August 16

How I Almost Lost My Teeth on Raw Foods

Filed under Dental Health by Frederic Patenaude

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:

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:

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.

12 Responses to “How I Almost Lost My Teeth on Raw Foods”

  1. Thanks for sharing your story Fred!

    I’m really enjoying reading Dr. Nara’s book. I’m not 100% done with it yet, but I am really glad that he specifically says it’s not technically the fruit’s fault and that given you have proper oral hygiene, it’s not a problem at all.

    Glad you were able to turn your dental health around! 🙂

  2. Sharon says:

    Would like to order your dental program offered at sale price of $19.95. Why is it coming up at 37.00? Thank you.

  3. Frederic Patenaude says:

    The price has been fixed.

  4. Kathleen says:

    I am reading the book and have been using the tooth soap. My teeth do feel better and seem cleaner. However, I strongly disagree with the use of fluoride. Even if it does work (which I do not believe) it is highly toxic and I’m surprised that anyone who is health conscious would use it.

  5. Frederic Patenaude says:

    I am not talking about fluoride in water. I used a fluoride toothpaste when my dental health was in its lowest point. Did you read the rest of the article?

  6. Beverly says:

    Hi, in response to your dental article I have a few comments. First of all I am starting raw, not even close to there yet. But dental wise, I have not had a cavity in decades. My secret, I used to have sensitive teeth also, is simple. First get a dental hygienist who is supportive and not out to create business. I have my teeth scaled four times a year. Have tried other intervals and it does not work out well for gum disease. It may be different for others, find what works. Also floss with flouride floss. Purchase a water flosser, best 50.00 ever spent. Water floss after every meal or brush after every meal, religiously. Rinse mouth with water after meals also. Use a soft toothbrush, so not to scrub away the enamel. Rotate between flouride paste and natural.
    Use diluted listerine for a rinse and for gum maintenance. Yes it sounds involved, but I have only had one root canal, had my few cavities replaced with porcelain and I still have all my teeth, except wisdom, which were pulled in my twenties. As for the fruit part, I am not a big sugar person, but good to know so I won’t go overboard on that stuff. Good luck.

  7. William lesh says:

    Agreeing with “Beverly”…and…Anyone who flosses regularly gets plenty of visual proof
    Of the high amount of plaque and food particles that a soft
    Toothbrush misses!

  8. Piotr says:

    What about “ramiel nagiel – cure tooth decay” ? Did somebody even tried to look at this book? Author talked about totally different theory… that bacteria in mouth are normal, and lack of minerals in diet is the reason of cavities. And he has created diet for teeth, which is totally different than raw food, even low-fat 😉

  9. Andrea says:

    Frederic thank you for posting this. I just searched for the post where you talk about your mom losing weight. I wanted to ask you something. I have been doing fat free diet for about 3 to 4 weeks . Drink a banana and berries smoothie in the morning, with some spinach. Mid morning I might eat some bananas, I have a huge salad at lunch time with lots of tomato so I do not need salad dressing, and then I eat lots of white potatoes which I love, just plain. I may eat 6 to 8 potatoes, and if I am at home the whole day and feel lazy I might just eat potatoes and no salad. On occasions I have brown rice with some steamed veggies. On rare occasions I have some dates. I do not drink coffee or tea. I do cheat in occasions when I go for socials. I am running at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes (slow running), but the weight loss is very slow. Like perhaps two kilos and depending on the day I get the two kilos back. Do you think I am eating too much potatoes, or perhaps not drinking enough water? Thanks, Andrea

  10. Frederic Patenaude says:

    @Andrea. I would cut down on the fruit at this point and also the potatoes. The amount of potatoes seems a bit high if you’re trying to lose weight. Try cutting about 250 calories and replacing that with more salad. The key is really to replace some of the carbs with low-calorie foods like salads and vegetables! Instead of potatoes, try lower calorie steamed veggies like squash, winter squash, carrots, etc.

  11. Andrea says:

    Frederic, Thank you. Will try that. Andrea

  12. Hi, I`m happy, because at the end, any of the american raw gurus are starting to speak about the problems of a raw diet. I was raw fooder, and after this fruitarian, for 4 years in the past, then I start to have many problems, like dental problems, energy low, depression, black hair (aging), etc… But i was lucky to have the Arnold Ehret book MUCUSLESS DIET HEALING SYSTEM. Ehret says that Raw Food is not the way. He says that you must have a long and slowly transition diet, from your old conventional omnivorous (or even vegetarian diet) to the ideal juice fruit diet. He says that is beter for the body, eat a cook vegetable, than a high protein raw meal. Also he says that fruit can make you many problems, if you eat it whit a dirty body, because fruit make problems when it became mixed whit the old mucus acumulated in the body, after years of wrong eating. Also he says that fruit produce a strong elimination process, that many times is too heavy for the elimination organs, such as the liver and the kidnes. He had design a cleasing diet, that includes cook vegetables, cook fruits, and if elimination is too strong, use some potatoes or some destrined whole tosted bread (destrined is a slow toasted sistem, that transform the bread into a brush for the intestinal trackt). The raw foodist thinks that you can pass from a conventional diet to an ideal diet in just a few weeks. They forget that YOU NEED TO CLEAN FIRST YOUR BODY TOTALY FROM OLD WASTE OF WRONG FOODS, BEFORE MAKE RUN A NATURAL IDEAL HUMAN DIET (THE JUICI FRUIT DIET). All the raw fooders, eat too many times in the day, and plenty of seeds and avocados, that are not ideal for as, because they are acid forming. You can have teeth problems, only when you are overacid in you organism. It can be because you are eating a very bad diet, or because you are eating lot of fruit, and the fruit are triying to eliminate all the acid waste acumulate in you body after years of a no natural diet. I saved my teeth, thanks to ARNOLD EHRET. Many of the friends, that was row fooders, when I was, are death or totally ill, thanks to the obsesion to follow a ideal diet, whit a not clean body. Many row fooders think that they are clean, because they are 5 or 6, or 7, etc… years eating raw, but the reality is that they are even more dirty than before they start eating a raw diet. Because you can be years and years eating a natural diet in a dirty body, any meal became mixed whit the old mucus, in your intestinal trackt, and this natural foods, became toxins after mixed in your body whit the old toxins.

    gretings from Cartagena, Murcia, Spain.
    Please Frederic, contact whit me to schange information.
    Light of Love, Diego.

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