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
long term do we really know? :-/
I know a lot of people use it and recommend it however personally I would be hesitant to use baking soda as it has been said to be corrosive on the enamel of teeth over time. It is even corrosive on metal. I don't want to put people off using toothpaste but just keep in mind there is a chance it may be giving you problems. Would certainly fit in with the theme of the establishment...
I must say I cringe when people recommend using listerine, the ultimate dry mouth creator.
Kind of hard to say baking soda in a paste might be to harsh on teeth because it is abrasive here and there I doubt it would be problematic but as a regular use would be cautious. As a rinse at this point don't think I would fear it. Oxygen and Water together corrodes metal should we fear them?
Baking soda is not seen a good corrosive on metal (http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/chem03/chem03822.htm)
BG do you have a link where baking soda can be corrosive on the enamel do you mean by brushing, where did you get this info from?
One of things I am looking at is something that is effective but also not harmful. Don mentions clove oil as a way to control the bacteria though I don't know if it is effective like salt or baking soda. It is possible that good teeth an doing 811 well enough may not need extra help but I think we should have a fail safe program in place in case people start to question their dental health or have dental issues coming into the diet there aware they can add certain practices that should assure them good dental health.
Did you get a chance to listen to Dr.Nara's audio?
This was the case for myself brushing with water did not turn around my gum issues and things were only getting worst.
Many seem to be okay and don't notice issues until they see a dentist and see serious signs of decay. I will ask people as well when was there last dentist visit? and results. for the 3 years I was drinking coke I had no pain and visible signs of decay then went to the dentist to find out I had decay in 13 areas
We can't ever really have a 'fail safe' program as everyone's teeth have come from different backgrounds, but yes finding the closest thing to that is important. :)
Because baking soda is a chemical salt, if it is combined with moisture (as it is the mouth) it can promote corrosion. It's even used to remove rust from metal for this reason.
Google "Baking soda corrodes enamel" for a bunch of different information on the topic. Most saying it's best not to use it all the time as it is abrasive...sort of of gives me the nervous heevy geevies. The fact that it removes stains from our teeth could easily suggest it removes enamel as well. I just think folks should be careful with that stuff. I'm wondering whether a life time of toothpaste using has contributed to a population with bad teeth (& of course obviously poor diet).
I haven't listened to the audio yet no, does he speak about diet in his recommendations?
Please remember Dentists are businessman too and many will drill and fill a tooth that doesn't need it (even been known to create holes). Pretty scary really. Lets not take the dentists word as gospel, not only that but their opinions vary greatly. I feel as though you may be putting too much faith in their opinion. I remember reading about a dentist who looked in a persons mouth as a second opinion and said they needed ZERO fillings whereas the previous dentist had recommended around 5. :-/ I recommend people get 2nd,3rd,4th opinions before drilling away perfectly healthy tooth forever.
When I was a small child I used to go to the dentist every six months or so and would drill 5-6 teeth every time I went there!!
Once my teeth turned so bad from all that drilling (I presume that was the (or one of the) cause(s)) that it had to be painfully extracted...
But as soon as I changed dentists, all my tooth problems magically disappeared! Never again did I drill a tooth!
I agree there will always be some people who get issues but hopefully it won't be due to dental hygiene practice. Dr Naras experience shows that any body on any diet once a good hygiene reverse serious gum and teeth issues and even remineralize their teeth. His on kids who used these techniques never got one cavity and they are now adults. To me it looks like by far the most important factor. I would love to hear your opinion on what he has to say.
Thanks for the baking soda info, thought it was more due to its abrasive quality that it may damage the teeth. I see the recommendation are not to use it more then 2 to 4 times a month to help remove stains and plaque. Though it is always used as a toothpaste and not as a rinse. I will look into it more. Thanks
I hear you about dentists I know that you can probably see 5 different dentists and get different results. For one they have different techniques that finds cavities some of those are even damaging to the teeth such as x-rays (as well as your health). Also some are drill happy like you said the more they drill the more money they get which unfortunately is a conflict on interest. A dentist with a true conscious would 2wind up like Dr.Nara trying to help is patients find better ways to help their teeth instead of drilling into them at the first instance of decay (even sometimes when there may not be. On top of that a lot still put mercury fillings in although the composite are toxic as well just not for as long.
I will change the question slightly to bring this to light. My only point is sometimes decay you do not feel for a while and people might thing there okay and wind up with dental disasters as was the case for Stephen and Ashley.
Though I am sure there must be good ways to know how your oral health is doing well. I have a lot of info to read up on.
Have to say the water piks (oral irrigators) are great especially if you don't floss they really kick out and food particles and get into the gums to rinse things out, have noticed improvements in my gums just in days, though also using salt flushes.
I would just like to point out that when baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is dissolved in water it splits into sodium ions and bicarb ions. These are ions which, along with other ions like potassium and chloride, are naturally included in saliva. Yeah, it might get you into trouble if you use baking soda solutions in high concentrations (or brushing with solid baking soda), but solutions at low concentrations are not at all unnatural, and if they were harmful, your saliva would not naturally contain these ions.
Also, when I google around about baking soda being abrasive, all I can find is info about it being abrasive physically as a solid, not chemically as a liquid solution.
I am on my 7th year raw, over three of them being fruit based. Since this time, most of my fillings (mercury) have fallen out. I have not replaced any of them, and it does not appear that any further decay has resulted from this. This is strange to me because they seemed to fall out within the same period of time. I always used to brush my teeth once, occasionally twice a day with toothpaste. Since the fillings have fallen out, leaving holes, I have become much more conscious of my dental habits. I usually brush three times a day with toothpaste, after every meal. If I cannot brush my teeth after eating I will swoosh water in my mouth to help remove debris. I experimented using water alone to clean for about a year or so, but I just prefer the way my teeth feel cleaner after using paste. I also always brush my tongue and have increased the time I take for brushing.
Oddly, and not really pertaining to the question, it seems that I have a wisdom tooth wanting to peak in. I am 40 years old!
HI shadowmack when was the last time you saw a dentist?
I had a filling fall out as well left it for a year and half seem fine but the dentist said it was starting to show signs of decay
I saw a dentist about a year after they fell out. I told him that my mouth was a mess because of all of the fillings falling out. He looked and was surprised that it did not appear I had any additional decay but wanted to schedule me to get them refilled. I did not follow his advice, rather I have just been more careful with my dental hygiene. I cannot visibly notice, or notice by touch, any difference since that visit. But you may be correct in that there is decay that has gone unnoticed since that point.
How long have you been 811?
Arnold Ehret says that foods with high amount of the mineral Lime, helps strengthen teeth. Try to grow your food in soil that is mixed with a beneficial amount of Lime Powder. This will bring Calcium to your Teeth. Lime is powderized Limestone. It is also wise to mix other Rock Powders into the Soil.
The Acidity of Citrus Disintegrates the Enamel on the teeth. It is wise to Drink Orange or Lemon Juice mixed with water. Biting into Citrus, in my experience, isn't a good idea, especially a lot of it at once.
Brush well after Citrus, Pineapple, and other Acidic foods. And like was said above, a good toothpaste helps or whatever will rebalance the PH level in your mouth. The first tooth brush was made of a reed that grew by the river, they would chew it, and then brush their teeth with the frayed end of the reed, sounds alkaline to me.
I also had tooth pains when chewing dates, this was probly because my teeth were weakened by the citrus and not brushing, and the intense amount of sugar irritated the tooth nerves especially near the gums and in cavities.
Teeth Be With You
Thanks for replying Olivia,
sounds like you got a good program, good to shift away from skeptical products. Take a look at oramedia.com for info.