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Ask The Green Mama: My child has cavities, why and now what?

I eat well, take my kids to a naturopath, and make them brush and floss everyday. Yet, both my kids have cavities: loads of them. To make matters worse, all of the dentists that I have visited want to put amalgam fillings in their mouth. Help!

Confused in Vancouver

I can feel your pain. I, too, have felt that I have done everything “right” on the diet front and yet my children have also had cavities from a young age. Indeed, the world of dentistry is a confusing one where it seems dentists themselves disagree on all sorts of things that would seem obvious: like what is causing the current epidemic in childhood cavities and how important the role of diet is. Indeed, in interviews I recently did for an article on this subject for EcoParent Magazine, Dr. Michael Schecter, a young dentist with a more holistic practice in Toronto, says that he didn’t put anything but mercury amalgam fillings in a child’s mouth the entire time he was at dental school, because this is the current gold standard, despite significant evidence that mercury doesn’t stay in the tooth, but escapes into the mouth and body of those with the fillings. Even Health Canada cautions against use in pregnancy and childhood, although most of Europe has banned or issued much stronger warnings against mercury fillings during these times.

Diet, according to all the holistic dentists I spoke with, seems to be the key to dental health. What that means, however, is perhaps a bit complicated.

To better understand the complicated world of dental health and it’s connection to overall health, I’d recommend the work of Weston A Price. I’d also recommend owning three books:

More Chocolate, No Cavities: How Diet Can Keep Your Kid Cavity-Free by Roger W. Lucas, DDS ; Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and Diet Dictocrats by Sally Morrell Fallon and Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition, 2nd Edition (You can follow any of those book links to do a little affiliate shopping on Amazon.)

Start by reading my review of More Chocolate, No Cavities. He breaks the diet aspect of the no-cavity diet into something very simple and achievable. He also reminds parents that cavities are caused by starchy or sugary foods being eaten by mouth bacteria which turn the foods into lactic acid. This acid when left on the teeth eat away–or demineralize–the teeth. Sippy on juices or even milk or nibbling snacks–especially sweet ones, sticky ones, or anything at all starchy like a cracker or breakfast cereal–will destroy you and your child’s teeth and fast. He says you can give up flossing if you can truly remove all of these foods from your diet.

I also recommend these following websites:,,,,,, or search for a more holistic dentist at the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicoloy at and