Top 21 Time-Tested, Effective Home Remedies For Cavities In Adults & Children

Overview 

Tooth health is very important as healthy teeth give us beautiful smiles, healthy and happy life, a delicious meal, and a lot of pleasant things. When you get a cavity, you should be serious about it because the problem may get worse. You should visit your dentist immediately to treat the problem, but it may cost you a big sum of money. Instead, there are many simple-but-effective home remedies that can help you treat cavities naturally and efficiently at home. These DIY remedies are not only safe, effective, but also cheap and easy to process. These effective remedies will work wonders in treating cavities and tooth decay in both adults and children. Continue reading this article to discover the time-tested, effective home remedies for cavities in adults and children.

There is no science-based evidence for the following homemade recipes. The recipes we've focused on are traditional home remedies, so always consult your doctor and check out your health condition regularly to know if a remedy is working for you.

Medically reviewed by Sarah Brewer MSc, MA (Cantab), MB, BChir, RNutr, MBANT, CNHC:

Top 21 Time-Tested, Effective Home Remedies for Cavities in Adults & Children You Should Not Miss 

I. Effective Remedies for Cavities

A. How to Deal with Cavities for Children

Candy is always a big love for most children. However, it often causes illness for their teeth. Mothers, therefore, should control their intake of sugary foods to avoid these problems. There are many effective home remedies that mothers can use to treat cavities and prevent tooth decay for children.

1. Cod Liver Oil & Butter Oil

Why: Cod liver oil is considered as one of the most excellent home remedies for cavities in children, which is rich in vitamin A and D[1]. Children may not like it due to its unpleasant taste, but it is an important element of contention. Butter oil is another vitamin-rich solution, which contains a high amount of vitamin K.

What you need: 

  • Cod liver oil
  • A glass of milk

How to do: Mix a small amount of this oil in a glass of milk and drink this solution every morning. You can also mix a little butter oil in the milk and give your child drink every day. Or else, take cod liver oil supplement or butter oil supplement daily to boost the dental health for your children.

2. Turmeric

Why: Turmeric is a wonderful ingredient for health-care remedies. It possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects, which are very useful in treating tooth decay[2].

What you need:

  • Turmeric powder

How to do: Apply a little turmeric powder directly to the cavities every morning. Ask your kids to keep it in their teeth for some minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Do it regularly to treat the cavities and improve dental health.

Warnings: Do not consume too much turmeric in daily meal. Overconsumption of turmeric by mouth can cause some side effects.

3. Tooth Powder

Why: The toothpaste your children use can cause cavities in their teeth. You can make your homemade toothpaste to get rid of cavities for your children.

What you need: 

Cinnamon

Clove

Freshwater

How to do: Mix a little cinnamon powder, clove powder, and a drop of water well to have a paste. Use this homemade toothpaste to brush your kids’ teeth to keep the gums and teeth strong. This organic toothpaste is an excellent home remedy to prevent cavities naturally.

Warning: Do not consume more than two teaspoons of cinnamon every day. Avoid using a large amount of cinnamon for a long time. Do not use this ingredient in sensitive people or ones with liver diseases. Be careful when using it for breastfeeding or pregnant women, children, diabetes patients, and people who have diseases in the liver. Stop consuming cinnamon before surgery for two weeks.

4. Salt-Water Gargle

Why: Salt is a good ingredient to get rid of inflammation and infection due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory features. Moreover, it helps balance out the oral acidic pH level created by cavities[3]. Salt-water gargle does not only scare the germs away but also make the mouth of your kid smelling fresh.

What you need:

  • Salt: 1 teaspoon.
  • A glass of fresh warm water

How to do: Dilute a teaspoon of salt in a glass of fresh water to make the gargle. Do not mix too much salt. Ask your children to rinse the mouth with this solution at least twice per day, pay extra attention to the cavities. It will keep your children’s teeth strong and healthy.

5. Licorice

Why: Licorice, also called mulethi in India, is popularly used to treat pain in teeth. The root of this herb is an excellent remedy to keep teeth strong and healthy. This ingredient has licoricidin and licorisoflavan A, which have the antibacterial effect so that it can prevent the development of bacteria that cause cavities in teeth[4] [5]. Although licorice is a good natural toothbrush, kids are likely to say “no” with it, so, use the powder to treat cavities for them.

What you need: 

  • Licorice powder

How to do: Use the powdered licorice to brush the teeth of your kids. Follow this method every day to improve dental health. Alternatively, ask your child to chew an end of the licorice root to make the fibers come out as a toothbrush. Chew it for 1 – 2 minutes until he has a natural toothbrush from licorice root. Then, rub the fibers gently on his teeth and gums. Afterward, ask him to rinse his mouth with clean water. You can cut off the used part and keep the rest for the next day.

