I think OP can prevent cavities and periodontal disease. In terms of healing tooth decay, you really have to look at nutrition. I am more and more a believer in the idea that tooth health is an "inside job" -- based on the work of Weston A. Price (www.westonaprice.org) and others who looked at mouth health and indigenous cultures/diets -- that cleaning teeth on the outside via flossing and brushing is good, but that it's only as good as what kinds of vitamins and minerals those teeth are getting on the inside, from what we eat.
You can search this forum's archives for information on tooth remineralization. I think both Trapper and Grz have experimented with it. I'd also ask over at Trapper's forum for the heck of it.
If you go to YouTube and search on "Weston A. Price" you will find several informational videos on this topic. I cannot remember his name, but one guy cured his daughter's cavities via nutrition. His first video is here:
and he has several others posted under "yourreturn" -- you could search that, too. He also has a website -- I posted all of this a month or two or three ago so it would be in our archives -- but it's yourreturn.com or something, it will be on the videos.
I got some x-rays at the dentist a few years ago and regret it now, although it at least told me there was nothing going wrong structurally or wisdoms to be removed at once or anything. I cringe when my husband and friends tell me about their loving going to the dentist. Of course they cringe when I tell them to OP and eat better. I can say with absolute surety that the barest adherance to a Weston A. Price diet (low on grains/sugars, raw milk, lots of vegetables and animal fats, proteins, etc.) has been great for my children. They just got a check-up and he said they had the best teeth and structure in their mouths of anyone he had seen. A SAD (standard american diet) does not support bone and tooth growth -- hence palates are not well formed and teeth are crowded and overlap. I remember when I got braces in 8th grade, the first thing they did was to pull 4 teeth from the front to make more room. I was not a great retainer wearer, but I don't think that's the only thing that has made my bottom front teeth a little crooked (even with all that extra room!).
Here's a great post by Larry:
read through the whole thread for a lot of interesting information.
Dentists. I believe, like with surgeons, that sometime you can't avoid them -- but dentists and vets are making a mint off of terrible nutrition, IMO, and are best to be avoided as they profit a LOT from recommending these procedures and products (and selling them at a huge markup). I've felt pretty good about not going to a dentist for routine cleanings, etc. in the past few years. Last night some friends and I were talking about the dentist and how one had recommended flossing as key -- I said, "Since I started OP, my teeth are so firm I can't really get floss between them." (To me, teeth that are not secure in their sockets are a sign of a problem -- one that begets food getting trapped in between them -- i.e. my OP experience tells me or shows me that my teeth should be close together.) Modern medicine at this point is all false to the degree that doctors, dentists, vets, and so forth are taught information based on how to treat a fundamentally diseased population. i.e. It's "how to perform -- and sell -- a root canal" rather than "how to advise your patients to avoid getting a root canal." It's not a question of evil dentists, either -- it's jsut a way of thinking that is so real for them they don't question its fallacy: a fundamental delusion of the medical model. The same doctor who talked about our girls' perfect teeth and mouth structure wants to test them for celiac because they are thin -- now, where is the logic there? We eat little processed wheat or other gluten-containing foods, they have excellent iron levels, by his own observation they have good teeth -- meaning good bones, too -- and they have absolutely no symptoms of celiac. But his response based on treating, I am sure, a lot of kids who eat a lot of wheat and who have allergies to it/celiac is to lump the two together, despite a lot of evidence right in front of him that Ann and Merry don't have celiac. Anyway, that's the disease model at work.
There is an organization that represents biologic dentists:
and there is also a site of a dentist in Florida, I think -- Dr. Behm, who's got a protocol posted for how to brush and care for teeth:
Good luck and happy reading!