I think it is !
We are not trying to single out 811 as giving teeth problems, we are just here to give solid advice on how to take care of your teeth. There are plenty of diets that wreak havoc on the teeth and many people have bad teeth because of it (example)
HI Fellow primates :)
Thought with the last discussion with Stephen on teeth and hearing story of others having issues with their teeth that it would be good to post this discussion for 4 reasons,
1) as a warning to people on the diet to take care of their teeth properly.
2) Possibly we can change the recommendations that we give on this website (such as the LFRV pamphlet) to something like Frederic Patenaude or Don Bennet recommends. Which in short is something to kill bacteria to keep it in check. I have heard many people say that water just does not cut it from them and once they started using a good toothpaste or something else it really helped their teeth and gums (I am one of them).
3) to open the discussion to ask people what their hygiene protocol is to hear what people have to say so we can possibly come up with the best recommendations. Maybe I am the only one that brushing with water worked badly who knows (but I don' think so :)
Please answer the following
-How long you have been on the diet 100%?
-Has your teeth improved, remain the same or gotten worst.
-What is your dental hygiene protocol, Has it changed? what are your results.
-When was the last time you saw the dentist and were the results?
4)I love this diet and all that goes with it but I agree with Fred that I find quite a few people start to have teeth issues and blame the diet for nutrition reasons and abandon the diet thinking there is some deficiency. Unfortunately when people go 811 they also tend to abandon some key hygiene practices which then makes it confusing when they start having issues could it be nutrition or poor hygiene??
Nutrition? I don't think that would be the main reason people would have difficulties with their teeth. I have heard a lot of people say they have come from other diets and have very little issues with their teeth (that were a lot more deficient in nutrients, me included) but with 811 they started having issues. The teeth and bone are the same yes but we are exposing the teeth to a much different environment then the bones.
I want it so people have the most chance of success possible I find that we need to give advice that works for most people not just some. Then when a person who has teeth issues we can look on the nutrient side but I have a feeling it would a lot less.
So far most of the people I have heard have teeth issues started the diet and ditched what they were doing usually just brush with water. I would like to know if there are people who can say they too great care of their teeth and still have issues?. There will always be outliers due to genetics, previous histories etc, but would like to hear what people have to say so we can get a better idea.
Here is some of an email by Fred on the subject, I am no expert but I agree with what he has to say from my experiences and what I have read and talked to a very good holistic dentist. I know that Fred makes money from his internet site but he also is giving relevant info that people should listen too
I have over 10 years of experience in the raw food movement.
I've written several books on the subject, I've had one of
the very first raw food websites on the Internet, and I've
been in touch with tens of thousands of people following
this diet over the years.
I've met most of the raw-food leaders personally, and I've
even worked with many of them. I've even personally coached
hundreds of people to succeed with a raw food lifestyle.
And after all of these years, I've come to the conclusion
that raw-foodists have the worst dental health of any other
"health group" in the world.
What I have observed is:
* I high incidence of dental decay among raw-foodists, after
they switch to the diet
* A high incidence of gum recession and enamel erosion among
* Sudden, drastic & dramatic dental problems that occur
typically 1 to 3 years after a person has switched to the
raw food diet, and tend to persist overtime.
I have gone through a series of dental problems myself as a
direct result of following the raw-food diet incorrectly
(and I'm not even talking about eating a lot of dates
here), and I have met at least several hundred people who
have gone through similar issues.
I know several leaders of the raw-food movement who have
experience an increasing number of dental problems on the
raw food diet, and still won't come clean about it and
explain to their followers why this happens.
The "weak link" of the raw diet
There's a lot of positive aspects to the raw food diet. But
the issue of dental health is the real weak link. A person
can experience lots of wonderful beneficial effects on the
raw food diet, but notice their dental health go downhill.
In my experience, it's also the number one reason why
people quit on the diet after being successful with it for
It doesn't happen to every raw-foodist. It probably happens
to the large majority however, and there is a direct
correlation between the switch to the raw diet and the
development of dental problems.
The Two Culprits
At this point, if you have the least interest in eating raw
foods, you should start reading very, very closely.