Warnings: Do not take licorice by mouth when you are pregnant or breastfeeding, having heart disease, or high blood pressure, kidney disease, low potassium levels in the blood, the sexual problem in men. Stop consuming licorice at least two weeks before surgery.

6. Cloves

Why: Clove is the best remedy for dental problems, especially cavities. This herb helps to reduce tooth pain and stop cavities from spreading thanks to its antimicrobial constituents, which stop the development of bacteria, viruses, and fungi[6] [7]. Clove oil is a good DIY remedy for treating cavities naturally at home.

What you need:

  • Sesame oil: ¼ teaspoon
  • Clove oil: 2 – 3 drops
  • A cotton ball

How to do: Mix the clove oil with sesame oil. Drops a tiny amount of this mixture on a cotton ball and dab it gently on the cavities.

Warnings: You should dilute the clove oil before using it.

7. Cinnamon Oil

Why: Like clove oil, cinnamon oil is also an effective remedy for relieving tooth pain, which kills the bacteria that cause cavities[7].

What you need:

  • Cinnamon oil
  • Water

How to do: Dilute a tablespoon of cinnamon oil in a glass of water and ask your children to rinse the mouth with this oil solution.

Warnings: Cinnamon oil is a strong oil, so remember to dilute it before using.

8. Garlic

Why: Garlic is rich in antibiotic and antibacterial properties, so it keeps the gums healthy and relieves tooth pain instantly[8]. Kids will not like this ingredient, but you need to persuade them to do.

What you need:

  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves
  • Rock salt: ¼ teaspoon

How to do: Chewing a clove of garlic every morning on an empty stomach is the best thing for your health. Or else, you can crush 3 – 4 cloves of garlic and mix it with ¼ teaspoon of rock salt to make a paste. Apply this paste directly to the affected teeth and ask your kid to keep it on for 10 minutes. After that, ask him to rinse his mouth with clean water.

Warnings: Due to the unpleasant smell of garlic, do not chew garlic before going out or having a public event.

9. Green Tea

Why: Green tea is one of the best-proven home remedies for cavities in children. It is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which help kill germs, prevent bad breath and tooth decay, reduce the production of plaque and the growth of bacteria, and keep your teeth healthy[9].

What you need:

  • 1 green tea bag
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • Honey
  • Lemon juice

How to do: Steep green tea bag in a cup of hot water to make a cup of green tea. Add some lemon juice and honey to the tea and drink it warm. Drink 2 – 3 cups of this tea every day to treat tooth problems. Alternatively, you can make some fresh black tea in the same process for the same result when you don’t have green tea, or you like black tea.

10. Tea Tree Oil

Why: Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects, which help keep the mouth fresh, healthy, gums and teeth strong, and get rid of tooth decay and cavities[10].

What you need: 

  • Tea tree oil: a few drops.
  • Warm water

How to do: Take some drops of tea tree oil on your fingers, apply it to your child’s teeth and gums, massage gently in a few minutes. Then, rinse her or his mouth with warm water. Do it twice every day to prevent cavities.

B. How to Deal with Cavities for Adults

The DIY remedies below should be practiced for adults only. Do not try to treat cavities with these remedies for your kids without consulting your dentist.

11. Calcium & Magnesium Powders

Why: The combination of calcium and magnesium is beneficial for your tooth health[11]. Firstly, it provides the two most important minerals for your teeth. Secondly, this mixture keeps your mouth alkaline and protects your teeth from the damage of the acid from the cavity[12].

What you need:

  • 1 tablet of calcium
  • 1 tablet of magnesium
  • A toothbrush

How to do: Grind 1 tablet of calcium and 1 tablet of magnesium together to get a fine powder. Brush your teeth with this powder mixture once daily.

Warnings: Do not take a big dose of calcium or magnesium tablets by mouth. Do not take the calcium supplement when you have poor kidney function, low acid levels in the stomach, high levels of phosphate in the blood or low levels of phosphate in the blood, under-active thyroid, too much calcium in the blood, or smoking.

Adults should take less than 350mg of magnesium per day, 1 – 3-year-old children take less than 65mg, 4 – 8-year-old children take less than 110mg, and less than 350mg for children older than 8 years. Do not use magnesium supplement if you have alcoholism, bleeding disorders, diabetes, heart block, diseases that affect magnesium absorption, kidney problem, restless leg syndrome, and for the elderly.

