Renegade Health Radio: How to Save Your Teeth

Monday Apr 14 | BY |
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How to Save Your Teeth

  • What’s the number one cause of dental problems in raw foodists?
  • How I overcame big problems with sensitive teeth with this one change alone.
  • Is it possible to reverse cavities? Kevin and Frederic share their own tips. (Also: When should you give up and go to the dentist!)
  • A completely natural way to brighten your teeth.
  • If you’ve had dental health problems, here’s one thing that you can do that can save your teeth, according to Frederic.
  • Why Frederic and I almost fought about this one issue. (But eventually agreed in the end!)


Kevin: Renegade Health Radio. This is Kevin Gianni with Frederic Patenaude.

Fredric: Hello everybody.

Kevin: What’s going on?

Fredric: Well, it’s spring. Great time. It’s getting warmer here, and I spent all my day yesterday at the dentist. Not all of the day, but, you know, most of the afternoon, let’s just say.

Kevin: You just go there to read the magazines in the waiting room?

Fredric: Not exactly, no. About ten…more like 12 year ago, yeah, I guess it started 14 years ago, you know, I was a raw foodist and I just ended up with a lot of dental problems. Like basically a bunch of cavities all at the same time. So I got all of this work done maybe ten to fifteen years ago. But now some of these fillings have to be redone again because they don’t last forever.

I mean, that’s the thing. The old mercury fillings. They are bad for you and so on, but the new types, the composites, yeah, they just have like a more limited lifespan. So I had to get a few of those kind of redone all over again. So it was not a lot of fun.

Kevin: So do you blame the raw food diet for the teeth problems, or do you think it’s a little bit of genetics and a little bit of the raw food diet?

Fredric: Well, I don’t blame the raw food diet like, as a diet. I just found that people in general who try a raw food approach end up with more dental problems, and I think that’s caused by a lot of things. And essentially, I mean, what I used to believe was sort of like, “Oh well, if you eat a healthy diet, you kind of…you know, you teeth will kind of take care of themselves. I mean, brushing is fine and so on, but I didn’t think that raw foods—it’s not raw foods, specifically, it’s just the sugar content of the diet that is to blame, I think, and—

Kevin: Didn’t you not brush your teeth for a long period of time?

Fredric: Well, I just was not brushing consistently for a while when I was like in my early 20s, because I’d read some old natural hygiene books saying you shouldn’t brush your teeth. And I know this sounds a little crazy, but sort of like the idea that—

Kevin: Shelton.

Fredric: Yeah, Shelton. It was Shelton. Don’t laugh at me now, but I’m going to say that the dental problems were not just caused by that, specifically, because…then after that, I did brush, I did start brushing my teeth very carefully. And I still can get over the problems, and still…I was getting more cavities and so on. And my brother was doing the diet at the same time, and he didn’t go through the “don’t brush your teeth” thing or “don’t brush as much” kind of idea. But he still ended up with a bunch of cavities. Not as many as me, but still.

I think the biggest issue, essentially, is that we all kind of have underlying oral conditions, I would call, you know…

Kevin: Oral conditions?

Fredric: Well essentially, it’s the bacterial count in your mouth. So the dentists nowadays, they can actually figure that out. You can take a test and know what’s your bacterial count of the bacteria that cause cavities.

So I mean, these bacteria, they are in our mouths. And they are not going to go away no matter how much you brush. But the idea is we want to avoid them forming colonies and just, you know, plaque, and what I call like “little civilizations.” Essentially if the bacteria count is too high, then you are going to get problems.

So I think a lot of people when they start this diet, they just…they are not necessarily in a great space, dental health wise, but they are not adding too much like, oil to the fire. So when they switch to raw food diet, suddenly they are eating eight times a day instead of three or four times, you know. So eating more often means there’s more food in your mouth more often, right?

So there’s more sugar and they drink coconut water all day long. So the eating frequency is a part of it, I think, rather than just the foods. And then a lot of the foods have sugar as well, but I think the biggest one is the eating frequency, which really goes up on a raw food diet because the diet has a lower caloric density. Like a low caloric density means you need more food. And if you are not eating a lot of food all once, then you are going to kind of graze throughout the day. So that’s…I think that’s a big issue.

Kevin: Well, I mean, I had a similar experience. I’ve actually never had a cavity before in my life. I consider myself one of these like lucky people. And my mom never had soda in the house when I was young and we didn’t sweetened cereals or anything like that. So maybe that has something to do with it. Or maybe I just have genetics for my teeth or just kind of okay.

But I ran in some problems with my teeth as well. One was staining. So definitely staining was a big problem, because I started to use tooth soap, and even using the tooth soap and the tooth brightener that they have, it just…my teeth just still wouldn’t get that clean. And so, you know, they are starting to turn a little bit yellowish, greenish. And that was like the first thing.

But then I started to get really sensitive to hot and cold. And so, say if I was in the shower and I ran some water over my teeth, they would be very sensitive and they’d almost hurt. Or if I would take a run in the cold when I was living back east in Connecticut, my teeth would start to get, you know, my teeth would hurt when I was running in the cold. It was just this really strange feeling. I’d never felt it before.