Dental decay is not caused by eating the wrong diet. That's
right. Dental decay is actually a *transmittable disease*.
Dental decay is the result of the proliferation of certain
types of bacteria in the oral environment. The bacteria
eliminate acid waste that eat into your teeth and cause
There are only TWO reasons why raw-foodists experience more
problems when they moved to the diet. But before we look at
them, let's take a look at what is NOT the cause of these
problems. So raw-foodists DON'T have problems with their
- They don't eat enough greens
- They don't get the proper ratio of calcium/phosphorus
- They are not consuming "super nutrition"
- They are not consuming enough calories
- They eat too many acid forming foods like nuts and seeds
All of the reasons above are NOT why raw-foodists get
problems with their teeth. The only two reasons why
raw-foodists get problems with their teeth are:
- Underlying issues (the bacteria count)
Once you understand this simple concept, you'll be able to
eradicate decay for life.
What happens is that when people move into the raw-food
diet, they are basically a time-bomb as far as their dental
health is concerned. Their bacteria count is a little too
high, but not high enough to cause major problems.
Suddenly, they dump a bunch of sugar into their mouths. This
sugar creates a giant feast for the bacteria who feed on
So in that sense, the introduction of a higher quantity of
natural sugar is the determining factor. This sugar can be
in various forms... it doesn't matter for the bacteria who
feed on them! There is no difference between white sugar and
banana sugar when it comes to increasing the bacteria count
in the mouth!
And this sugar is plentiful in the raw food diet. We're
- Fresh fruits (bananas, mangoes, etc.)
- Fruit juices
- Dried fruits
- Nuts and seeds (which stick to the teeth)
- Raw food "bars" and dehydrated treats
- Smoothies (that's right)
- Green smoothies (that's right)
- Coconut water
Now... here's where it gets interesting. Sugar is food for
Normally, you want your bacteria count to be as low as
possible. You want to avoid bacteria forming in to
*colonies* and creating their own little civilization in
If your oral environment is really clean... it doesn't
really matter if you eat dates all day. If the bacteria
count is low, you can do that without problems.
So although the *precipitating* factor that creates problem
for raw-foodists is the introduction of more sugar, the
*real* problem are the underlying issues, so the bacteria
The only way to prevent dental decay for life and reverse a
bad situation is to take active control of your oral
environment. Just controlling your diet does not address the
root of the problem.
I wanted to add he mentions the time bomb on the diet but he forgets to mention that many stop using something to kill bacteria on 811 which I think amplifies the issue, matter of fact i think if most people kept their previous hygiene practices most likely not be having this discussion. Though as Fred mentions we might want to reinforce are hygiene due to the higher sugar content and also if you eat a lot of acidic fruits to rinse with water.
So give your input and log what you do and your success with it? hopefully we will hear the last of these type of discussions at at least a lot less :)
Oh and just out of curiosity does anyone know the reason why most of have sensitive teeth at the beginning of the diet and then it goes away?
P.S I know there is plenty of diets that wreak havoc on the teeth and many people have bad teeth because of it (example), please don't mention this it is obvious. My focus is 80 10 10 to make sure we give recommendations that will make sure that we can smile when we say how well the diet is working :)
Listen to Dr.Nara who believes that is you keep the teeth clean you will not get decay. He has 50 years experience and claims if you follow his recommendations you will not have gum or teeth issues
hi Mikey, sorry for the late reply! Well my mum said I had weak enamel as a child with my baby teeth... and I have always been getting cavities, i've had about 15 fillings or more I think.... just the word decay really freaks me out! I looked at my teeth last night and they are covered in black and brownish spots and I kinda had a melt down at home...i know its not ideal in this lifestyle, but im going to get them filled. I brush with a soft bristled tooth brush and colgate toothpaste. i used two different organic fluordie free toothpastes before but my teeth went a bit yellow... despite my bad teeth history, i have always had white teeth and they aren't so anymore. for the last few days i have been rinsing after eating and brushing for longer, tried a bicard rinse yesterday. should i use bar soap to brush my teeth then? or buy the powder that was listed somewhere in this forum... would carstor oil bar soap work? i'm just really stressed about my teeth now...
