Dental appointments are usually met with a strong sense of apprehension and angst, accompanied by the dreadful drilling, filing, and billing. While you may have managed to put off your visit for as long as you possibly could, the unbearable pain leaves you no other choice than to face your fears and get into the office. You know you have cavities, your gut is telling you they are there and you can feel them every time you bite into something remotely sweet.

Before you sign your life away with a series of uncomfortable and expensive fillings, you should consider the wonders of holistic healing to naturally reverse tooth decay. There is a wide misconception that the sole way to treat cavities is through drilling a hole into the decrepit tooth before it turns into a root canal and you lose all hope. What you may not know is that there are a myriad of ways to treat tooth decay, both cost effective and efficient, that will not drill a hole in your tooth or your wallet.

Oil Pulling for the Win. This ancient Ayurvedic gem has been practiced for centuries, dating back 3,000 years. The procedure requires you to swish a tablespoon of oil (coconut is a personal favorite) in your mouth for 15-20 minutes every night. The oil picks up microbes and bacteria hiding away in crevices in your teeth and reduces the number of cavities in your mouth.

A great way to improve your oral hygiene, coconut oil is rich with lauric acid and medium chain triglycerides that also work to whiten your teeth, combat gingivitis, and sweeten your breath.

Remineralization Toothpaste. A degenerative disease condition, tooth decay is a product of “the modern foods we eat, and the modern drugs and toxins we are exposed to,” according to Dental health educator Ramiel Nagel. Thus, it is important to protect our teeth with fluoride-free toothpaste or DIY homemade toothpaste.

The recipe is simple, and calls for 4 tablespoons of coconut oil, 2 tablespoons of aluminum-free baking soda, ⅛ teaspoon of stevia, 20 drops of peppermint, and 20 drops of calcium. This replenishes the enamel on your teeth with minerals that help repair cavities and prevent future damage.

Reduce Phytate Intake Phytic acid is a mineral blocker that is found in grains, nuts, seeds, and beans, and prevents the absorption of important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. While cutting all grains and beans from your diet may be impractical, you can soak them in water to reduce the acid by 50 to 100 percent.

Place the ingredients in a large bowl and cover with warm water according to a 2:1 ratio, with ½ teaspoons of Celtic sea salt. Rinse and drain. According to Vegetarian Times, soaking and sprouting “activates and multiplies nutrients, neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, and promotes the growth of vital digestive enzymes.”

Eliminate Sugar in your Diet Everyone knows the negative repercussions of eating too many donuts, but do we really know how bad processed sugars are for our dental hygiene? Anytime someone consumes sugar, plaque is immediately activated which eats away at tooth enamel for 20 minutes, according to holistic pediatrician, Dr. Nasser Zadeh.

By reducing your sugar intake and opting for healthier options such as raw honey and natural juices, you are headed in the right direction toward preventing further decay.

Teeth Masks for Days. Teeth masks are a great means of naturally reversing cavities when accompanied with the above dietary and life changes. A popular and effective mask, dubbed Turmeric Clove Coconut Oil Mask works to whiten teeth and strengthen gums.

The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric prevent infection and keep the gums from swelling and discomfort, while the coconut oil helps remove plaque and bacteria. The clove contains Eugenol, an active ingredient known for its antiseptic properties in preventing the spreading of infection.

Simply mix together ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon of organic coconut oil, 2 drops of clove essential oil, and a pinch of sea salt.