And so those were like the first two things. And then the last draw was when my teeth started to hurt when I ate anything sugary. And that to me was a sign that something bad was really starting to happen. And I think you’re right with the frequency of the food, because what I used to do with the smoothie, when I would have a fruit smoothie or a green smoothie in the morning, is I would literally drink about 64 ounces maybe, so almost a full vitamix container full of smoothie. And I would drink it from 7:00 in the morning—varying times—7:00 in the morning until maybe 11:00. And so literally I was just washing sugar over my teeth every day all day long…well, for the first half of the day. And that just can’t be that good.

So now if I drink a smoothie…I’ll make it…well, I drink smoothie every morning, but if I do, I’ll literally drink it in like two or three minutes and it’s gone. I drink less now, because I’m eating more concentrated foods. I’m eating some cooked foods. Eating some animal foods…animal protein foods, not like animal foods. I don’t eat dog food, you know! It’s an animal food, right? I’m just going on the dog food diet! I decided raw food wasn’t working, maybe the dog food diet—see if I could lose some weight on that, who knows?

But anyway, I watch…I make sure that I drink the smoothie really fast, but not too fast that I get like a head cold, you know, one of those cold sensitive things. And then I brush my teeth right afterwards.

Fredric: Well that’s good. I mean, as long as you are handling that…kind of the bacterial count as I call it. I think that’s the key. Essentially what I talk about is kind of getting like a super hygiene routine going. And that’s where people had like problems like you, for a while. So you reduce the eating frequency, and then you brush in then more like…in the better manner.

What if someone has had a lot of dental problems, like cavities and so on? What should they do? Can they reverse the cavities? What’s the best way about it? Do you have any insights? I mean, I have a bunch of stuff, but maybe you have something else from your experience with sensitive teeth?

Kevin: Well I just stopped eating the 100% raw food diet. That seemed to solve the problem pretty quickly! It’s one of those things where you do it, and then your teeth are still sensitive, and then one day you are doing something that you used to do, like for instance, in the shower, and you’d run some water over your teeth, or you are running in the cold and you just don’t feel it anymore. And then you just weren’t feeling it. But then you finally realize that everything has gotten better.

So that’s really what I’ve done. A couple of other things that I think are important is one, making sure that you are flossing. I mean, flossing is such an important thing. And I’ve been to the dentist recently, and they have the…I don’t know what it’s called, but they take a measurement of the depth of your gums, how deep. And they assign a number to it, like one, two, three, four, five. And I used to be like fives and fours, but now I’m like twos and threes in most of the areas of my gums, and that means that my gums aren’t inflamed anymore. They were inflamed. So that’s a pretty good sign that your gums are getting better and that you are reducing the amount of bacteria that’s growing in your mouth causing inflammation.

And then another thing that…it’s kind of a little bit of a controversial thing. The girls in the office here love doing it. I think it’s kind of one of these things where it makes sense and there’s some science behind it, but it might be a wive’s tale/folklore kind of thing, and that’s oil pulling. And oil pulling is where you take an oil, like a sesame oil oil or something like that, and you put it in your mouth and you literally swish it around your mouth for ten, 15, 20 minutes. And oil is a natural cleanser. So that makes sense to me in terms of the way that…the reason why it can actually help brighten your teeth, which is pretty cool.

Again, it’s a commitment to swish oil around in your mouth. But also I imagine that in the oil there are some antimicrobial properties. There probably will be a little antibacterial, as well. And there is some science out of India, which is kind of where oil pulling comes from. It’s an Ayurvedic practice. There is some science, very few, there’s a few…there’s like one scientist that’s done like three or four studies on oil pulling. And they showed some promise about how it works and why it works.

But at the same time, it’s one of those things where there’s a commitment to just washing the oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes a day, which to me…you know, maybe if you are walking to work or driving in a car or something like that. But it’s up to you to decide whether you want to do something like that. But the girls here swear by it. They swear their teeth are getting lighter and, you know, hey, anecdotal is interesting too.

Fredric: Well yeah, I mean, I can see how bacteria must not like living in the pool of oil.

Kevin: Right!

They want sugar, right? So maybe…yeah, I’m sure there’s something to it. It’s just like you said—a pretty big commitment. Even 15 minutes a day. I mean, that’s a lot. Like people have a hard time brushing for two minutes, you know?

Kevin: I know.

Fredric: There’s definitely something to the raw food diet causing dental problems. But have you noticed, like, now that you’re eating more raw foods after a period of, let’s say, being off the diet, more or less, with more smoothies nowadays. Do you find that…I mean, do you find that your teeth are getting more sensitive? Or…?

Kevin: No, not at all. I think it was just…I think it’s just the extreme of it that was causing me problems. And additionally, when you are able, and when your digestion is really good, which I think on the raw food diet that can suffer as well. Your HCL production is up and running. You are able to digest your food better and get more minerals and more amino acids out of it. And minerals are really important for your teeth. And I think that that’s connected in a way. And if your HCL is, you know, the production is rocking, then you know you are going to have a healthier bone structure. And so your teeth are involved in that as well.

Fredric: Yeah there could be definitely something to that. I mean, I know when I stopped eating like 100% raw food diet, and you know, included a larger variety of foods in my diet, I mean, immediately I felt better. There was a period where I was literally, like, afraid of my next dental appointment because I’d had all these cavities, and I just didn’t want to get another one.

