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
Thanks Nate For sharing
I think your story which I think is all to common, luckily you got it in time. Although I had my issues coming into the diet my teeth were not getting better (especially after the 2 years) and with in a week of adding in something to kill the bacteria I saw a turn around.
When do you brush the 2 times a day?
I think I will make a little bottle of baking soda and water for the rinse I can take with me.
I will look at the info thanks for the links, (It looks like a Synopsis of Freds dental info (which features Dr.Nara)
I think when it comes to teeth our Motto "should be better safe then sorry"
I just brush first thing in the morning before drinking a large glass of water. I like to clean the junk out of my mouth before drinking. This includes a good tongue scraping. Then I brush in the evening after my last meal.
I take floss and a bottle of baking soda with me everywhere. You can just take a few pinches of the dry baking soda powder and put it on your tongue then start swishing and saliva will form.
Good stuff Nate,
will add the second brushing in the morning and make the mouthwash to take along
Awsome info half way thought the interview. I will be making changes to my program. Question for you I noticed you don't do salt water irrigation. Do you worry about salts affect on the taste buds?
Mikey, I just listened to Dr. Nara a couple of days ago after my first post. Afterward, I decided to simplify my routine to more closely follow his suggestions:
After the saltwater irrigation my gums feel amazing! Much better than plain water. I'm going to try this routine at least until my next dental cleaning and see how things go. So far I'm thoroughly impressed.
The salt taste is harsh but I feel like it draws saliva into my gums and keeps them moist. I just vigorously rinse with water and tongue scrape afterwards to get as much out of my mouth as possible. I'm using pickling/canning salt per Hal Higgins recommendation. After cleaning with the above routine and putting a pH strip in my mouth it reads super alkaline.
I will be doing the same recommendations. Funny thing the holistic dentist told me about the bacteria build up in my gums and suggested a special light therapy that costed 500 dollars. I think I will try this I have a feeling I just saved a lot of money. Just went to the pharmacy and got a water pick, forgot the dental tape though will get that too. Might look into that revive product he was talking about. I will let you know my results. I got gum issues in 3 spots with receding in several also have a little whole in the enamel and small cracks on 2 of my teeth near the gumline. also my enamel is stripped in a couple of places since using the soap it looks like that is coming back about a month. Most of this stuff was pre-811 but the whole and little cracks is when on the diet (though I had the gum issues before which probably contributed to the cracks just a matter of time)
I feel a difference already in my teeth they feel rock solid. Did a rinse with the wtar pik and salt water yesterday very cool. Great option for people who have troble flossing, great anyways. The kids love it ( hard to floss kids, easy to do this). Did another rinse with salt and hot water in a glass. Tried rinsing out with regular water after, though got most of it when I ate a fruit meal after it felt like some of the salt went down with the food. My stomach was not happy (could have been that particular fruit meal but it is rae I get that stomack discomfort).
I am hesitant with salt for that reason since some might go down also I know it is suppose to deaden the tastebuds. If I do salt rinses it will only be at night so I don`t eat anything after. Probably will replace it with baking soda rinses (possibly will keep salt abit to make sure the gums are undercontrol) since I don`t see any disadvantages with baking soda and it is suppose to be more effective. I know Don Bennet uses a clove oil rinse which is suppose to be effective and that could be an alternative as well just don`t know how effective or proven it is compared to these other ones.
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), a product used for many years by itself or in combination with other ingredients has several excellent properties. As a soft crystalline substance that dissolves readily, it has a mild abrasive potential. In solution it will kill on contact all of the motile microorganisms associated with periodontal infections, e.g. spirochetes, motile rods, etc. It will also kill other disease related bacteria. It will also neutralize and detoxify the bacterial acids and toxins that form in plaques (bacterial biofilms). I would put this inexpensive, readily available, product at the very top of the list of potentially beneficial dentifrice-ingredients.
Sodium chloride (table salt) Like baking soda, salt has been used for many years as a dentifrice, alone or in combination. When used alone it is rather stingy and unless milled, rather grainy. It is not highly abrasive, contrary to some opinions. In solution at higher concentrations it will kill on contact all motile microorganisms associated with periodontal infections. However, its antibacterial potential, while good, is not as powerful as that of sodium bicarbonate, and it will not detoxify bacterial byproducts. In higher concentrations it will reduce edema in the gingival tissues and stimulate circulation.
Info taken from. Funny he does not think glycerine is bad you can see what he says for now I will not be using it though)
After I look at all the info. I will propose a rock solid Hygiene program something similar to what we are doing except with health in mind as well also trying to stay away from uncertain things such as glycerine and using baking soda as a toothpaste. Possibly somethings will be recommended for certain cases but not always. I will also mention products both general and specific so people. Hopefully this is what people will use in the future (like on the 30 ban welcome tour) instead of the advice that seems to be leading people down the highway of dental wreckage
Hey Nate tried,
clove oil baking soda and salt in the irrigator. One thing I learned is don'r leave any solution left over night in the resevoir and don't use clove oil. It actually ate into the plastic.
I will be getting the vista jet irrigator because it has the deep pocket probes, I will also getting the restore toothpaste and the tooth builder, my wife has always had sensitives teeth hope it helps rebuild her enamel
Mikey, if I stored a solution in my Waterpik it would leak. I think it advised against that in the instructions anyway. Sorry about your luck if the clove oil ruined yours. Thanks for the advice.
I'm thinking of adding something in to kill the bacteria as well...
My receding gums have improved but my dental health state has remained mostly the same and has slightly gone downhill, with too much plaque buildup, which is leading to slight enamel erosion.
I don't think I was taking dental hygiene seriously enough, but I think it's time to start using something to control the bacteria...
Hi Tarah, It is good to be preventative and i many cases reverse issues
Do Bennet uses a clove oil mixture which seems to work just don't know how effective compared to things like salt water, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide. Right now for me I have to bring out the big guns and use things that have been proven to work on any diet.
we just got this new product from wholefoods, usually I make my own but my husband wanted some store bought stuff so... this is the first I've seen that looks good.
Hey Mikey, thanks for starting this discussion. I wish I had taken Dr. Doug's advice for dental health, brush twice and floss once daily with water and if you are eating sticky or stringy foods then clean more often. As most people, I as well as my family neglected oral hygiene because our mouths felt so clean. It was just so easy to skip a floss or a brush, plus we started out snacking throughout the day on tons of raisins and not brushing right after. We experienced some decline in dental health but quickly realized our mistake. So the lesson is to keep your teeth and mouth clean at all times imo. The ones who had no problems on 811 had good oral hygiene before and after 811. It still seems counter intuitive to me because monkeys don't brush and according to Weston Price, native people never brushed and neither have had the dental problems as we do. I think it must be a severely dilapidated constitution we have from all the chemicals, radiation and stress in our environment as well as poor processed diet from before 811 and the generational decline from getting further and further from our ideal diet.
I love this video from Dr. D on teeth, sorry if it's been posted before: