Before I get into today’s article, I want to update you about next week’s Woodstock Fruit Festival! I will spend a week along with almost 400 health seekers in beautiful New York state. Why not come and join the party, meet me and other raw food experts and chat and have a great time? Get the details at: http://www.thewoodstockfruitfestival.com/
I’m about to tell you the incredible story of how I almost lost my teeth on the raw food diet, and what I did to completely reverse the situation and never get another cavity again.
I’ve told parts of the story before, but never did I tell it all in one place.
The most important part of the story is where I will tell you what I did to solve my issues, and the unfortunate fact that many raw foodists and health enthusiasts still refuse to believe that their diet is not more likely to cause dental problems than other diets.
In the summer of 1996, I discovered the raw food diet and started a lifelong passion for natural health. I was 20 years old, and I had just discovered Natural Hygiene through the writings of a relatively unknown author, Albert Mosséri.
This led me to passionately pursue this path and study everything I could on the topic. By the summer of 1997, I had decided to go 100% raw.
And I stayed 100% — without any cheating — for over 3 and 1/2 years.
I was a committed raw foodist. I wanted to make it work. And I even travelled all the way from Montreal, Canada, to San Diego, California, to live this lifestyle and learn everything I could learn about it.
When I first studied Natural Hygiene, I read many books by Dr. Herbert Shelton, one of the most influential writers in this movements. In one of his classic books, he claimed that tooth brushes were doing more harm than good.
After all, aggressive brushing can damage the enamel, and animals in nature have great teeth without using toothbrushes.
Shelton believed that as long as one ate natural foods — like apples and lettuce, teeth would naturally get cleaned and it was not necessary to use a toothbrush.
I thought his reasoning made sense and went along with his philosophy.
But I did not completely stop brushing my teeth. What I did is simply very often neglect to brush my teeth, thinking that chewing an apple was enough to “naturally clean the teeth.”
During my first few years raw, I also ate a lot of food. Initially, I was a simple raw foodist, eating an 80-10-10 diet (without knowing it) of just fruits and vegetables and limited fat.Then in California, I discovered raw cuisine and started eating delicious raw cakes, dips and other recipes. I also ate plenty of dates and amazing tropical fruits, like cherimoyas and durian.
After about two years on the diet, I started experiencing pain in my teeth. But I procrastinated and neglected going to the dentist.
Then another year passed and I finally did.
That’s when I got some shocking news.
I had 19 cavities!
It cost me a lot of pain and money to fix all of these cavities, and at that point I of course realized that Shelton’s advice was horribly wrong, so I started to brush my teeth religiously.
Initially, all of these dental problems made me go off the diet, and I started eating cooked food again.
But it didn’t take too long before I felt inspired to go back on the 100% raw food diet.
Two years then past, and one of my fillings broke. I was eating a grape, and the seed in the grape broke a filling in my mouth. So I reluctantly went back to the dentist, hoping that I wouldn’t have more cavities.
In the past two years, I had been very careful.
After each meal, I would brush my teeth or at the very least swirl water in my mouth to neutralize the acids in fruits.
I thought I was doing pretty good.
But then my dentist had pretty bad news for me again.
I had over 20 NEW cavities!
I was floored.
I almost couldn’t breathe.
I couldn’t believe this was happening to me again.
The cavities were not as deep as the first time, and fortunately nothing required major intervention like root canals. But it was so disheartening to see that all of my efforts over the last few years had been in vain.
Something was terribly wrong!
I had to go back to the dentist four times to get all of my teeth fixed. It was a lot of pain, a huge expense, and just very traumatizing.
At that point, I realized that this was somehow linked to my diet.
So I decided I could not be a raw foodist anymore. I changed my diet completely.
I stopped eating fruit meals twice a day, and instead ate some fruit along with yogurt in the morning.
I had vegetable stir fries and rice for launch.
For dinner, I started to eat animal protein along with vegetables and maybe potatoes. I initially started with eggs, and then ate fish, chicken and red meat.
I did not like this new diet as much as the fruit-based one I was following before. I had less energy, and I felt huge guilt about eating animal products and foods I had initially thought were really bad for health. But I felt I had no choice. If I stayed on the raw food diet, I would probably lose my teeth.
At the time, I started using Toothsoap instead of regular toothpaste, but I did also use a fluoride toothpaste several times a week.