And then I stopped eating the raw food diet pretty much completely at some point. And I looked at my teeth, and I noticed a little, like, kind of brownish spot and it was really freaking me out. So I went to the dentist. And he said, “Oh, that was like a cavity that was forming and then stopped forming itself. So the tooth had time to re-mineralize, and essentially you stop the cavity.” And I was like, wow! I actually…So he said, “Did you do anything different?” And I said, “Yeah, I changed my diet and I changed everything because I was eating like a raw food diet before.” I was explaining like 100% raw foods. And he said, “Well, that must have done the trick,” because, I mean, you can stop a cavity when it’s very small and forming.

Once it gets to a certain point, you have to get it filled. I mean, I know people ask, you know, “Isn’t there something you can do?” Well yes, there’s something to a point, but that point is not very long. And then at some point, I mean, you really need…the more you wait, the worse it’s going to get.

Kevin: Yeah, I agree. And there’s a very fine line. And I would definitely recommend going to a dentist to determine whether or not you should get that filled before deciding to do it on your own, or just allowing it to sit there and think you are healing it, and then suddenly you have to go through a root canal or something like that. I mean, I don’t know, it just doesn’t seem appealing to me.

You know, it’s funny you mentioned the story about you going to the dentist and telling them about your raw food diet. I had a dentist in Stanford, Connecticut, and….recommended guy. His name is Candel, and if you search like stanford, I think he’s the guy that comes up, or holistic dentist in Stanford. He’s Russian guy, so he’s very direct, and you know, just very straight to the point.

And so I sit down in the chair, and I said to him, “Hey, my teeth are starting to hurt, and I feel hot, cold sensitivity. I think I have cavities.” So he says, “Okay.” And I said…and he’s like, “Well what are you doing?” And I was just like, “Well, I’m eating this raw food diet. I’m eating a lot of fruit…” And he’s like, “Well you stop doing that, it will be fine.”

Fredric: Good impression! Good Russian impression.

Kevin: I have an off-color Russian joke that I won’t tell. So that’s probably why my impression is good.

Fredric: That’s good. Yeah, I mean, sometimes it’s hard to tell what you did that made the difference. So I’m going to bring up something else that I did around that time, because when I was…you know, initially, yes, I went through the period of not brushing my teeth very often. But that wasn’t a very long period. And then I got a bunch of cavities. Of course, people will say, “Of course you did. You didn’t brush.” Yeah, okay. Yeah I was 20 years old. I was convinced by Shelton, what can I say? But right after, I did. I was very faithful with my dental hygiene and very committed to it. And I was using this natural toothpaste and everything, and things were not getting better, so I thought, you know, I’ve got to do something else.

So I switch to the…I changed my diet. But another thing that I did, and I haven’t really talked about it too much because I was kind of afraid in the natural world that people will create too much of a controversy. But I’ll talk about it now…is, I’ve been like a faithful fluoride toothpaste user since 2004. And I really attribute that to one of the better things that I’ve done to kind of prevent more decay and improve my dental health overall. And I know that’s like a bit of a controversy in this world, and I’m not talking about fluoride water and so on, but just having the fluoride in the toothpaste, which could be a natural toothpaste.

For me, I mean, I’m really convinced that if you’ve had big dental problems or cavities and you want to prevent them, I mean, that’s definitely one way to do it. And I know…you are going to say, “Are you crazy?”

Kevin: Fluoride?

Fredric: Yeah, fluoride. Yeah, but you know what? There’s no real controversy around fluoride used topically in the scientific community. And there’s sort of the illusion of a controversy in the natural health world, but in reality, I mean, it’s sort of an accepted fact, right?

And I mean, how was it discovered? They found that in the early 1900s those…people, I mean, America was not only a nation of drunks, but they were a nation losing their teeth, right? So in the American southwest, there was like a little community and they seemed to be immune to dental decay. And they didn’t really know why, but they had these brown spots on their teeth, right?

So they realized that the brown spots were coming from high amounts of fluoride in their water—naturally occurring fluoride. And so that’s how, like, the research was established. And then they figured out that they could adjust the concentration of fluoride to avoid the spots but still prevent decay.

So I mean, I know there’s a lot of controversies about throwing it in the water and so on, but what I found, I mean, from the research is it really works. Because what happens is the fluoride in the toothpaste combines with a substance that’s on your teeth and it transforms it into like a stronger substance so your teeth are resistant to acids. So not only acids in your food, but acids produced by the bacteria that caused decay.

So I’ve been doing it and I will say it outright. I mean, if you’ve had dental health problems, you know, use the fluoride in the toothpaste. That’s just not…not just my crazy opinion, I think it’s the opinion of the entire scientific community on that. And then I will also say that I think one of the reasons why you see more hippies with dental problems is they use all these natural toothpastes! And so if they have problems with their teeth, I mean, they are not doing something aggressive enough to prevent it. And I don’t think fluoride in toothpaste is very aggressive treatment. It’s just something, right?

Kevin: When you first said fluoride I was going to jump all over you because I thought you were going to talk about the reason for fluoride in the water and why that’s helpful for teeth and all that sort of stuff. We all know that this is just a way to get rid of industrial waste. I mean, this is not like…this is not a way for us to be able to get better teeth. I mean, there’s better ways to do that.