12. Bone Broth

Why: Bone broth contains a lot of beneficial and essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. So it helps improve the digestive system and strengthen the hair, nail, and skin. Moreover, it is also rich in calcium and magnesium, which help treat cavities and tooth decay effectively and safely.

What you need: 

  • Bones of animals like lamb, beef, poultry, and bison
  • Seasonings like salt and black pepper powder.

How to do: Stew the animal bones in a pot of water until you get a thick broth. Add black pepper powder and salt to the broth to make it taste better. Drink the soup warm. You can store the remaining broth in the fridge for a few days in the next meals. You should drink this soup in your regular diet to improve dental health.

13. Oil Pulling

Why: Oil pulling is an effective remedy in eliminating tooth infection and easing tooth pain. Swishing a little vegetable oil, coconut oil, or sesame oil on the teeth will help pull and trap the bacteria in it, reduce bacteria and plaque, and improve the dental health[13] [14]. This remedy also reduces the swelling, which may present in your gums.

What you need:

  • Vegetable oil/Coconut oil/Olive oil/Sesame oil.
  • A small cup

How to do: Fill the small cup with vegetable oil. Rinse the mouth with vegetable oil for 5 – 10 minutes and spit it out. Alternatively, you can rinse your mouth with coconut oil, sesame oil or olive oil for the same result. Do this treatment 1 – 2 times per day.

14. Lemon

Why: Lemon contains a large amount of vitamin C. Besides, the acids in lemon are useful in killing germs to relieve the cavity-related pain and treating oral thrush[15]

What you need:

  • Lemon

How to do: Cut a slice of lemon and chew it. After a few minutes, rinse your mouth with water thoroughly. Follow this treatment when you have the pain caused by tooth decay.

Warnings: Remember to rinse off the juice thoroughly as it can cause tooth erosion.

15. Wheatgrass

Why: Wheatgrass is loaded with antibacterial properties that can prevent the development of bacteria and kill them. It also helps soothe the pain caused by tooth decay[16].

What you need:

  • Wheatgrass juice

How to do: Drink a cup of this juice every morning to prevent cavities.

Warnings: Do not use this food for pregnant or breastfeeding women, diabetes patients, and people who have scheduled surgery two weeks later.

16. Oregano Oil

Why: Like wheatgrass, oregano oil is also a good treatment for cavities because it helps kill the cavity-causing bacteria and plaque.

What you need: 

  • Oregano oil: 1 teaspoon
  • A pinch of salt
  • Water: 1 tablespoon
  • Toothbrush

How to do: Mix a teaspoon of oregano oil with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of water together. Use this mixture to brush your teeth at least once every day to keep your teeth healthy.

Warnings: You may not like the flavor and the taste of oregano oil, but you should get used to it.

17. Hydrogen Peroxide

Why: Hydrogen peroxide has the antimicrobial effect that may help kill the bacteria in the mouth and remove the cavity[17]. This home remedy helps you get rid of plaque, gingivitis, and tooth decay.

What you need: 

  • Water
  • 1 oz. 3% hydrogen peroxide

How to do: After brushing the teeth, you apply some hydrogen peroxide to the mouth for 5 – 7 seconds. Then, spit it out right away and rinse your mouth with clean water for a few times to remove leftover hydrogen peroxide thoroughly. Do this treatment once a day before bedtime.

Warnings: Do not hold hydrogen peroxide in the mouth longer than seven seconds because it can cause skin irritation inside your mouth. Plus, rinse your mouth with this solution for some days and then rest for a few months before using it again.

18. Neem

Why: Neem is a long-standing remedy that helps keep the teeth clean and healthy. You can chew the hard neem twig to make the teeth and gums stronger. Moreover, this powerful plant is effective in killing cavity-causing bacteria[18]. It is also full of fiber that helps prevent plaque efficiently.

What you need:

  • Neem twig

How to do: You need to chew the neem twig. After a few minutes, rinse your mouth with water. You can also apply the neem to the cavities and surrounding gums. Do this treatment daily to keep your teeth clean and mouth fresh.

Warnings: Do not take a large dose of neem as it may harm the liver and kidney. Do not let your children take neem oil by mouth. Do not use neem for pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with auto-immune diseases, diabetes, or organ transplant. Neem may cause infertility and reduce the chance to have children. Stop using it for at least weeks before surgery.

19. Baking Soda

Why: Baking soda has the alkaline property, which helps neutralize the excess acids in your mouth to get rid of cavities and tooth decay[19]. Moreover, this home remedy is loaded with the antimicrobial feature. So, it is an effective and available remedy you can follow at home to treat cavities and tooth problems.

