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When I found out my 3-year-old has a cavity I felt like I’d let him down. I was really upset and wracked my brains for days as to what I could have done differently, tried harder with or focused on more. Ultimately, these things happen and there is no point beating ourselves up.

I know I’ve added a photo of him with a cake above, but toddlers love cake and there’s only so much I can keep him away from birthday cake at parties throughout the year. Sometimes mama, kids are gonna eat cake. But there are ways we can still be conscientious about their precious little gnashers.

All teeth are different, all genes are different and we can only do our very best, i.e meticulous brushing, a careful, balanced diet and sugary treats rationed and monitored. Living in Thailand does make things a little harder seeing as the sugar situation here is through the roof. There is sugar in all thai dishes and learning the Thai for “no sugar” has become my most used phrase.

For me it has served as a little wake up call, to reassess his diet and take even more care (if possible) over his oral hygiene.

First things first, treating the problem at hand. After speaking to a friend, whose daughter is the same age as River, and in the same class at school, it became clear to me that I’d fallen into the trap of treating dentists like most people treat doctors. I’d traditionally do whatever they say, trusting them implicitly and nodding politely. When it came to discussing treatment for my son though, I felt more protective over him than ever at a very upsetting appointment where I left in tears feeling bulldozed and bullied.

I refused to believe there was only one possible treatment. As it turns out, there isn’t.

I’ve since learned about the remineralisation of teeth and ‘arrested cavities’ and will be attempting to heal this pesky little hole myself, just as my friend did with her daughter quite successfully.

My plan:

  • Homemade remineralising toothpaste (recipe below) morning and night.

  • Oil pulling and oil pulling chews - see here for more information

  • No fruit after dinner. Buttery wholemeal toast is far better for fat-soluble vitamins to remain in his saliva overnight.

  • Sugary snacks on tighter rations than before (Sundays only and followed by a brushing)

  • Attention to his fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K)

  • Calcium supplement and upping calcium rich food, phosphorous (we have no issue with Vitamin D here in Thailand but Vit D is key too)

  • Cod liver oil and eggs reintroduced to his plant-based diet.

I’m giving this plan 8 weeks and if I see no improvement in that time we will need some dental assistance, but I gotta try.


Remineralising toothpaste recipe

4 tbsp calcium and magnesium powder

2 mini spoons white stevia powder

3 tbsp coconut oil

2 drops pure clove oil

1-2 drops peppermint oil/ spearmint oil (according to your child’s taste…mine doesn’t like minty flavours so I only add 1 drop to a large batch whereas me and Fabs like it minty.)

Method

Mix the dry ingredients

If you’re not in a hot country, melt your coconut oil and add the oils

Gradually add the powder mixture, stir well until a soft paste consistency.

Store at room temp.


Oil pulling chews recipe

1/2 cup of coconut oil

10 drops peppermint essential oil

5 drops clove oil

5 drops oregano oil

(experiment according to the flavours your child likes best, picking from the ones with antibacterial properties)

Method

Melt coconut oil

Add essential oils

Pour into fun moulds

Pop out at brushing time and allow your little one to chew and swoosh the melted chew.

Encourage them to spit it all out when done. (The process of chewing keeps the oil in their mouths for longer.