But you know look, just like there’s space for some of modern medicine in our regular lifestyles, there’s also space for maybe something like this. If you’ve tried everything and it’s just not working and you just can’t seem to get it together and you know you are miserable because your teeth are falling out of your mouth. then yeah. I mean, then let’s try something that has been put through the ringer in terms of science and see if it works for you.

Fredric: All right, good. I thought you are ready to kill me!

Kevin: I guess we can agree on that one.

Fredric: Yeah but…

Kevin: I guess we can agree on that one. I don’t know if hippies have more teeth problems than non-hippies. I mean, I think in our space we just see it all the time because people talk about it. I mean, I know a lot of people with really bad teeth, like full bridges and just, you know, dentures.

Fredric: Well one thing that I will say because you talked about it before, because I think…I mean, people from an older generation don’t floss, you know. They didn’t grow up with the, sort of the flossing habit. And that’s been confirmed to me by people belonging to that generation.

And our readers can tell us—do you think people of, let’s say you know, born in the ‘40s, in the ‘50s and the ‘60s…are you flossing less? Do you think people of your generation are not flossing as much as people born you know, starting in the ‘70s and ‘80s, where…I don’t know about you Kevin, but I was told about flossing. And I was just brought up with this idea that, you know, if I didn’t floss, something terrible would happen. And they were right.

Kevin: Yeah, flossing to me is one of those things where it was just engrained in my brain, just burned in my brain by my mom to the point where sometimes I revolt from it. So like, I floss straight for six months and I just stop because it’s like “Oh, my mom,” you know. “She wants me to floss!”

But yeah, I mean, I think flossing is one of those things, just looking at those…I mean, but again, another tangible measurement of dental health is the inflammation or lack of inflation in your gums. And flossing definitely, single handedly is one of those things that can help reduce the inflammation in your gums. Reduce the inflammation in your gums, you know, things are cool.

The other thing about dentistry that’s really unique and interesting and I’ve always wondered about the science, and I’ve read some of it and I still question it a little bit. But you know dental problems can be—particularly dental problems like plaque and things like that—can be directly related to heart issues as well. I always wonder if that’s just…I don’t know if that’s like a causation or a correlation kind of thing. It kind of makes me wonder…are the dental problems actually causing heart problems? Or is it an issue where, you know, they just happened to be the same in a weakened or slightly inflamed body. You know what I mean? I don’t know if you have any thoughts on that.

Fredric: I don’t. Actually my…I mean, nothing definitive, because some people say, “Yes, it’s a reflection of your overall health.” But I think, I mean, I think what happens in the mouth is kind of specific to that environment. In the sense that if your teeth are decaying, it doesn’t mean your bones are decaying. It just means…because of the fact of the oral environment is that it’s an open space, in contact with the outside world, right?

So there’s bacteria that proliferate there that are just not inside our bodies. And I think yes, there could be…maybe there’s a correlation and other things, but I think it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you’ve had problems with your teeth that something else is necessarily going on that’s related to that. I just have a hard time believing that. And I think it’s pretty…pretty shaky statement, as well.

But who knows? There might be things that are related to that, yes.

Kevin: Yeah, I definitely don’t think it’s one for one. So it’s like, if your teeth are falling out in your mouth your bones are disintegrating in your leg, you know what I mean? I definitely I don’t think that that’s a one for one thing.

But I do think that in terms of the mineral side of it, if you’re depleted in your minerals, and you are constantly depleted in your minerals, your HCL production isn’t up to speed, there are two things that can happen, 1.) Your body is going to look for minerals somewhere, and you can find them in the bones, so that can…it can find mineral there, and it may weaken…if your teeth are showing signs of weakness, you may have signs of weakness in your bones. But you can just take a scientific test and figure out if that’s true or not. And then you can prove me wrong or prove me right, it’s totally cool. And it may not even be directly related to your teeth, so who knows? At least you found out that your bones were weak and everything is good.

And the second thing is if your HCL production is low, you may not be able to kill some of the harmful bacteria that may be in your mouth that actually make it down into your stomach and then into your intestines. And that may be one of the reasons why they are saying, you know, this is a problem with the mouth as a direct relation to heart disease, because maybe there’s a little bit more inflammation that we don’t know about. This bacteria may be causing more problems than we even know, so just some thoughts there on that side, too.

Fredric: Sounds good. We want to hear from you again and leave your comments on the blog if you want to comment on these issues. Because we’d love to hear from you about this particular issue of dental health. And if you are not already subscribed on iTunes, check it out—our blog, or our podcast, sorry…

Kevin: Yes. And please give us a review.

Fredric: Yes, because it’s climbing. It’s climbing in the ratings on Renegade Health. Oh, what did I say?

Kevin: You said Renegade Health. It’s the top podcast on Renegade Health.

Fredric: It is definitely the top podcast on Renegade Health. But maybe—

Kevin: But we are climbing up on iTunes. So give us a rating. Tell us how much you liked us. If you don’t like it, tell us that you don’t like it, too, we don’t care. Our backs are thick enough, our skin is thick enough, our backs, I don’t know. We are falling apart.See you guys later, next week, bye.

