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
Wendy, the flavor of Listerine is way too strong for my palate. Or possibly it's the Poloxamer 407, Benzoic acid, Sodium Benzoate, Thymol, CI 42053, or CI 47005. Take a look at this article: Behind the label: Listerine teeth and gum defense
ok thx nate
Interesting information. Thank you! I was surprised that Fred said tooth problem were not caused by insufficient greens/ incorrect calcium to phosphorous ratio. I thought i had read some stuff on his site about that that said the opposite.
Anyway, I am a newbie. I just wanted to say that I too experienced tooth sensitivity when starting this diet. I wasn't even following it 100%; I was just trying to eat fruit for 2 meals a day. It did go away after a week or 2.
I am keeping my same regimen - brushing with tooth paste that is fluoride-free, SLS-free, glycerin-free and flossing. And I see a biological dentist twice a year. Honestly, if my teeth started rotting, I would go back to my old diet too. So I am glad you are having this conversation. I want to prevent any rotting from occurring!!
He mentions on his site that it is a factor but does not believe it is the main one. I believe it not to be the main one as well otherwise most of north America would have lost all their teeth by 12. The calcium phosphorous ratio on the north American diet is far from ideal.
Definitely keep your regimen, sounds like a good toothpaste, what is it?
we have had to many people stop or decrease their hygiene with not surprising bad results.I would add rinsing your mouth after a fruit meal just to neutralize any acids and help remove extra sugar. Take a look at Freds recommendations and add a couple just to be on the safe side
On most diets start brushing with water and I don't think it will go to well.
Thanks Mikey! I will definitely check out the recommendations. The product I use is actually a tooth powder - not a paste. It is called Eco-Dent.
Funny I actually ordered some of that heard it was good from another 811er
i used to brush with water and sometimes a natural toothpaste but in the last 6 months, my teeth look a little discoloured (although no cavities or sensitivity) so i have gone back to using a flouride toothpaste and ive already noticed a difference in just a few weeks. i brush and floss twice a day and rinse my mouth after each meal (3 large fruit meals a day plus salad)
Sounds like a good regimen but we might be able to find a better toothpaste.
The best way for me to take care of my teeth has been by following the directions provided in this website:
Ever since I've been taking care of my teeth this way I have had zero problems~and it's much easier than how I had previously been taking care of my teeth.
I especially like her advice of periodically brushing the gum line and lightly massaging the gums with a toothbrush for about 10 minutes. I do this at night in bed as I watch the weather report. It had really made a difference with my teeth.
I will take a look thanks. Do you use something to kill the bacteria, a rinse or a toothpaste?
How long have you been doing the diet?
When I originally when from high fat raw to 811, the sensitivity I experienced in my molars went away. However, after 8 months of 811 it seemed the hole in my upper lateral incisor was getting deeper. My dental routine was brushing twice a day--not enough for the increased amount of sweet fruit.
So I started brushing very thoroughly every time after I would eat (especially sweet fruit) with a very abrasive salt/baking soda with water mix for a week and then started using Tom's flouride-free paste. After two weeks I could see it filling back in. My diet during this short 2 week period consisted MAINLY of: bananas, dates and lots of peas.
1) Clean teeth don't rot.
2) I am getting enough calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, C, and D on 811 + sunshine to regrow part of my own tooth!
Check out this interview with a straight-shootin, no-nonsense dentist who uses only a brush, salt, and dental tape (wide and flat much gentler than floss):
Also check out what Jameth Sheridan (vegan and low fat) says about getting yer dental routine up to snuff (it involves not being lazy haha):
I believe that dutiful brushing after you eat is the bare minimum you can do to starve the bacteria of any sugar it could feed on. After I worked a sensitive spot for a week I would eventually find another and work that. The molars definitely can be hard to reach but are still worth "waking up" of course. For convenience, using a standard Crest or whatever is better than nothing in my opinion. It's gonna be tough love for your gums for a while but the pain will fade once the gums get used to some quality brushing. You will need to replace your brush more often as the bristles really get into the gums.
I will take a look at the info Blake
Thanks for sharing your experience, I have heard many stories similar to yours, teeth not doing so great start a good hygiene and the turn around and even heal back. Which as you said on the nutrition side the diet seems not to be the problem but seems the big cause is lack of hygiene, I am seeing the same results with my teeth, to bad people go to far and wind up quitting the diet.