I don't eat sweets and cut out refined carbohydrates many years ago. I brush and floss regularly and still continue to get many cavities. Do you have any recommendations for cavity prevention?
We are often led to believe dental decay and cavities are due to consuming too much sugar, which end up feeding the bacteria in our mouth leading to cavities. While this definitely plays a large role, how well your teeth are able to deal with the bacteria has a lot to do with how strong your teeth are.
When the tooth is strong because the body has ample minerals, it is much more resilient to damage from sugar-eating bacteria. (However, I am not suggesting you can stop brushing and flossing!)
The key to cavity prevention is increasing mineral consumption and absorption. This is also essential for bone density, and healthy hair and nails.
Here are my Top 6 Recommendations for improving mineral status:
1. Increase intake of fresh vegetables, especially leafy greens.
2. Soak, sprout, cook, or ferment all grains, beans, nuts, and seeds to reduce the phytic acid levels (hemp seeds and macadamia nuts are the exception).
3. Avoid/decrease mineral absorption blockers: caffeine, tannins, phosphoric acid (from pop), and too much salt.
4. Take a whole-food bone building supplement or liquid trace mineral supplement.
5. Increase stomach acid secretion by taking 1 Tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar in half a cup of room temperature water 15-20mins before each meal.
6. Include some mineral rich seaweeds, as well as foods rich in the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K).
*Please note: I did not mention oxalic acid as a mineral blocker because of research one of my professors at UBC was conducting. He found that although oxalic acid can block mineral absorption higher up in the intestines, it may enhance absorption lower down in the intestines due to substances the good bacteria release after they eat the oxalic acid. So maybe eating a wide variety of prebiotic-rich plant foods and fermented foods will help increase mineral absorption if oxalic acid is present.
Shawna Barker BSc., RHN is a nutritionist specializing in vegan diets.