A new study has shed more light on the problem of tooth decay in children. In this study vitamin D deficiency in children was significantly associated with severe early cavities in preschool children.
Vitamin D is important for the formation of enamel and dentin in teeth. It also actively encourages the immune system’s fight against pathogenic bacteria that contribute to tooth decay.
This study compared preschool-aged children who had severe dental caries (cavities) with similar children without cavities. Of the 266 children enrolled in the study, those with severe caries had lower vitamin D levels on blood testing. Children who had been given vitamin D drops had fewer cavities. Interestingly, bottle fed babies were more likely to have severe caries and breastfed babies had a lower incidence of severe cavities.
Preventing & Fighting Cavities Holistically
Here are some suggestions for a cavity prevention program:
- Take vitamin D3 during pregnancy and maintain a level of 50-100 ng/ml. This usually requires a daily dose of 10,000 IU of vitamin D3
- Give children vitamin D3 starting at birth – 400 IU for infants increasing to 1,000 IU by 12 months, then 2,000 IU for preschoolers.
- Use the natural sweetener xylitol granules mixed in water to clean your children’s teeth. Xylitol interferes with the reproduction of bacteria that cause tooth decay. Have older children chew xylitol gum and rinse with a xylitol solution.
- Breastfeed your baby.
- Feed your children a whole foods diet whenever possible.
- Wipe off young children’s teeth with a piece of gauze. This will help prevent the formation of plaque.
SAFbaby Expert Health Advisor, Dr. Randall Neustaedter, OMD
Dr. Randall Neustaedter, OMD, has practiced and taught holistic medicine for more than thirty years in the San Francisco Bay area, specializing in child health care. He is a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of Chinese medicine, author of The Holistic Baby Guide, Child Health Guide, and The Vaccine Guide.
To stay connected with Dr. Neustaedter’s knowledge: Visit his website, www.cure-guide.com, to register for a free newsletter with pediatric specialty articles. Office visits and Skype consultations are available by appointment.
Schroth et al. Vitamin D status of children with severe early childhood caries: a case-control study. BMC Pediatric 2013, 13:174.