And of course, the main change in my diet was that I stopped being a raw foodist and stopped eating a lot of fruit.
About nine months later, I noticed some brown spots on the base of some of my teeth. They looked like cavities.
I was flabbergasted! Not again!
So I went back to my dentist to get this checked immediately.
Then he told me that I had absolutely no cavities and that in fact, everything was looking great.
“What about the brown spots I asked.”
He said “Those look like what happens what a tooth re-enamelize. It looks like a cavity started to form, but then you did something to stop it so the tooth had a chance to heal. That can only happen when the cavity is very young.”
At that point I had the proof I needed.
I had indeed solved my dental decay in its tracks.
However, was it the toothsoap? Was it my use of the fluoride toothpaste? Was it my change of diet?
I felt it was a combination of all these things.
I was happy to have solved my dental problems, but I did not solve my diet problems.
I just wasn’t thriving eating all of this fat and animal products.
But at the same time, I did not want to go back on the raw food diet and risk losing my teeth.
That take us to around 2005, when I met Dr. Doug Graham and went fasting in Costa Rica. When I came back, I decided to eat an 80-10-10 diet and avoid most sources of fat, focusing my diet on fruit and greens.
I was looking forward to see what would happen to my teeth on that diet.
I kept the rest of my dental hygiene routine the same.
After about a year, I went to the dentist, and I had two cavities.
So I had done a lot better, but I had not solved my issues entirely. And I also had the proof that as far as I was concerned, eating a fruit-based diet was causing more decay.
That’s about when I discovered an incredible book called Money By The Mouthful, by Dr. Nara. I eventually acquired the rights to publish this book directly from the publisher, and this book is included in the package “How to Heal and Prevent Dental Disasters,” which is on sale right now for a limited time at: http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/oralhealth.html
The book was a revelation.
It made me understand exactly what had gone wrong and why I was having these problems.
After I followed the advice in the book, I never had another cavity EVER again. And yet, I kept eating a lot of fruit.
You’ll get a much better idea once you read the book, but here’s the basic concepts that I discovered:
1) Dental decay is a disease. It has to do essentially with an “infestation” of a certain type of bacteria in the mouth. When these bacteria are allowed to proliferate, the organize into “colonies” and it becomes extremely difficult to eradicate them if you follow standard dental hygiene protocols.
2) The terrain is everything. The reason I had another 20 cavities just two years after I got 19 cavities, even though I brushed my teeth and was careful, was because I had created such a bad “environment” in my mouth were bacteria were having a party. My little brushing was not enough to eradicate them.
3) Bacteria feed on sugar, which is why the raw food diet is more cariogenic. “Cariogenic” is term used by dentists to describe a diet or condition that causes more dental decay. It’s a simple equation: more sugar = more chance for the bacteria to feed and cause cavities. The type of sugar (white of fruit) doesn’t matter. They will feed on anything.
4) The raw food diet is also more cariogenic because people tend to eat more often. More sugar exposure = more cavities.
5) You have to eradicate the bacteria. The only way to reverse the situation is to create an oral environment where bacteria are in a sort of free-flowing state, not able to accumulate and form plaque. Traditional hygiene routines like brushing your teeth twice a day is not enough to reverse the situation.
It would actually take a while to describe the process.
That’s why I recommend to everyone concerned about their dental health to apply the information in the book “Money by the Mouthful” available at:
The sale is on for a few more days. After that, the price will be raised.
Filed under Dental Health by Frederic Patenaude
A few months ago, I went for an appointment to the dentist. I’m always a little apprehensive when I go to the dentist, because around 2002-2003 I went through major problems, all caused by eating the WRONG kind of raw food diet, and also following the wrong dental health information.
My teeth have been doing great for a while, but like I said, I have a little anxiety every time I go to the dentist, based on my past experience.
And I was worried this time because I noticed that a lot of my teeth started to have brown spots at the base of them. I was crossing my fingers I wasn’t starting to get more cavities out of nowhere!
The dental hygienist told me I didn’t have any cavities, but she didn’t know what the spots were caused by.
She asked me, “do you drink coffee or tea regularly”
I said no.
She asked “do you drink wine regularly?”
I said no.
She tried to find the culprit to the stains on the teeth, but couldn’t.
