"Why Raw-Foodists Have Problems With Their Teeth
How to avoid dental decay, gum disease and erosion for good."
by Frederic Patenaude
To anyone involved in the raw-food and vegan movement or to anyone who cares about their health, please pass along this letter to as many people as possible.
Research and practical experience has demonstrated that raw-foodists get more problems with their teeth than the average American. This is a very unfortunate situation, since the dental health of Americans is already very bad.
One of the few scientific studies done in Germany on the health of raw-foodists showed that they get more cavities and more dental erosion than the rest of the population. This has been observed by nearly every single raw-food leader and author I have talked to, which have seen that the dental health of raw-foodists is indeed, very bad.
I am sharing this information with you because this issue is very dear to me. Due to the misinformation that I have received through reading raw-food books and listening to bad advice from many leaders in the raw-food and natural hygiene movement, and also due to my own ignorance, my dental health has suffered tremendously. Before becoming a raw-foodist, at the age of 20, and with no special care in my diet or dental hygiene, I had a few fillings only. After 4 years on a raw or mostly raw vegan diet, I got 19 cavities. Even then, with renewed efforts in order to reverse the situation, the decay pursued its course and I got other cavities.
This unfortunate situation led me to find the truth and lies about dental decay and gum disease and this is why I am sharing this information with you today.
By carefully following the advice below I have been able to reverse the situation and even re-enamelize some of my teeth.
Understand this: Only one thing can cause tooth decay, erosion and gum disease: acidity. The acidity can come from the foods you eat, or be produced by acid producing bacteria that live in the mouth. These bacteria live of sugar and decomposed food particles. If the teeth are clean, if acidity is removed from the teeth promptly, if sugar is not allowed to remain in the mouth for very long and if enough minerals are present in the diet to build strong, decay-resistant teeth, you will avoid erosion and never have problems with your teeth and gums ever again.
The reasons why raw-foodists have problems with their teeth are the following:
1- After eating, the PH in the mouth drops to a more acid state. It takes 1-2 hours for it to go up. If you are snacking often, like most raw-foodists are, the PH in the mouth will stay acid. This is a perfect environment for bacteria to do their work and produce even more acids that will create tooth decay. But this will not occur if the following factors are not present.
2- Raw foodists eat too much dried fruit and too many dehydrated foods. Dried fruit and dehydrated foods encourage tooth decay and gum disease. Dried fruit and dehydrated foods stick to the teeth and provide PERFECT nourishment for the acid-producing bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. This includes all dried fruit, fruit bars, trail mixes, dehydrated crackers, raw burgers, as well as nuts and seeds (although nuts and seeds do not have a negative impact on the teeth if they are eaten in moderation. Soaking them in advance is better)
3- Raw-foodists eat too many acid foods. Acid foods have a negative impact on the teeth. Those include lemon juice, fruit juice, citrus fruit, unripe fruit, vinegar and other acid foods.
4- Constant contact with sugary foods encourages tooth decay and gum disease. If your teeth are in constant contact with sugar, even the natural sugars in the form of coconut water, honey, dried fruit, fruit juice or other sugary foods tooth decay will occur. It is not okay to sip coconut water all day long, drink fruit juices, and snack often on sugary foods.
5- Raw diets can be deficient in many important alkaline minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, that are necessary to build strong enamel. Sufficient levels of vitamin D and phosphorus are also necessary to build strong teeth. Those nutrients can be obtained in a balanced diet. (How? Click here).
If the following measures are taken, dental decay and gum disease can be prevented and teeth can be healed up to their potential. Realize that this is the very minimum you can do to insure healthy teeth for life.
1- Rinse your mouth with water during and after eating, especially when eating fruit and acid foods. Rinsing your mouth with water during and after meals will help prevent tooth decay. Water and other neutral liquid wash out acidity. Whole fresh fruit will have no negative impact on the teeth if the acids are removed promptly from the teeth by sipping water as you eat and rinsing your mouth with water after youre done eating. Whenever you eat fruit, rinse your mouth with water immediately after the meal. And as you are eating your fruit, sip on some water too. An even better idea would be to eat celery after every fruit meal.
2- After eating certain high-sugar fruits that tend to leave residues on the teeth, you should floss and brush your teeth (just water and a brush is fine).
Those sweet fruits are: bananas, dates, really ripe figs, persimmons, mangoes, cherimoyas, durian, jackfruit, sapodilla, sugar apple, sweet sapote, mammey, etc. You can also eat greens after a meal of such fruits, but brushing your teeth is a good idea.
After eating other types of juicy fruits, it is not necessary to brush your teeth, but it is still a good idea to finish that meal with greens (such as lettuce and celery), and/or swich water in your mouth (you can also use water mixed with some Celtic sea salt, to restore alkalinity in the mouth environment).
Those juicy fruits include all the following and more: citrus fruits, apples, grapes, kiwis, pineapple, berries, melons, papaya, pears, peaches, plums, litchi, etc.
3- Avoid dried fruits and dried foods. Dried fruit and dehydrated foods are NOT raw foods and are not health foods. Replacing the oven with a dehydrator is not a good move. Eat fresh foods, not dried foods. However, if you happen to eat some dried fruit or dehydrated foods, eat an apple or some celery after, and brush your teeth as soon as possible.
4- You should try brushing your teeth with bar soap. According to Dr. Gerald Judd, Ph.D: Reenamelization of the teeth occurs when they are clean. All toothpastes make a barrier of glycerine on the teeth which would require 20 rinses to get it off. A good solution for clean teeth, which I have used for 5 years, is bar soap. Wet the brush, swipe the bar two or three times with it, then brush the teeth thoroughly and the gums gently. Rinse with water three or four times. All oils are washed off the teeth and the gums are disinfected. The bacteria are killed by the soap. The teeth are then ready for reenamelization with calcium and phosphate in the diet. You can use any regular bar soaps. Find one that you like. It takes some time getting used to it but you teeth will never feel so clean.
5- Avoid constant contact with sugar. It is okay to eat a lot of fruit, but have it all in a few meals, rather than snacking on it throughout the day. Also avoid sipping on fruit juice, coconut water, etc.
6- Insure proper nutrition. In order to build strong, decay-resistant teeth, certain important minerals must be present in the diet. Particularly important are calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D. For more information, read this.
7- Remove food particles. It is not necessary to floss, but food particles that get caught in-between the teeth and along the gum line must be removed. You can use dental floss or learn to use a tooth pick. It is important to do this once or twice a day.
8- Research shows that it's more important HOW WELL we brush rather than HOW OFTEN we brush. A good brushing with a soft brush takes 2-3 minutes. Same for flossing. Reach every corner of your teeth and do a thorough job. Two such thougrough brushings followed or preceded by flossing per day is enough.
Had this simple information been presented to me, I would have saved $4000 in dental work and avoided the trauma of dealing with dental problems.
Had this simple information not been presented to me, the decay would have continued its course, leading to worse problems that would have required: root canals, crowns, teeth extractions and ultimately the demise of my teeth.
Do take this information seriously and pass it along to your friends.
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