It kinda bummed me out considering I brush twice a day... but obviously thats not enough on this lifestyle....
I noticed you are still eating cooked food at night Juliana, that can definitely make teeth more sensitive to corrosion and it's not actually following this lifestyle 100% so that's important to point out. Also going back and forth on this lifestyle can increase sensitivity. I definitely recommend you drop it for the health of your teeth, join the 30 day challenge bunch! :)
Hi Freelee, I just want to point out that my little challenge is for us that want to become raw, but want to take it in baby steps, not a strict amount. its just a little group of us who are able to support eachother without getting interrupted with a whole lot of notifications. because its small, it means we can support eachother a bit better. If you don't like it I can stop it, but I don't think I should. I would love to join your challenge, but when I am ready... I have been raw 6 days so far though but without the pressure I think I might get from committing to 30 set days. but thank-you for your advice... its always great when you reply =)
The people I know who eat cooked food, which is nearly all of humanity, they generally have decent teeth. And, generally or usually, raw vegan diets have resulted in a tremendously high rate of decay. Frederic Patenaude can vouch for that, majorly, for example, from his experience. I can too, majorly, but I was intentionally not cleaning my teeth when I was raw vegan back in the late eighties. But still problems were definitely excessive when I resumed raw vegan(especially dates seemed to cause the major problem) in 1995, though cleaning my teeth daily, by brushing.
Also, my teeth turned 'cream-brownish' when I was mostly or 100% raw vegan in the late 80's.
Eating all sorts of Southern California fruits, though mainly citrus, dates, and avocado.
Before all that when I was an average decent omnivorous dietary, almost no teeth problems. Only one cavity. But getting sick was more of an ordeal, and yes the body does get more 'constipated' in that 'average decent' dietary.
But over the past 17 years I've come from all this range of experience and have found the happy medium with it all. Yes, all ;) It works best, especially when prudently applied being 'in tune' with ones body. Balance and moderation, greens, veggies, fruits,... and the rest,... all vital. That understanding also allows one to make do with a balanced dietary for great health nearly anywhere in the world with local foods. We are human. Be in tune. Live to perform and be well.
So far here is the score
Brushing with water 0 and using some kind of product to kill bacteria 3. Me, Nate and Blake all experienced better results with even reversing conditions. I also know of many others but hopefully they will chime in as well
I am going to change the title to "Poor Dental Hygiene advice the common cause of teeth issues on 811?, log your results"
Stephens dental Hygiene program
Reply by Stephen on
Forgot to mention dental Hygiene!
Since starting 811 have brushed once a day in the evening before bed with water and a soft brush. Have never been a flosser as my teeth are tight against each other and when I've tried I've consistently cut into my gums. Dentist never saw that as an issue.
Now Stephen is having massive dental issues and is wondering if it is defficiencies in his diet, possibly?. But there is no doubt that dental hygiene program could have been the sole reason for his issues. Although this is what tends to be recommended on the 811 lifestyle.
Reply by Ashley in the same thread again same issues and now confused on whether it is deficiencies in the diet or poor hygiene?. Though Ashley does realize what she was told for hygiene she would not listen to it again and puts a big part of the blame on it.
Reply by Ashley Hamilton on
I would like to also add my story to this discussion. And i agree that only long termers (2+ years) or those with a medical background should reply -- this is a serious discussion that should not be taken lightly.
This is an issue that Many of us are dealing with right now. But with proper care it can be prevented. Let our stories educate you to start taking care of your teeth NOW. Nature won't do it for you, like i once believed...
I have been 811 for 4 years, the 3 were 100% raw, super strict, and the last year i have eaten mainly fruit but steamed veg at night, for various reasons (mainly because wasn't eating enough raw greens - couldnt stomach them)
A few days ago, my upper back-most tooth CRUMBLED.
I was randomly feeling around my teeth with my finger, and i put the VERY SLIGHTEST pressure on a tooth and it just caved in and fell into pieces. I went and got a dental mirror from the store and to my horror, i realized that i had quite a few blatant signs of decay, mainly in my far back molars -- but those aren't even the only ones that hurt. I have severe pain in my whole mouth, mainly an intense ache on the whole right side, and the pain moves from one tooth to the other. My teeth have become quite transluscent over the past 4 years, and very sensitive -- so sensitive, in fact, that even drinking water makes them hurt. Basically, my teeth are decaying.