Finally the dentist did his own exam, and he discovered what the problem was. He said:
“Your teeth are too clean!”
He explained to me that there’s a class of bacteria that absorb iron and only proliferate when they don’t have competition from other types of bacteria, like the ones that cause decay. This only happens in very clean environments.
This bacteria is harmless, but they can leave brown stains on the teeth due to the fact that they absorb iron.
He said “We don’t usually see that!”
My dentist then told me that I just needed to slack off on my dental hygiene routine. I could simply occasionally skip a brushing session, or not use the oral irrigator every day.
So I left the dentist office pretty happy, with a small bill, and white teeth (they managed to remove the stains manually), knowing that my biggest problem was:
My teeth are too clean!
*They All Have Bad Teeth*
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Dental Disasters” for $17 instead of $37. Use coupon code
Many raw foodists I have met have bad teeth. Almost all of the raw food gurus I know have had some kinds of dental problems.
I could give you many specific examples, but the list would just go on and on.
Certain gurus and authors, even some that I respect like Dr. Doug Graham, claim that there’s actually no issue with raw foods causing dental problems. They will say that dentists are not overwhelmed with raw food patients!
But that’s simply because the percentage of the population that eats a raw food diet is very small! Yet in that small fringe population, most of them have serious dental problems.
Just go to a raw food festival, and then ask people one-by-one about that.
Then go to a motorcycling festival, and ask people about that.
You will get two different sets of answers! Yes, most people have had SOME kind of dental work done.
But with raw foodists, the issue I see are sudden problems that start shortly after they go raw, that often escalate, leading them to stop eating the diet.
So let’s be absolutely clear:
You are more likely to have dental problems on a raw food diet than other diets!
The reason is simple: there’s just more sugar in the raw food diet.
Now, I don’t think that fruit sugar is bad for you, but most of us have too high of a bacteria count in our mouths to begin with! This may not be a problem on a diet of chicken and bread, but with raw foods — and all the acidity and sugar in fruit, it can be a disaster.
Another way to look at it is this:
You have to be in great health and have AWESOME teeth to eat a raw food diet and NOT develop dental problems. The average person will have those problems.
The great thing is that you can reverse it.
You could even have the inverse problem, like me. My teeth were simply TOO clean not only for decay, but in fact to remain perfectly white.
Teeth like mine can’t decay — pure and simple.
Now, I had to make modifications to make sure they stay white (by the way, the brown spots were not visible in my smile, because they were at the base of the teeth).
I have to let my bacteria count grow only a little bit!
But most people don’t have my problem, because they don’t know what I know.
When I first experienced dental problems on the raw food diet, I went on a quest to find answers. This led me to publish the program “How to Heal and Prevent Dental Disasters in 21 Days or Less.”
This program will teach you everything.
It’s on sale right now, check it out at:
Make sure to use coupon code ORALHEALTH to save $20 this weekend only.
Normally, the program costs $37.
This weekend, the price is $20 if you use coupon code:
My last article, “Why Raw-Foodists Have Such Bad Teeth and What to Do About It” caused a big shock among my subscriber database!
After I sent out my ezine, I’ve received questions from lots of confused readers. Let me answer some of these questions in today’s issue!
Commercial Bananas & Monkeys!
“… If we are referring to a commercially grown banana, then what is true is that the ratio of sugar(s) to mineral salts is out of balance. And the same applies to all commercially grown foods.
In my own experience, eating primarily organically(my own) fruits and vegetables, and with very poor oral hygiene, maybe I brushed my teeth once a week, and often less regularly, and with a high incidence of fruit in my diet, one of the meals per day, of the two habitually eaten being fruit, I experienced re-capping of two teeth….”
John L Fielder DO,DC,ND(Adel) Osteopath & Lifestyle Consultant_Academy of Natural Living
When I was in Costa Rica, I saw the following sign at a National Park. This is a word-by-word transcript of the sign. When I go back there, I will photograph it for everyone to see it:
Contrary to the stereotype, bananas are not the preferred food of monkeys in the wild. Bananas, especially those containing pesticides can be upsetting to the monkeys’ delicate digestive system and cause serious dental problems that can lead to eventual death.
Certainly, your point is valid concerning the ratio of minerals to sugar in commercial foods. However, most raw-foodists don’t have access to 100% organic foods. They have to do with the best they can find.
