The tooth fairy isn’t the biggest myth when it comes to teeth—it’s the widespread misconception that cavities and tooth decay are irreversible. Dentists and society as a whole, have done a pretty good job convincing us that the only way to deal with cavities is to drill a hole into the bum tooth and fill it with synthetic material. And if the cavity is really far-gone, it’s time for a root canal.

What dentists don’t tell you is that there are several holistic cavity cures that are effective and fairly easy to implement.

Not only are cavity fillings costly and in need of repair every ten years or sooner, there are dangerous health consequences with the amalgam fillings (silver), which are 50 percent mercury, and composite fillings (white), which contain BPA. Evidence also suggests that root canals are linked to disease, and are extremely dangerous to people who suffer from autoimmune diseases.

These 7 holistic cavity cures will help you improve your general oral health and fight tooth decay naturally.

1. Oil Pulling

This ancient Ayurvedic trick  is a lot easier to pull off than it might sound—and its health benefits are numerous. The thought of swishing coconut oil in my mouth for 20 minutes initially seemed bizarre, but I found it to be an easy thing to incorporate into my morning routine. After a week, my teeth got whiter and had a plaque-free feel I gloried in all day. What’s more, the pain and sensitivity I’d been feeling in a certain tooth totally disappeared—and stayed away.

Take a teaspoon of organic coconut oil and swish it in your mouth for 20 minutes. If you want an extra bacteria-killing boost, add a drop of tea tree oil or clove oil. Twenty minutes is basically the exact amount of time it takes for the oil to bind the bacteria and toxins in the mouth. If you were to keep swishing a bit longer, the toxins would start to be reabsorbed back into the mouth.

After 20 minutes, spit out the oil (now a milky color), rinse your mouth out with water, and brush your teeth as usual.

Oil pulling is recommended first thing in the morning, every day for two consecutive weeks, in order to rid your mouth of any bacteria or infections. Ideally you’ll add this to your morning routine for at least a few days of the week, every week.

How Oil Pulling Works

Oil has the ability to cut right through plaque and get to the surface of your teeth. Although several other oils can be used, coconut oil is most effective at attacking Streptococcus Mutans bacteria, which causes cavities. It is also rich in medium chain triglycerides and high in lauric acid.

Oil pulling is believed to strengthen teeth by disposing toxins by reversing the flow and by pulling bacteria out of the teeth. Not only does this fight cavities, but it whitens teeth, sweetens the breath, combats gingivitis, and improves the health of your gums. Other benefits related to oil pulling are general body detoxification, increased energy, a reduction in headaches, and clear skin.

2. Clove Oil

Cloves are an ancient remedy for oral infection issues and with damaged or decaying teeth. A strong antimicrobial, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antifungal agent, clove oil helps to cleanse the oral cavity. Plus, it helps repair receding gums and other damaged oral tissues. If used frequently, it can effectively stop a bacterial infection.

To combat an achy tooth, you can apply two or three drops of clove to a cotton ball, and then place the cotton ball on your painful tooth. Bite down to hold the cotton ball in place. After 15 minutes, you should feel a reduction in pain and can remove the cotton ball. Or to improve the health of your gums, simply massage the oil into the tissue once a day.

3. Aloe Vera

In a mouth rinse study of 300 healthy people over four days, 100 percent pure aloe vera juice proved to be just as effective as the standard mouthwash ingredient, chlorhexidine. Another study found similar results during a longer test period.

Aloe vera also kills the plaque-producing bacterium Streptococcus mutans in the mouth, as well as the yeast Candida albicans, protecting both teeth and gums from decay.

Brush your teeth with aloe vera gel (after your normal dental hygiene routine) or rinse your mouth with 100% aloe vera juice.

4. Foods to Avoid

If you avoid the wrong foods, you can strengthen your teeth and fight cavities. We all know processed sugar is no good for our dental health, but do we know to what extent? According to Dr. Nasser Zadeh, a holistic pediatrician, “Any instance of sugar consumption activates plaque, which eats away at tooth enamel for 20 minutes.”

It’s also important to limit the amount of phytic acid we get in our diet. Phytic acid (phytate)  is a mineral blocker and enzyme inhibitor which causes serious health problems. It’s found in grains, nuts, seeds, and beans. Not only does phytic acid block phosphorus availability in humans, it prevents the absorption of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. For example, it decreases magnesium absorption by 60 percent and zinc by 20 percent, and too much phytic acid can cause minerals to be leached from your bones and teeth.

It seems drastic to cut all grains, beans, seeds, and nuts from your diet. Luckily, soaking and sprouting these goodies reduces phytic acid by 50 to 100 percent. Fermenting grains to make sourdoughs bread has a similar effect.

5. Foods To Load Up On

Certain foods are natural, holistic cavity cures because they strengthen the enamel and help fight tooth decay. Vegetables, especially leafy greens, are excellent for mineralizing teeth. For the non-vegans, kefir or raw dairy, fish, eggs, bone broth, and lean meat provide important nutrients to strengthen our teeth. So do healthy fats, such as those found in avocado, coconut oil, and olives.

6. Supplements

It’s hard to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients and minerals you need from your diet (and that they’re getting fully absorbed). These are the top three supplements that help strengthen teeth and cure tooth decay:

  • Vitamin D: make sure you get it the good way.
  • Fish, Krill or Fermented Cod Liver Oil.
  • Probiotics: Make sure to purchase a high quality. According to naturopath, Talia Mansdorf, “There’s a specific strain of probiotics that’s good for fighting tooth decay: streptococos salivarius. It prevents the colonization of pathogenic bacteria that cause bad breath, tooth decay and recurrent strep throat.”

7. All-Natural Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

Non-natural toothpastes are full of harmful ingredients, and plenty of the natural toothpastes as well have some not-so-healthy ingredients. Always read labels.

If you really want to be sure you are using the right toothpaste, make your own. Here’s an easy recipe for remineralizing toothpaste:

  • 4 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. Baking Soda (aluminum free)
  • 3 tsp glycerin
  • 20 drops peppermint or clove essential oil
  • 20 drops trace minerals or (calcium/magnesium powder)