What you need:

  • Baking soda
  • Toothbrush

How to do: Make your toothbrush wet and take some baking soda powder. Brush your teeth with baking soda powder every alternate day for some days to treat cavities.

Warnings: Do not use baking soda for a long period of time to avoid damaging the tooth enamel. You should only use this ingredient for a few days.

20. Eggshells

Why: Eggshells are a great source of calcium carbonate, which works as an abrasive and helps remove the decay and cavities in your teeth[20]. Besides, eggshells remineralize the enamel and dentine of the damaged tooth.

What you need: 

  • Ground eggshells: ¼ cup
  • Coconut oil: 2 – 3 tablespoons
  • Baking soda: 1 tablespoon

How to do: Keep the eggshells after cooking eggs. Clean and boil them for a few minutes. Take them out and allow them to air dry. When they are dried, grind the shells to get a fine powder. Then, you add 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 2 – 3 tablespoons of coconut oil into the powdered eggshells to make a smooth paste. Use this toothpaste to brush your teeth. Store the remaining paste in an airtight container for later use. Do this treatment every day.

21. Aloe Vera Juice

Why: Aloe vera has anthraquinones which help control the bacteria that cause tooth decay[21]. This plant also has the anti-inflammatory effect, helping treat tooth and gum problems, reduce pain and swelling. It also boosts the recovery thanks to its healing effect.

What you need: 

–    ¼ cup of aloe vera juice

How to do: After brushing your teeth, you gargle your mouth with aloe vera juice and swish around your gums and teeth for a few minutes. Then, rinse your mouth with plain water to remove the unpleasant taste of the juice. Or else, you can use aloe vera juice to brush your teeth like toothpaste. Do this treatment twice per day to improve your dental health.

Warnings: Do not take aloe vera at a large dose and in a long time. Do not take aloe latex at any dose. Do not use aloe gel or latex for pregnant or breastfeeding women, and people with diabetes, hemorrhoids, kidney problems, intestinal conditions. Stop using aloe at least two weeks before surgery.

II. How-To Tips For Cavities

  • Get Rid Of Sugar: Sugary foods and drinks can cause cavities as the sugar, combined with bacteria in your mouth, can create an acid, which damages the tooth enamel[22]. So, you should avoid sugary foods and drinks to keep your teeth healthy.
  • Avoid Phytic Acid: Phytic acid is proven to damage your tooth enamel and cause tooth decay and cavities. A study in 2004 pointed out that this acid reduces the mineral absorption from food[23]. Phytic acid is commonly found in legumes and cereals, such as rice, rye, wheat, maize, kidney beans, haricot beans, pinto beans, blackeye beans, broad beans, and navy beans.
  • Take Vitamin D Supplement: Lack of vitamin D in your diet may cause cavities[24]. Vitamin D supplement was proven to help reduce the incidence of cavities in the teeth significantly. This vitamin also helps strengthen the tooth enamel thanks to its mineralizing effect.
  • Chew Sugar-Free Gum: Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can reduce the levels of bacteria which can damage the tooth enamel[25]. So, it’s also an effective method to keep your teeth strong and get rid of tooth decay.

III. Cavity Facts & Myths

  1. Myths about Cavities
  • All Cavities Hurt: When you have a mild tooth decay or cavity, it does not hurt. If you feel pain in the cavity, it has already got the nerve. So, keep checking your dental health regularly to treat the cavities right away.
  • Cavities Cannot Appear In Baby Teeth: Children consuming sugary milk or baby foods can also get cavities. So, restrict the sugary consumption of your children and practice good dental hygiene for your children at home.
  • Sugar Is The Only Cause Of Cavities: Not only sugar but also bacteria in your mouth can cause cavities. Besides, the carb you consume like rice, bread, fruits, potatoes, and vegetables can also lead to this dental problem.
  • Kids Are More Vulnerable To Cavities Than Adults: All of us are vulnerable to cavities. Recently, this tooth problem is an increase in senior citizens due to the medicines that dry out the mouth and reduce saliva – the protector of your teeth.
  • Sensitive Teeth Mean You Got Tooth Decay: Although tooth decay or cavities can cause your teeth sensitive to cold and sweet, it’s not the only reason. There are many other things that can make you feel pain in your teeth. No matter what causes the painful feeling, you need to visit your dentist for a check and proper treatment.
  2. Facts about Cavities
  • When You Treat A Cavity, You Stop That Cavity: When you have the dentist fills a cavity, it will stop that cavity. However, a new one can appear next to or around the treated cavity.
  • Acid Causes Cavities: Acids can wear down the enamel of your teeth, weaken the teeth, and cause cavities. Consuming acidic foods is also a reason for tooth decay besides sugary foods.
  • Cavities Are More Likely To Appear Between Teeth: The cavities seem to happen between teeth as bacteria can hide there, and you can hardly reach to remove them with floss or toothbrush. To reduce the chance of cavities in these places, you can use mouthwash.
  • Brushing, Flossing, And Rinsing Are Essential For Healthy Teeth: Absolutely! To remove bacteria and cavity-causing elements, you need to brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, floss, and rinse your mouth every day.
  • Cavities Can Still Appear In The Filled Tooth: Even when your tooth is filled, it can still decay around the edges of the filling. But, if you give better care of it, you can keep your teeth protected for a long time.