Fredric: Okay, bye.

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Gary Collier says:

    Kev, the ONLY cause of dental caries is ACIDITY. All other apparent causes are a by-product of this one factor. If you maintain a slightly alkaline pH in your mouth, you will have ZERO problems with this. Daily saliva testing with pH papers will let you know if your diet is working or not….

    • mary dicerni says:

      I think that is good information, and because the saliva is supposed to be alkaline, what foods will actually help? I took mirtazapine/remeron for 2 years because my doc thought I was depressed. I was not I needed sleeping pills. I also fell that year from too many BP pills, and mine was low. Many of my teeth started to fall out on the side I fell, right upper cheek 3 to start. they fell out or broke, on rt upper side. I was able to fix one with a cap. I now after 7 years have lost 16 teeth in that way, and they loosen or crack, on opposite sides, after each loss, as the bite changes. I cannot decide what type of denture or replacements I should try. It is hard for me to trust a dentist after all I went through, and he just kept pulling, with out telling me about the acid, or dry mouth from pills. Dry mouth removes the alkaline saliva , I guess?? I read that not to get dry mouth, drink 2 large glasses of water an hour before bed, but also drink a lot all day.
      I cannot get the video to play, so I am reading the comments. How do you, after all has gone wrong, find the best dentist/implant /denturist around ? I am 81 and loved my teeth. I do not trust doctors now. thank you all for info.

  2. Tara Munro says:

    I loved this article, it was what people need to know!

    So, I went vegan then raw and I too started having a host of symptoms including the teeth sensitivity and I had a cavity which I hadn’t had since I was a child!! Needless to say I was very upset thinking I am doing all of these things to help me and I am declining instead. I am still a work in progress, but I can tell you I continued using the floride free toothpaste but added Dr. Schulze’s Tooth and Gum Formula (2 drops a night on toothpaste). When I go to the dentist they always say I should be a model for good tooth and gum health, when its a new tech they are in awe, they always ask what I use. Due to the floride suppressing the thyroid I am so concerned about adding it back and have been using this method for over 3 years now. Check it out! Oh and I floss every night! 😉
    T. Munro
    Cave Creek, AZ

  3. Pam says:

    Since I began brushing my teeth with baking soda (aluminum free) and (Bragg’s) Vinegar I don’t have plaque build-up on my teeth anymore. My dentist was amazed!

  4. suzanne says:

    As for oil pulling, both my husband and I have experienced less sensitive teeth. And this has been going on for 2 yrs. Remembering was tough at first, but now its the first thing we do when we get out of bed. The 20 minutes zip by while we look at email real quick or do simple chores in the kitchen, etc. Then we spit, rinse 3x, then gentle brush with a Bass toothbrush from Brushing is done for the day until evening (or we eat something sticky). We have our 1/2 lemon in some water after that. Rinse. Important not to brush after the lemon because I guess the enamel is weakened or soft for 30 minutes. Before bed brushing with a Braun electric toothbrush, flossing and then Water-Pik have given us cavity-free teeth. We use Tooth Soap in the evening and in the AM a herbal powder for sensitive teeth or some drops containing peppermint, cinnamon, spearmint, clove, myrrh, manuka.

  5. Angie says:

    The book “Cure Tooth Decay” by Ramiel Nagel has great information and research on reasons for tooth decay and dietary solutions.

  6. Jo says:

    Hi- I think our ancestors maybe had bad teeth was because Grandma had 8-12 kids.
    Even though the food had more nutrition in it than today, that was hard on not just
    her teeth, but the offspring. I always heard for every kid a woman had, she lost one
    tooth, due to the nutrition drainage on her body. Not to mention, some family’s
    didn’t have a lot of food to choose from during the depression years. As for use of
    fluoride, I have heard, it actually can soften teeth, so I don’t feel it is good for us.
    Did Grandma and Grampa actually use toothbrushes much? I certainly doubt they
    went out and bought 12 at a time, very often. Just some old school thoughts here.

    • kim says:

      Funny you should mention about grandma and grandpa in their day. My granny told me that when she was young they used their finger to brush their teeth with baking soda.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Kevin, There is a lot of evidence out there also showing that fluoride is irrelevant in regards to curing tooth decay. Look for the article “You’re Still Told Fluoridation Prevents Tooth Decay, but Science Proves Otherwise” by Dr. Mercola for some of that info.

    From personal experience, I stopped all of my own tooth decay long ago. I married a lady with two children with serious cavity problems. They had a lot of metal just holding things together where teeth had been capped, etc.. With my help, we stopped that tooth decay immediately and they will not need braces. This was NOT done with flouride, flossing or brushing, it was done with a high protein/fat/vegetable diet and supplementation (standard process).

    We do not eat processed foods or process sugar. We do eat some fruit (treat), but not all throughout the day. No fruit/carb type foods 2 hours before bedtime. No gluten containing foods. No fluoride at the dentist. No flouride toothpaste.

    Here are examples of some staple foods that we have as our base diet and add on to: all meats (best we can afford, medium-rare if safe), organic/pasture eggs (best quality we can find), raw milk (best we can find), liver/heart (once in a while), butter (kolona), raw green leaf salads (every day with 1-2 meals), sauerkraut (sometimes), cooked low starch vieggies (broccoli, peppers, brussel sprouts, etc..), avacodo (every day), sour cream (best quality I can find), bone broth (if sick or stomach issues), bulgarian yogurt (best we can find).

