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
Love your responses, well though out.
I appreciate you answering the questions and I agree that many don't take a look at the questions (I will add yours as well), but I do try to reinforce by following up with the questions when they answer in that manner. One thing I have learned is that success is all in the details.
I hear what your saying about Fred's stuff, though I do think he has some good info there. Unfortunately Fred does add a bit of fear into people so they will buy his products, though it is usually has a lot of with truth as well. I would not have added this discussion just based on Freds comments but it is coming not just from him but several members.
Quite a few members have mentioned that they experienced not the greatest results with brushing with water and make good improvements once they use something that keeps bacteria in check (I am one of them). Maybe it is mainly people who have gum issues (If you can listen to Dr.Nara's audio good stuff on gum issues) that will benefit from something that kills the trapped bacteria, he mentions that the bacteria only become problematic once they find a place to colonize in the gums.
My point is I think that we give great advice on pretty well every topic but I am not so sure that the advice given for dental hygiene is good enough (it is kind of the bare minimum) and I can see it working for some but not all (especially people with gum issues). Then once people run into issues they blame the diet thinking that it is nutrient deficient.
My hope is to get a better picture with 811ers and their experience so that we can come up with solid recommendations. I think Don's recommendations were good at the fruit festival, possibly we can also improve for people with gum issues.
As like you said people do not follow the recommendations to the tee, like enough water, often flip flop between 811 and other foods, eat unripe fruit. This is the reality and if these things have an impact on dental health then we should look at giving a dental program that is as close to fail safe as possible. That will mitigate potential problematic issues for example if acidic fruit are tough on the teeth a rinse of water would help after, etc. Fat trapping the fruit that is interesting (do you think a quick brush after a type of meal would help or rinsing with water?), so no acid fruit and avocado in salads for you?
We agree and should be obvious to everyone that every diet has its pitfalls with teeth, but why not use some solid suggestions like from Dr.Naras that even the worst diets and problematic teeth he has had success in turning around with simple methods (one thing is guaranteed brushing and rinsing with water will not do it).
The bottom line is hopefully if we have a solid safe dental hygiene program that we will be known for the best teeth and by following our advice that you will get rid of most teeth issues. (although we know due to other factors like low d, possible nutrient deficiencies coming into the diet, etc, there will always be some but then we can advice them on that when a situation comes up)
Thanks for the explanation Mikey :-) As long as folks can share the full story when they comment it would be great and I agree finding a safe solid dental hygiene program is important. I appreciate your passion for helping people.
I do have acid fruits with fats yes because they combine well but not sweet fruits (thanks for picking me up on that). But I rarely have avocado though.
my teeth was sensitive when transitioning from moderately high fat diet, but after several weeks normalized, but I advice brushing and flossing(carefully to remove bigger chunks of fiber like from mangoes).
I've been 811 for three years, raw for four.
In the last 8 months I've developed slight enamel erosion on three teeth on the top left side. I have never had a cavity or any previous teeth conditions. I didn't change my dental hygiene routine, although I did switch to natural toothpaste and then to a tooth powder. I brush my teeth once or twice a day and always rinse. I floss every few days. One thing I think may have aided my enamel erosion is that while I was in India I ate no vegetables or greens for 2 months and ate loads of pineapple and sugar cane juice. I then took a break from salads in general for another 5-6 months, as I simply didn't crave veggies. Starting in April I've been working more greens and vegetables into my diet and this seems to be helping.
Hey Lindsay nice to hear from you :)
Take a listen to this, it sounds like the bacteria are at the gum-line causing issues, I would step up your routine before it becomes more problematic. Dr.Nara talks about people following his protocol including his kids who never got cavities and they were on your typical crappy diet (I assume).
Hey Lindsay it could also have to do with lots of stress and under eating on fruit, quote 'living on only a handful of fruits for long stretches' (for several months) that can definitely produce a teeth-rotting environment, we automatically become dehydrated when we don't eat enough and that's the worst environment for our teeth to be in. Really glad to hear it's been improving with more calories and greens, I know how much having teeth problems sucks from when I used to have them in the past. :-/
Please answer the following (maybe more questions should be included like 'Are you stable on 811 or do you go back and forth?')
-How long you have been on the diet.
Started January 2012. Now fully raw, stable.
-Has your teeth improved, remain the same or gotten worst.
Remained the same.
-What is your dental hygiene protocol, Has it changed? what are your results.
The only thing that has changed as a result of the diet is that I rinse after every meal with water because my teeth were sensitive when transitioning. Other then that I brush and mouth wash once a day before bed.
Great advice coming out of this thread. The biggest thing that I have taken out of this thread so far is Listerine and the likes drying out your mouth when a dry mouth is the last thing you won’t. So there I am using it before I go to bed thinking I am doing the right thing, when in fact it’s wrong: I always suffer with a dry mouth when sleeping and have to have water throughout the night, and now I know why! Rinsing with Baking Soda is definitely the way to go (after every meal)
What I would like to know now are what toothpaste, tooth soap or tooth powder people are using and to what degree of success. Give names please.
I use sensodyne Pronamel at the moment because I have sensitive teeth; always have. But as my life is becoming more and more chemical free (through 811) I won’t to get off this stuff and use something more natural. I have not got the confidence to use water only and yet need something that won’t cause enamel erosion - which is actually quite hard to find with ‘Whitening ‘ or Sodium Bicarbonate in everything.
Have been looking at Eco-Dent Toothpowder but I don’t know what like as it seems to have Sodium Bicarbonate in it, maybe people can let me know there experience with this stuff. As for Eco-Dent Toothpowder Lemon & Lime, well the name just don’t sound right dose it - Lemon & Lime tooth powder!
What chemically (fluoride, glycerine) free and/or natural tooth cleaner do you use successfully for Sensitive teeth?
I was going to recommend Tom's of Maine fluoride-free for sensitive teeth, which I love, but just looked at the label. Although it is cruelty free, the active ingredient is potassium nitrate and the package says do not use for more than four weeks unless recommended by a dentist or physician. Well, that last part might not be important, but it might. Wikipedia says this about potassium nitrate:
So now I am freaked out! But I really love this toothpaste. Does anyone know anything about potassium nitrate?
It was once thought to induce impotence, so they gave it to prisoners to stop rapings, there wasn't much research about it back then and it probably didn't work.
If I had to choose a toothpaste for sensitive teeth, which usually means the enamel is weakened and is slightly porous allowing things to pass into the teeth and causing pain.
I would choose these pastes which are suppose to help rebuild the enamel. I don't have personal experience with them but the reviews look pretty good. I will be trying to get some my wife has sensitive teeth
I know many of you don't use toothpaste? But I think I have to start using it because I am soo scared and I love this diet soo much. :/ Is using toothpaste ok?