That’s why I feel the Super-Hygiene program I present in my ebook can do wonders for saving your teeth, because we cannot have 100% control over our environment.
Congratulations on your results with your teeth! But most people I know are not as lucky. When I first went raw, I moved to a very sunny environment, I ate almost everything organic, and I ended up with a mouthful of cavities…
“Teeth Crumbling Out”
Dear Frederic, I’ve been reading your newsletters with great interest and particularly the one about teeth.
My teeth have been crumbling and falling out and it’s at the stage where a dentist says they all need to come out and get myself dentures. I’m sorry to bother you but I’m desperate. Can I reverse this trend and restore my teeth or at the very least stop the rot? Thank you. Best wishes,Monica
I’m sorry to hear about your teeth. I’m certain your dentist can direct you to what’s best for you. However it would be a good idea to get a second opinion from other dentists (especially qualified holistic ones).
I don’t know what’s possible for you. I know that implementing a really careful hygienic program can often bring great improvements.
In my ebook “How to End Dental Decay Forever: a Daily Checklist”, I detail my “super-hygiene” method in details. I suggest you give it a try and also show it to your dentist, which I’m certain can only approve it as it can only help your situation.
The ebook can be found at: http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/mentorclub.html
“Confused by conflicting Dental Information”
“I’m really confused about all this conflicting dental info. Just curious, when you say diet isn’t the cause, then what causes the imbalance of bacteria in the first place? Also, do you advocate using sea salt?” Georgia
I personally no longer have any confusion about dental health. The information regarding the true cause of dental decay has been available for a long time, but due to misinformation we have preferred to entertain ourselves with complicated theories.
The proliferation of bacteria in the oral environment is caused by a variety of factors, including poor diet, genetic factors, inoculation, and many others.
Once bacteria are there, they form colonies that feed off sugar and this situation is very hard to reverse unless you apply some a very careful hygienic plan!
Sea salt is a natural antimicrobial, and it helps neutralize acidity. So it is of help in fighting decay. All you have to do is combine a little sea salt and baking soda for a natural tooth “paste” that works really well.
If you want perfect dental checkups for the rest of your life, you have to go beyond “normal hygiene!
Here’s an excerpt from my ebook “How to End Dental Decay Forever – A Daily Checklist”:
“Normal hygiene means basically doing what you’ve been told to do by your parents or teachers, when it comes to taking care of your teeth. It means going to the dentist once a year, and brush your teeth like a good little boy or girl.
Normal hygiene is obviously not enough! Why? Because if you don’t give germs a chance to proliferate, you should never have a cavity in your life. So just the fact that almost everybody has a mouthful of fillings, proves that normal hygiene is a failure.
Super Hygiene means keeping the mouth environment so clean, so that the bacteria are always in a free flowing state.With Super-Hygiene, you basically won’t give those nasty bacteria a chance to cause any damage, either in the immediate or distant future.”
Filed under Dental Health by Frederic Patenaude
What I’ll share with you in this article may come as a shock to you, but there are some things that need to be said about the real *weak link* of the raw food diet. I’m talking about the poor dental health of raw-foodists.
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 â€œhealth groupâ€ 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 raw-foodists
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.
A study done in Germany (which can be found here) found that when subjects switched to a raw-food diet, they experienced a higher incidence of enamel erosion.
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 many years.
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 decay.
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 teeth because…
- They don’t eat enough greens
- They don’t get the proper ratio of calcium/phosphorus
- They are not consuming â€œsuper nutritionâ€
- 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.
Suddently, they dump a bunch of sugar into their mouths. This sugar creates a giant feast for the bacteria who feed on them.
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 talking about:
- Fresh fruits (bananas, mangoes, etc.)
- Fruit juices
- Dried fruits
- Nuts and seeds (which stick to the teeth)
- Raw food â€œbarsâ€ 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 the bacteria.
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 your mouth.
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 count!
The Only Solution
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.
You have to move from a regular hygiene program to a *super* hygiene program.
Increasing the time you brush
Using an oral irrigator
Using a tongue scraper
And going through a daily routine that takes about 6 minutes instead of the usually two, and do it 2-3 times a day!
That’s the only effective way to prevent dental decay and gum disease for life.