    Here some supplements we take or have taken for tooth decay: biodent (standard process), catalyn, cod liver oil (standard process), ostrophin (if serious issues), calcifood wafers (standard process), high vitamin butter (if serious issues).

    Tooth decay is a very complicated issue. Bad hygiene can lead to infections in the gums. TMJ can also cause issues even trigger tooth pain or even infection (Chiropractors might be able to help also). Poor digestion because you are lacking bacteria in your gut could be a problem. Not getting a enough sleep could affect it. When treating tooth decay you should come at it with a full profile health approach from all angles.

  8. Margo Emrich says:

    I was glad to hear the discussion on fluoride. I was at the store yesterday looking for toothpaste. I wanted to find a good one with fluoride because I have some cavities at the gum line… I couldn’t find a more natural one with fluoride… and didn’t like the additions of sorbitol, etc., in the non-natural… because I’m very sensitive to many additives. But now I realize I do really want to find a good natural one with fluoride. Can you suggest some brands?

    • Tom’s of Maine makes a cavity-preventing toothpaste with fluoride, but without the other nasty ingredients found in toothpaste.

    • Ron says:

      You could also consider making your own toothpaste. There’s lots of different recipes on the web. This may be anecdotal, but I’ve been fluoride free for over 5 years including filtering the fluoride out of the water and no cavities. I buy any fluoride free toothpaste that sounds good. I disagree with the assertion that fluoride is good for teeth, but I could be wrong.

      • Ron says:

        I could see flouride being used to treat a symptom of tooth decay, but there may an underlying issue still needing to be addressed.

    • ROSEL COOLEY says:

      Don’t use fluoride or any other toothpaste containing Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, or any derivatives. It is really hard to find anything decent at a regular store. Many think that Tom’s of Maine is ok, but it is not good- read all ingredients. Whole Foods has a couple of brands that are OK. We buy a natural brand at Trader Joe’s. Best treatment for your cavities is to eat right and treat existing ones with ozone therapy. If you can find a friend that has a ozone generator or purchase a small inexpensive unit ($40-100), you can treat them yourself. It kills the bacteria and decay, and allows your tooth to grow back naturally- no grinding or filling! Google “dental ozone therapy” and you’ll see lots, including you tube.

    • Mary dicerni says:

      I had been rinsing mouth with peroxide trying to prevent decay, and breaking teeth, but the baking soda tooth paste is alkaline, and helped much more. I could tell by one tooth tasting bad, and the baking soda took the taste away, and it prevents the acid . Even a rinse with plain baking soda and water or soda water in restaurants.. ?? We need things handy or we will forget. thank you.

  9. jodi says:

    great info. i have had such dental problems-especially in the past 5 years or so- funny, it was about 5 years ago i started w/ a csa eating loads of fruits and veggies. and over the past few years i got a vitamix and have been drinking a lot of smoothies. as we speak i have another appointment for a root canal. when they finish this they r going to do a crown. previous to that i had about 10 cavities all at once. well, it may also be attributed to the fact that i was a pro. baker for about 10 years- in fact i am now working in the bakery at whole foods. i must admit, i graze a lot. but i also brush a lot, floss a lot and now i am on my third waterpik (those darn things always break.) i also started using the natural tooth products for a while-then my dentist insisted i go back to the stuff w/ fluoride. glad i did. i may be even worse now had i not. if u have any more tips please help. personally i feel my teeth are a wreck but my dentist says i’m doing fine for 44.

    • ROSEL COOLEY says:

      Don’t do it! Use Ozone Therapy- I have seen it get down in the roots and fix, so no work necessary.

    • mary dicerni says:

      Hi Jodi, I was finally told by my dentist that all the lemons I chew on may be destroying my teeth. He then said to NEVER bush your teeth right after having any acid foods. The enamel gets soft then, and will slowly get removed, and teeth turn black at the base first… then crack off. Even though they say fresh lemon is alkaline in your body, I guess it is still acid on your teeth. I love lemons with warn water, and then chew on the slice after drinking the water.. if you have wine or acid juices,, then do not brush until later with soda rinse first maybe..still learning…. mary

  10. deborah says:

    I agree with the girls in your office. I do pulling with Coconut oil. I love the way it make my teeth feel. My gums are healthy too. I use neem powder and neem tooth paste with a little clove and cinnimon kick to it. And if I can’t find that when I am at the store I mix clay, a bit of backing soda and coconut oil if I feel a plaque build up. I also went though a natural soap phase bushing my teeth with that. I have been listening to Kevin so many years so I have been afraid of my green smoothies effecting my tooth enamel, so I drink my morning smoothie with in 5 minutes and rinse right after with water with out fail.