Here is some of my history to give you perspective:
-again, 4 years 811, and in the last year some steamed veg
-I have never really taken care of my teeth HOWEVER i have never had any fillings or dental work -- I used to go to the dentist twice a year growing up and ive never had any issues. In fact, the last time i went to the dentist was about 2 months into my 811 journey and he said my teeth were perfect! I changed nothing in regards to my dental hygiene, and 4 years later i have severe tooth decay.
-For about 3 years of my 811 experience, i brushed with water and on a rare occasion toothpaste. I never really flossed, and i was lax about brushing, but this was the same as i've always been growing up...
---------- IMPORTANT THINGS IVE LEARNED IN THE PAST WEEK: ---------------
- Vitamin D3 and K2 are extremely important for teeth health. For vegans, this means SUPPLEMENTING. If you are having the slightest tooth pain, i highly recommend ordering these supplements online - they make vegan versions. Also make sure you are getting enough B12 and A. and everything else. ;) But D3 and K2 are 2 biggies when it comes to teeth, and allow for proper absorption of calcium.
- Brushing and flossing IS IMPORTANT! I became so pure in my thinking in my first few years of 811 that i was against the use of all products. And im sure many of you can understand why. But after talking to various others, I decided to use a regular fluoride toothpaste. (i know it's scary and probably unnatural) but It has already made Huge improvements and just in one week my teeth are noticeably whiter.
- Eating many greens / veg is important to get minerals! My diet often lacked many greens and i think it's extremely important. If you can't stomach many raw ones then slightly steam them. Get them in you!
- stay hydrated
----It is important to also note that I am not blaming 811 for my teeth issues. But i do think the high fruit diet may be ONE factor in a pool of other factors including: dehydration, stress, dental hygeine, not enough greens (minerals), deficient in b3 or k2, etc. Please don't let this happen to you. It's a living hell. Take action NOW and take care of your teeth early on! ----
I have a holistic dentist appointment in mid-july so i'll see how things play out until then.
I wish the best to both of them and hopefully we can get to the true cause of their dental issues. unfortunately when you are at this point you make as many changes as you can to solve the problem and if it gets solved you won't know fully which was the major factor.
Just a note to add : Ashley did go back to eating cooked food including grains for a year when this happened.
Okay, but she was also eating grain products and cooked foods before she was 811, and not having dental problems. See You Elle Tea ;)
I hardly ever brush my teeth and they are strong.
A little low on details, its a fine line between failure and success and it is the details that matters.
-Could you answer how long you have been 811?
-How often is hardly brush?
-what do you brush with?, do you floss?, do you rinse? etc.
-Is it because you are super hydrated?
-When was the last time you saw a dentist?
-It is possible you do very little and maybe you got great genetics or your body is able to control the mouth environment. Has it been like this on all your diets
Let us know what you think why your teeth is like this. the thread is to find out people dental hygiene program or lifestyle that is either leading to success or failure so we can help others.
Taking relevant replies to this discussion from stephens, Here is Gia 811er for 11 years with no teeth issues and has a dental program that kills bacteria, though could possibly find something better then a fluoride tooth paste
Reply by Gia on
Sorry Stephen you are having teeth issues. I have been lfrv for 11 years. I had lots of cavities as a child so I had 2 teeth fall apart( old fillings in my molar) but that was before lfrv. Flossing is so important you can get away with not flossing when you are younger but it catches up to you when you are older. If you have ever been on anti -depressents they dry out the mouth. past lifestyle choices do take awhile to affect the teeth. Teeth can seem fine but people need x-rays to make sure. I am always surprise when people had eating disorders and then are shocked when their teeth start causes them problems years later.
I have always used flouride toothpaste and flossed and went to the dentist for cleanings. I have no new problems with my teeth for the last 11 years. I know eventually I will have to get old fillings replaced because the only last for so long.
My teeth are really close together too, but you must start flossing now that you are older the body is less forgiving then when you were in your 20s and younger. also I do swish with salt water once in awhile.