Lately I’ve been getting some frantic emails from people concerned they might lose their teeth by going raw. It’s hard for me to understand all the hubbub because the health of my teeth and gums have improved dramatically since going 100% raw.
I explain everything you need to know by answering Julia’s question below. I’ll also share my own raw food, dental health improvement testimonial.
Listen To This
Yesterday I also recorded an audio on this topic just a minute after I finished my LSFP workout in the park. I’m testing out a new digital recorder.
Please excuse some of the background noise as I was walking outside while talking. You can actually hear my footsteps. And keep in mind I’m talking off the top of my head with no editing.
Something interesting happened at about two minutes into the recording. Total length of the audio is 4 minutes and 48 seconds.
Make sure to turn up your speakers.
Click on the triangle in the green box below to play.
You can also fast forward, pause and reverse with the controls.
I wondered if you could give me your opinion on the use of oral irrigators and tongue scrapers? Are they necessary/helpful? Since eating significantly more fruit I have been more fastidious with my brushing and flossing, but hear so many horror stories of raw food eaters suffering decay and gum disease. Your opinion would be much appreciated.
Personally, I haven’t seen that going raw is bad for your teeth. It shouldn’t be a "horror story" at all. A good raw food diet is much better for your dental health than just about any cooked food diet.
Many of the problems you’ve heard about came from the early Raw Food Diet pioneers. In fact, in the early days of going raw, people believed you didn’t need to brush your teeth. I know this because I read it myself in the literature and believed it for a while.
They figured if animals don’t brush their teeth, then why should I because I’m now eating nature’s diet the raw food diet. But what they didn’t take into account was that their diet wasn’t completely natural and they weren’t living in nature. This miscalculation may have caused them severe dental erosion and tooth decay.
If anything, your dental health can and should improve by going raw. If you eat an Optimal Raw Food Diet, eat plenty of greens as a part of that diet and follow good dental hygiene practices, you should have no problems at all.
You see my oral health has dramatically improved since going raw. I used to have a receding gum line while eating cooked food. But that stopped many years ago.
And it’s definitely caused by the cooked food diet. In the days when I was switching between cooked and raw I could see the damage. Every time I went back to eating cooked food for a significant period, my gums started receding again. Then when I went back to eating raw, the receding completely stopped.
Also when I was eating cooked food I would get infections in my gums all the time. When I eat raw I never get those infections anymore.
The raw foodists I work with and personally know, usually have better teeth than before they went raw. I think the key is what kind of raw diet you eat and also maintaining your normal oral hygiene methods.
I haven’t been to a dentist since going 100% raw. I haven’t needed to as my teeth and gums haven’t given me any problems. I was living with two other raw foodists and their teeth where great as well. When they went for their checkups with the dentist, they had better results than in their cooked food days.
I’ve heard the same thing from Dr. Douglas Graham when he goes for his dental checkups. His dentist is always amazed at the great state of health of his mouth.
Here Are The Pitfalls To Avoid:
One of the main reasons the early raw foods pioneers had lots of tooth decay was eating dried fruit all the time. Avoid eating lots of dried fruit like raisins, dates, figs etc. Dried fruit has more concentrated sugars.
These sugars tend to get stuck on your teeth in little clumps precisely because it is dried. It’s these little clumps of sugar that stay on your teeth that can cause cavities and erode the enamel. Bacteria comes and feeds off of these tiny clumps of sugar and this is what causes the erosion. If you do eat some dried fruit, you should brush your teeth soon afterward.
Eating nuts and seeds can cause similar problems. So when you do eat those, make sure to brush your teeth soon afterward. Also the typical high fat raw food diet is likely a major culprit in having poor dental health. I rarely hear of any dental problems of people following the Optimal or Low Fat Raw Food Diet.
Some people may also be sensitive to acidic or citrus types of fruit. If so then brush immediately after eating those. The problem with the oranges that most people eat is that they weren’t ripe before they were picked. So although you’re eating food from nature, it’s not in the form you’d get it if you picked the fruit yourself.
In general, I recommend to take it easy on the citrus fruit when going raw. Unless of course you live in an area where you can get them tree ripened. And they taste much better like that anyway. You can eat oranges and other citrus fruit, I just wouldn’t make them the staple in your diet on a day in and day out basis.
Remember to brush your teeth soon after eating citrus fruit. Personally, they’ve never caused me any problems whatsoever, but the poor starting state of the dental health of most people can make eating oranges a problem. I used to eat plenty of oranges in my cooked food days as well and they never caused me problems then either.
Because of generations of cooked food eating the dental health of most people is inferior. By the time they get to a raw food diet they already have all sorts of holes in their teeth and or a thin layer of enamel that the smallest irritation hurts their teeth.
That is not a problem due to going raw. That is poor teeth to begin with. And unfortunately that’s what most people have.
Otherwise, if you eat fresh, ripe, raw and organic fruits and vegetables you shouldn’t have any problem when going raw. Really, I’ve worked with hundreds of people, been to many support group meetings and I rarely hear anyone having dental problems.
Just remember to brush your teeth and floss as you normally would. Though you might want to consider the kind of toothpaste you use. It seems that commercial toothpastes create a coating on your teeth that can stay there for up to 20 days or so. That coating supposedly blocks the ability of your teeth to remineralize.
Yes that’s right. Even if you get cavities, your teeth can heal themselves. If you eat a mineral rich raw food diet and use Toothsoap or baking soda instead of commercial toothpaste, your teeth will naturally fill in the holes. With this knowledge, you may never need to go the dentist again. Frederic Patenaude has a whole program showing you how to have great dental health.
So to summarize, I’ve heard of these tooth problems but that was more in the past when people didn’t know what they were doing. It also has to do with eating the unnatural high fat raw food diet or Hollywood Raw. Stick to low fat raw, and stay away from dried fruit and you’ll have a radiant smile and sparkling teeth.
To Your Radiant Health, Happiness, Fitness and Freedom, Roger