7 Lies about Dental Health

Monday Jan 9 | BY |
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Over the years, I’ve talked to hundreds of people who have experienced severe dental problems after changing their diet to a high-raw one. Even without a diet change, dental problems are very common and very costly.

After the age of 60, you can expect your dental costs to be at least what they’ve been up to that point in your life for your remaining years!

So if you’ve spent 20K on your teeth in your life up until 60, and you live another 25 years, you should expect to pay as a minimum another 20K over that period.

That’s on top of the pain, humiliation and disability that comes with bad teeth.

So let’s take a look at seven misconceptions regarding dental health that we should throw away once and for all.

#1. You should brush after every meal

Many people brush and floss after every meal and still end up with more decay and periodontal disease. This belief is reinforced after every visit to the dentist when they hand your “gift”: a toothbrush and some floss.

What the research has shown is that brushing after every meal does not prevent dental problems. It’s the QUALITY of your brushing and cleaning that makes a difference.

You could brush only once a day or even once every few days. If this cleaning session is done correctly, that’s what will prevent and reverse dental disasters. (That being said, I don’t recommend waiting a few days, but some research shows that it works if the cleaning is thorough enough!)

#2. You always have to repairs cavities

Most dentist will want to drill your teeth at the first sign of decay. But recent research showed that it’s possible to stop cavities dead in their tracks if you catch them young enough.

Of course, drilling and repairing teeth is better than NOT doing anything.

But naturally reversing a cavity is still the better way to go.

What you can do is ask your dentist when you absolutely have to repair the tooth. Usually, they’ll say that it’s okay to wait a few months but that you shouldn’t wait too long.

Then, use what you’ve learned in How to Heal and Prevent Dental Disasters to stop the cavity. When you go back, you might not have to do anything, as had happened to me ten years ago when I discovered this program!

#3. Sugar and carbohydrates are the cause

We think that sugar causes caries, but completely avoiding it is impossible. Even vegetables contain natural sugar, which the bacteria that cause dental disease LOVE just as much as artificial sugar.

In a previous ezine, I mentioned how the “primitive” Hawaiians ate a diet that was composed of 75-80% carbohydrates, including plenty of simple sugars. When Captain Cook discovered them in the late 18th century, they did not have any dental disease!

Sugar may be the fuel, but it’s not the cause of the disease. Remove the cause and the fuel won’t start a fire.

#4. Natural products work

Unfortunately, many people turn to natural solutions only to make their dental health worse. The health food stores are full of natural products that don’t work.

Tea tree oil is one such product. It has absolutely no proven benefits in reversing periodontal disease, yet it’s included in many natural kinds of toothpaste.

This is all marketing and only serves the companies that sell those products.

#5. Toothpaste is necessary

Whether you go the natural way or not, you’ll probably want to use some toothpaste. This is not a bad idea, depending on what you choose, but many brands contain ingredients that cause problems, such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate.

In reality, the abrasive ingredient in toothpaste (usually calcium carbonate) helps to remove stains and keep your teeth whiter. But that’s only cosmetic and won’t affect your dental health. Almost everything else in toothpaste is usually unnecessary!

#6. Flossing is critical

Recently we heard the news that flossing is one of the most unproven health recommendations ever made. No research has ever shown that flossing is effective. But it’s one of the most common dental health recommendations.

Don’t get me wrong: I think most people should at least floss. But for others, flossing won’t help. They’ll need to use something more effective instead.

#7. If you don’t brush your teeth you’ll have bad breath

You’ll often hear people say that they must have bad breath because they haven’t brushed their teeth in a while, like when traveling by plane.

In reality, bad breath is usually caused by a bad diet or periodontal disease — two things that brushing teeth can’t fix.

Like I said before, it’s not about how often you brush but how well you not only brush but follow a routine that works in preventing and reversing dental disasters.

So you could travel and not clean your teeth for nearly 24 hours, and you won’t have bad breath. Whereas someone else could brush all the time and still, have bad breath.

For more information, check out our program “How to Heal and Prevent Dental Disasters”: http://renegadehealth.com/blog/dentaldisasters

Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.


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  1. Brad Hylan says:

    I am a dentist and I have been in practice for 38 years. I eat a raw food diet. I have all 32 teeth and I do not have dental problems. I clean my mouth and teeth once a day before I go to sleep at night. I have no build up on my teeth and my gums are totally healthy. My comments below are based upon clinical practice and having seen thousands and thousands of patients over the years. My goal is not to debate anybody. I am happy to discuss my comments with anyone who has questions.

    It is my belief that most people do not consume enough greens. There is something referred to as an “Alkaline Reserve”. Consuming greens seems to raise the “Alkaline Reserve”.

    The people that seem to have a high alkaline reserve can get away with almost anything. They can burn the candle at both ends. They can eat and drink what ever they want. They can party until the sun comes up. And they seem to be healthy and they live to 100.

    People with a low alkaline reserve … all they have to do is look at something and they have health issues.

    There is an “Alkaline Reserve Test” that you can do by drinking lemon juice and using pH paper.

    It is my belief that almost 100% of dental problems are from an over acidity. When I have tested the pH of fruits they all test acidic. I understand that they leave an alkaline ash when evaluating the mineral content. However, their effect on your teeth is that of an acid.

    If your body can quickly counteract the initial acidic reaction of fruit, then there will not be problems.

    My suggestions are to not eat a lot of fruit. Eat fruits that are in season. If your teeth become sensitive to eating fruit, temporarily stop eating fruit for a few days. Green juices and green smoothies seem to help.

    You can also take a sip of water when you are done eating fruit. I understand the debates about water. If you don’t want to drink a small amount of water with a meal, then swish it in you mouth.

    You can brush with water or baking soda. I understand the possible contraindications for baking soda. Using baking soda is an option if you choose to use it. I recommend using a Sonicare Tooth Brush, flossing, using a water pik and proxa-brushes. You can do that once a day before you go to sleep at night.

    If you check out my web site (www.drbradhylan.com) understand that “The Best Dentistry is No Dentistry.” In other words the less I touch your teeth, the better it is. The best thing is your own natural healthy enamel.

    When patients are having problems, I often say to patients … “What are your Choices?” If you have a big cavity in your tooth and you are having pain … What do you want me to do?

    The is no ideal treatment. Do you want me to pull your tooth or do you want me to do a filling etc.? Not only is there no ideal treatment, there is no ideal filling material. Nothing compares to your own enamel!!! If you are very concerned about the materials being used for your dental treatment, there is a test call The Clifford Material Reactivity Test that enables us to use biocompatible materials.

    Usually when I see patients, I like to discuss your Health Goals before I even look in mouth. Over the years I have read thousands and thousands of pages of research. I will be the first one to tell you I don’t have all the answers. What I do is share my research with you and together we discuss what would be best for you.

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