Before we dive into natural cavity prevention, let’s talk about what causes cavities. As Dr. Mark of Ask the Dentist explains, our teeth naturally know how to heal themselves, which is why it’s possible to keep the same set of teeth your whole life!
How do your teeth self-repair? Between daily wear and tear, your saliva delivers a much-needed mineral supply to your teeth. This allows your teeth to remineralize any spots that have been weakened or damaged by bacteria (the beginning of a cavity). If your teeth aren’t getting a steady supply of minerals (or the bacteria in your mouth are too overpowering), those spots will continue to weaken and form a cavity.
Conventional dentistry will tell you that you either have to brush with a potent synthetic fluoride toothpaste or “drill and fill” once your cavity has reached the point of no return. But we’re here to tell you that natural, proactive remineralization should be your focus and first line of defense against potential cavities. You can help your teeth achieve this natural remineralization by using Davids sensitive + whitening toothpaste, aka the best hydroxyapatite toothpaste, as well as the other holistic health habits we’ve outlined below.
1: take inventory of your oral health status
We’re all starting at a different baseline when it comes to cavities and overall oral health.
Even if we all had the same holistic oral care habits, we’d still have different outcomes. This is because different conditions can play a role in your susceptibility to cavities.
You can start your natural cavity prevention journey by taking inventory of your overall oral health status. We recommend asking yourself the following questions.
- What does your tongue look like? Is it an even pink tone, or does it have discoloration, grooves, textures, or a white coating? Your tongue is always trying to tell you something about your oral and overall health. You can investigate by using some of the info in our previous article here. You can also take the first step to a healthier tongue by adding our professional tongue scraper to your daily routine!
- Are you dealing with dry mouth at night or throughout the day? Dry mouth will put you at a huge disadvantage when it comes to cavities. As we mentioned before, saliva plays a huge role in flushing out bacteria and toxins....as well as delivering essential minerals to your teeth. Dry mouth can be caused by your habits, mouth breathing at night, genetics, medications, and beyond.
- When was the last time you went to the dentist? Are you up to date on your x-rays? You could already be starting with cavities you don’t even know about.
- How’s your oral care routine looking? Are you brushing daily with remineralizing ingredients, like the ones found in our hydroxyapatite toothpaste? Are you flossing daily?
No matter how clean your oral care routine is (or how stellar your oral health is), it’s always a good idea to check in every now and then. Now, let’s head into some other specific tips for natural cavity prevention.
2: prioritize specific vitamins and nutrients in your diet
Hydroxyapatite, the hero ingredient in our remineralizing toothpaste (and fluoride's biggest competitor), is composed of calcium and phosphorus. These elements are essential for your oral health, so it’s crucial that you’re getting a natural supply of these in your diet. Magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin K2 are also essential nutrients when it comes to your oral health, so let’s discuss some ways you can ensure you’re getting enough of them through your diet....and how they support natural cavity prevention.
- calcium: famously known as the nutrient needed for “strong bones and teeth,” calcium plays an important role in preventing cavities. It gives your enamel (the hard outer surface of your teeth) strength, and you can up your calcium levels by consuming dairy, chia seeds, sardines, salmon, almonds, beans, lentils, whey protein, tofu, and leafy greens.
- phosphorous: as another building block of your enamel, phosphorus is essential for your oral health. You can get more of it in your diet through the foods mentioned in the bullet point above + poultry, red meat, and more seafood.
- vitamin D: your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium, and you can get more vitamin D naturally by getting out in the sun (carefully for a limited amount of time) and eating more fatty fish, mushrooms, oysters, shrimp, and egg yolks.
- vitamin K2: this vitamin activates a protein that helps calcium bind to our teeth and bones to do its remineralizing. You can get more K2 through fermented soy (Natto), sauerkraut, butter, chicken, beef liver, and egg yolks.
- magnesium: another mineral that helps your body absorb calcium (and activate vitamin D), magnesium is essential when it comes to forming strong enamel. Strong enamel is your first line of defense against tooth decay. You can get more magnesium through nuts, oats, seeds, spinach, soy, and supplementation.
You can see that there’s a lot of overlap between each bullet point, meaning most of these foods are well-rounded and nutrient-dense! See if you can make some of them staples in your diet.
3: limit sugar and acidity in your diet
In addition to adding mouth-healthy foods to your diet, you can support natural cavity prevention by limiting your intake of acidic and/or sugary foods and drinks. The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth love to feed on sugar and use it to produce acid that breaks down your enamel. In a similar manner, directly consuming acidic foods and drinks (like citrus fruits, grapes, pineapple, vinegar, and alcohol) can weaken your enamel and make it more prone to decay.
4: listen to your gut
While it may not be the first thing you think of, your gut plays a central role in your oral health.
The balance of bacteria in your gut can affect the balance in your oral microbiome (and vice versa). If you have an overwhelming amount of bad bacteria in either place, it can take over the good bacteria and lead to tooth decay. Other gut conditions such as acid reflux can also play a huge role in your oral health, as we discussed how acid can wear down your enamel and lead to cavities.
It’s important to consistently nourish your gut health by listening to any symptoms your gut presents and consuming gut-healthy foods. Fibrous, nutrient-dense, and fermented foods are great for the good bacteria in your gut, and natural stress management (through movement, mindfulness, meditation, restful sleep, and beyond) can really help your gut and oral microbiomes in the long run....all of which can support natural cavity prevention!
5: remineralize with the best hydroxyapatite toothpaste
We’ve mentioned that hydroxyapatite is a combination of calcium and phosphorus, the building blocks of strong, healthy enamel. Brushing daily with our hydroxyapatite toothpaste is one of the best (and easiest!) ways to strengthen your enamel to support natural cavity prevention.
Hydroxyapatite is the natural alternative to fluoride, but unlike fluoride, it’s biocompatible and safe to consume. With hydroxyapatite, you don’t have to worry about adverse effects if it’s swallowed or absorbed into your bloodstream. This is why you won’t find a poison control warning on our toothpaste tube!
Why do we call Davids the best hydroxyapatite toothpaste? Well, we had a third-party lab test it up against our competitors, and it did the best job at remineralizing weakened, porous enamel (the most susceptible to cavities). You can check out the photo results for yourself!
Now that’s what we call natural cavity prevention + enamel repair.