  11. Megan says:

    I want to comment on the fluoride toothpaste thing. And this is completely anecdotal. Our famiy has been using natural toothpaste for over 20 years. Our kids have used nothing else since they had teeth. They are now 13 and 16 years old. Up until they were old enough to revolt, and buy their own toothpaste (which was about 3 years ago) they had almost zero cavities. (my son had one and that was due to the crevices in his back molars being too deep which had more to do with his teeth not forming all the way enough to close those crevices) I also had mostly complete control over what they ate up until that time. Which was a VERY low sugar diet. Sweets were rare in our house and NEVER candy or Sodas! Well, now that they buy their own toothpaste (ones that “whiten”…they are teens remember and how you look is everything!), AND they started eating much much more sweets and carbs that I would ever approve of, now since that happened they have had MANY cavities! I mean like 4 and 5 at a time!! VERY expensive dental bills we now have. My husband and I continue to remain cavity-less. And we still use that natural fluoride free toothpaste and don’t have much sugar in our diet.

  12. deborah says:

    Oh My goodness. They still make Biodent from Standard Process. I used it with my twin boys 25 years ago when I lived in California. I have to say their teeth are much stronger than their sister born 5 and 8 years later when I had moved to the middle east and that supplement was no longer available to us. They were on that suppliment from age 2 -5. They are 25 years old now , one has 1 cavitey and the other 2 and they are very small.
    I would recomend standard process products.

  13. Ron says:

    One more quick fix I’ve used for a single mild tooth ache or sensitivity (one tooth aching). Take two biodent and one ostrophin, chew them completely with the tooth that is aching and eat them. Do this up to 3 times in an hour or two before looking for another remedy. Brush and floss 5 minutes after eating the supplements.

  14. reen says:

    You need to get this book – Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox by Kate Rheaume-Bleue, ND. She explains the dental problems sensibly and directly. Even has photos and diagrams to explain her points. Makes perfect sense. ~R~

  15. Dee says:

    You never got to the topic about natural whitening of the teeth ???? I’m astonished that you did not mention the importance of reaching optimum Vitamin D level. Those of us living in North America north of Arizona, S. California, etc. do not get enough natural sunlight most of year to reach optimum Vit. D level. By the way Vit.D is not even a vitamin, but rather an enzyme which is critically important for tooth and bone health as well as dozens of other organ and body functions. Also you did not mention that fluoride artificially added to water is sodium fluoride, which is very destructive as opposed to calcium fluoride in a homeopathic form as well as what occurs naturally in some waters. There is a big difference. If one is using fluoridated toothpaste, one should check to see which form of fluoride it contains. Taking a short course of tiny 3x or 6x homeopathic calcium fluoride tablets will often times help with tooth sensitivity and also loosening of teeth.

  16. barbara says:

    good show Kev, thanks. I’ve been using aluminum-free baking soda mixed with organic coconut oil so it’s ‘pasty’, for about 4 years. i have no plaque, clean gums and no cavities – visit dentist every 6 months.

    There’s a lot of info. out there about tooth/mouth health & heart disease. It’s not just bones -vs- teeth health. Anyone who has had a root canal should have it removed immediately. I have one and am searching for a holistic dentist – my regular dentist won’t remove it.

  17. X811er says:

    I am an X 811er and can TOTALLY relate to both your experiences. I switched to prescription strength fluoride tooth paste, use the oral breeze (oral irrigator) and brush with a sonicare. I hate flossing!! It’s great your parents trained you early to floss. I also rinse my mouth out with water after I eat fruit just to dilute the sugar left over in my mouth.
    I also changed my diet to include more cooked food. It’s tricky finding a balance after coming off 811 for 5+ years. Hind sight is 20/20 but I truly think 811 is a type of eating disorder/addiction. My turning point was when I was in a “support group” at the WFF and heard everyone’s messed up life stories and how hard it is to stay 811 in the real world. In that moment I realized the conspiracy was the conspiracy. I thought “what if this is just another addiction”. It was just moments after this realization that I met/spoke with Fred on the beach. Funny how you attract people into your life at all the right times. Anyhow, I hope this post can help someone.
    Long story short, I have been doing good in the teeth department. Actually scheduled to go to the dentist tomorrow. Fingers crossed!!

  18. crow says:

    Ok, I was born in the early 50’s and was a hippie. I have good strong teeth. Yes, in my 20 and 30’s I had several cavities and attribute that to my diet then. Today I eat a health diet and take vitamin D3, magnesium and strontium and my teeth and gum are in great shape. I floss daily and use a neem toothpaste and occasionally will put coconut oil on my brush and brush with that. I would never use fluoride toothpaste and it has been proven
    that countries that don’t use fluoride in their tooth paste have less cavities than we here in the USA.

  19. chris says:

    Why not just drink black and green tea which contain natural fluoride?
    In countries where people drink tea have fewer cavities. Black tea has anti -viral and anti -bacterial properties on top. Coconut oil has also anti bacterial properties. ALso brushing your teeth after consuming something acidic should not be done immediately, because brushing your teeth immediately after consuming acidic foods and drinks increases the chance of enamel erosion. Rinsing is fine, perhaps with sole water is even better.

    I grew up with huge teeth problems, dentist said soft teeth. So mineralise teeth is a good way. Now I am fine.
    Just started with oil pulling with coconut oil and yes teeth get cleaned, and become whiter.

