33. Alicia says:


    My almost 5 year old has cavities in his molar. 4 to be exact. I took him to 2 dentist that won’t do it unless they sedate him. I am not ok with this. I am trying to find a dentist that will do it with only local anesthesia in his mouth, but in the meantime will this work for his molar cavities?? Where can I buy the ferminated cod liver oil? And is it just put directly to his teeth? Or put in food? Thank you so much in advance. This entire situation is very stressful.

  34. Michelle A says:

    Hi, my 20 month old has fairly good eating habits, except that his older siblings sneak him candy. I’ve noticed cavities along the top of his teeth (he breastfeeds several times a day still and to go to sleep), and in a few of his molars. Would you recommend the fermented cod liver oil and butter together in a capsule? Or seperate? I’m so confused on how much to give. I want to order the book, but I need to start something now. This afternoon he fell and his tooth broke. I’m just so sad. I do all I can to be as holistic as possible, which is hard on only 1 income in California, but I try. We do need to eat a better diet and I am working on that. I just don’t know how much to give him or what other things we should be doing. He is allergic to milk, but I thought his allergy had gone away, so I started giving him whole cows milk again, but its upsetting his tummy so I have stopped. We are back to nursing because he doesn’t like (nor do I want to give him) soy, and he somewhat likes lactaid. Almond milk was another option, but a nutritionist told me not to give it to him.

  35. Anne-Marie says:

    Hi, I posted earlier but forgot to click the email me button! lol
    So how much of the silica would you suggest for a 2 year old, I am seeing decay on her front teeth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

« »