IV. Frequently Asked Questions About Cavities

Q: Are Cavities And Tooth Decay The Same Thing? 

A: Actually, cavities and tooth decay are two different things. Tooth decay is the process that bacteria in your mouth produce acids to destroy the surface of your teeth. Over time, that decay wears down the enamel of the teeth and causes a hole or cavity.

Q: How To Know Whether You Get A Cavity?

A: If you go to the dentist, he will check your teeth and determine whether you have cavities or not and how extensive they are. If you notice some black spots or holes in your teeth, have a toothache or sensitivity to cold or hot foods and drinks, you could get cavities. Bad breath is also a symptom of cavities.

Q: Can A Decayed Tooth Heal By Itself?

A: The answer is no. When you get a decay, you need to go to the dentist right away to have immediate treatment and bacterial removal before everything is too late. If you do not treat it right away, the decay will get worse, the infection can spread into the pulp and damage the structure of your tooth.

Q: How Does The Dentist Treat The Cavities?

A: The main principle of treating a cavity is cleaning the bacteria in the tooth. They usually use a burr. The dentist will apply anesthesia in the area in which you may feel the pain to make you feel more comfortable and make it easier for them to treat the decayed tooth. After cleaning the cavity thoroughly, they will do the filling.

Q: Is The Filling As Strong As Your Natural Tooth?

A: Small and medium fillings are often strong enough to restore a decayed tooth. However, the bigger decay on a tooth is a crown to be strong enough to bear the pressure of biting action. Under a tremendous pressure on a big filling may make it break. When it happens, the tooth might be damaged more than before.

V. Advice After Treating Cavities

After treating the cavities, you need to give better care for your teeth. Firstly, you need to know which foods are bad for your dental health. Besides saying no with sugary foods and drinks like candies, sweets, chocolate, coke, soda, etc. you should avoid refined carbohydrates like chips, pasta, and bread. Also, breakfast cereals and cereal bars, which are high in sugar can harm your teeth. You should not eat dried fruits as they can stick to your teeth and cause cavities. You should not consume packaged fruit juice, carbonated drinks, alcohol, and some medication which can dry out your mouth.

Moreover, you need to follow some tips below to prevent tooth decay that lead to cavities, give you strong and healthy teeth, a beautiful smile, and make your life comfortable, happy, and confident.

  • Brush your teeth twice daily with proper tools, toothpaste, time, and attention.
  • Gargle your mouth with water after every meal to remove the foods left in the mouth and teeth, which can cause bacteria.
  • Mix some salt with warm water to gargle your mouth before going to sleep to remove all the trouble-causing agents.
  • Chew your food properly to produce good enzymes to kill off the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
  • Massage your teeth with clove oil or chew a clove after each meal to keep your mouth clean and teeth healthy.
  • Add onion to your salad as it is good for your dental health when killing the germs and bacteria effectively.
  • Keep flossing gradually to remove food components and particles hiding between teeth.
  • Chew sugar-free gum to make your teeth and gums stronger and get rid of stubborn food particles. It also encourages the production of saliva in your mouth, making your mouth clean and healthy.
  • Use a good mouthwash to protect your teeth and mouth from plaque and bacteria.
  • Eat more fiber-rich foods like vegetables to reduce plaque. Add some vegetables like cucumber, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, cauliflower, radish, lettuce, etc. to your diet to boost not only dental health but also body health.
  • Go to the dentist regularly to check your dental and oral mouth and receive proper and timely treatment when problems occur.

The article has given you many effective and simple home remedies for cavities in adults and children. These treatments will keep you away from these uncomfortable and annoying tooth problems safely and naturally. If you get so much pain and discomfort in your teeth, you need to visit your dentist right away. You can use a single remedy or several ones together for the best result. All content provided is for informational and educational purposes. We recommend you consult a healthcare professional to determine which method is appropriate for you.

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