  20. Renee says:

    I work in a Biological Dental practice and we continuously see raw vegans with horrible tooth decay. I think a big part of it is the lack of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D. Don’t be fooled by fluoride. It is way more toxic than beneficial. I know this is just 1 family story but it’s interesting that my Dad grew up on fluoridated water and had 14 cavities which resulted in 14 “silver” mercury fillings. I grew up without any fluoride, even my toothpaste was fluoride-free and I never had a cavity.

  21. Thanks for the podcast on dental health. I received a lot of good info from it. I have one question. What do you guys think of oral probiotics? I’ve received a few booklets from a company called Nutri-Health Supplements that makes a supplement called Flora Bight. They claim it not only whitens your teeth, it also reduces those dental pockets in the gum that Kevin mentioned. I’m considering giving it a try, so I would love to get your opinion on it.

    Thanks for all that you do.


    Benita Primus

  22. BILL WORKMAN says:

    Kevin, I appreciate what you are trying to do and enjoyed most of this informative and helpful discussion. But any promotion of flouride for any reason at this point in time is inexcusable. Even brushing with it allows it to be absorbed through the gums, into the bloodstream where it can wreak havoc throughout the body, not just the pineal gland. The pineal gland alone should be enough of a concern, but it is by no means the only major issue or problem with flouride consumption. You are supposed to be about optimum health. And usually you do an excellent job. But there is NO excuse at this point in time for the continued spread of such ignorance. Everyone is entitled to make their own choices (mistakes) but you should NOT be part of the problem by even hinting that flouride use might somehow be OK, for any reason. Flouride mimics iodine and causes problems thoughout the body causing a huge laundry list of health issues. I don’t care if the ADA says it’s OK or not, they brought us mercury in our fillings and said that was OK as well. Anyone who promotes mercury in your mouth would certainly have no issue with a little flouride poisoning. Please encourage your readers to get educated on the dangers and problems with flouride. Thank you for all you do!

  23. Ilse says:

    Hi, my daughter, 8 years old, has WHITE spots on her (adult) teeth… what can I do? Thanks!

  24. Laura Farb says:

    Thanks for posting the transcript! I just recently went to the dentist in Texas, and the hygienist also recommended oil pulling–which has never been talked about in my 10 years of going there. Guess the idea is hitting the mainstream…

  25. Del says:

    I was a bit disappointed with the interview. I expected more from two guys I usually enjoy listening too. But the blog replies were very helpful! Thanks to all those who shared. Power is in the people.

    Additional info I would add to the discussion: I use a Dr.Tung’s Ionic tooth brush. Very impressed with it so far. I thought it may be an electric toothbrush at first but it isn’t, which I was glad. I felt the difference immediately after using it. Nice clean feeling. I also use a tongue scraper. Floss regularly. Once sometime twice a day. Use EcoDent Tooth powder. Rinsing with spring water after drinking my green smoothies. I don’t put fruit to my green smoothies anymore but I do use a little bit of coconut water which is sweet. I also wonder if anyone has used Birch Sugar (Xylitol) which inhibits the tooth decaying bacteria. Stevia also has some antibacteria properties too, I believe. I use a dehydrated stevia that my sister grew herself.

    I’ve been a raw food vegan for over seven years. I don’t have plans to go back to eating flesh and milk blood, puss and chalk. I don’t agree with Kevin’s assessment on that issue. But everyone is different though….. Plan to try the coconut oil pulling. I’ve heard some good things about that too. I have also used DMSO on my gum line when I had some intense pain after a filling had fallen out and was replace at the dentist with a composite. The pain went away immediately! Just a drop on my wash finger and rubbing it into my gum. Worked great. Also clove oil and oregano oil works well too. Now I’m fine. Tooth or gum pain is gone now.

  26. Cynthia says:

    very interested re the fluoride discussion. I jumped on the non-fluoride bandwagon when my kids were older, but truth be told, I gave each of them fluoride drops daily when they were babies– neither of them had cavities as children (until both were in their late 30s). I still don’t use fluoride in my toothpaste and am not sure about them. For us, coconut oil pulling really does the trick! (we’re in our 60s). And we DO floss!

  27. I’m not an expert on what to do regarding teeth problems. I just read a lot of information that comes from different people and try to make the best sense of it I can, and adjust my viewpoint from my own and other people’s experiences.

    Ramiel Nagel has great information on curing tooth decay on youtube. From memory he mentions the importance of eating foods that contain animal proteins. He talks about the importance of getting vitamins A, D, and E and K, from memory, from animal sources. Price also mentions that he had not found a single group of primitive racial stock which was building and maintaining excellent bodies by living entirely on plant food.

    I have also read that taking even small levels of fluoride can be poisonous to the body, and might not be helpful in helping teeth.

    In regard to brushing teeth not having such a great importance, I have read the following from a book called “How we heal”, by Douglas Morison, page 116.

    It says, “Price found that in the modernized populations just the odd individual was free of dental caries. But with great consistency in the isolated populations, dental caries were the exception rather than the rule in those still adhering to their traditional diet. The diets of these populations were as varied as their geographical settings might suggest. But what was consistent was that so long as they remained on traditional diets they were free of “modern” imported foods, they remained virtually free of dental caries. (This was generally accomplished without a toothbrush or any attempt at dental hygiene. Price typically had to clean the debris off the teeth before he could examine them for any dental decay.)”

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