How To Care For Teeth
You need to care
for teeth properly if you want to stop cavities,
gum damage, and other dental issues, and that goes
whether you're on a SAD, vegan, or raw
Many people adopt their particular raw food diet
with the impression that eating foods uncooked -
as man did for millennia - will magically remove
their dental woes. Animals in the wild don't have
to worry about how to care for teeth, they say, so
why should I?
These people sometimes go on to suffer yet more
dental problems, and frequently damn the diets
they pinned so much hope on.
But the rawness of a diet has little to do with
their dental problems.
You Don't Have "Bad
I have genetically
bad teeth and gums, my mother tells me, just like
her. She's always encouraged me to go regularly to
the dentist for cleanings, and to be particular in
how I care for my mouth.
But I was always annoyed growing up when my dentist,
despite my regular twice-daily brushing and
flossing, would tell me that I needed to do a better
job taking care of my teeth.
There would always be tons of plaque around my them,
and I could never get rid of it entirely.
As I got older I suffered a bit from cavities, which
made the whole situation even more annoying.
Then I went on a healthy raw food diet, suddenly my
dentist was exclaiming over how pleased he was that
I was taking so much better care of my teeth. The
plaque build up was considerably reduced, and I
wasn't getting cavities anymore.
Dental checkups pretty much
became an affirmation that I'm on the right track.
"Just keep doing what you're doing," my dentist
tells me, and so I do.
In fact, my teeth even make an impression
internationally. I got a cleaning from a Thai
dentist in Chiang Mai, Thailand a few months back
and she was surprised to hear that it had been a
full six months since my last cleaning because there
was so little build up on my teeth and gums.
So What's the
Difference Between How Most Raw Foodists Care For
Teeth and What I do?
1) I Rarely Eat Dried
Fruit: Many raw foodists eschew fresh fruit
and eat tons dry fruit instead in an attempt to meet
their caloric needs or for more concentrated
flavors. Devoid of most of its original moisture and
extremely calorically dense, dried fruit might fuel
your body, but it'll ruin your mouth.
Anyone who has eaten some raisins knows that the
gummy stuff sticks in every crevice. Once its caked
on, bacteria starts to break it down, but it
eliminates an acid in doing so. Over time, when acid
keeps getting deposited directly onto teeth, you're
going to develop a cavity.
I highly suggest that you avoid dried fruit almost
entirely. On the rare occasions that I do eat it, I
quickly follow the meal with flossing and brushing.
On those occasions that you choose to eat dried
fruit, you can rehydrate it by soaking it in water
for a time, which will certainly help with
digestion, and may help avoid some of the
The problem is similar for partially-dried fruit as
well. Dates, for instance, have very little water
content and will stick to teeth. I usually only eat
them after soaking them in water or blending them to
So first, care for teeth by avoiding what eats away
2) I Rarely Eat
Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds are almost
always dried when found in the store, and like dried
fruit they can wreak havoc in your mouth by sticking
to your teeth. The body generates acid in your mouth
to break nut and seed particles down. It's enough to
lower your pH balance, and when that happens the
enamel of your teeth is in trouble.
I again highly suggest that you eat nuts and seeds
rarely, and when you do, follow up with brushing and
3) I Rarely Drink
Juice: Dentists have long warned patients
that acidic juices can destroy the enamel on teeth,
and that goes for raw juice as well. If you're going
to drink it at all, I suggest you do so in very
limited quantities and that you use a straw to
bypass the problem.
4) I Eat Acid Fruit
In Moderation: Oranges, grapefruit,
pineapple, etc, are all highly acidic. Each is
extremely healthy, but if you're eating nothing but
huge volumes of these foods day after day, over the
course of many months it may be possible to strip
the enamel off your teeth.
This is primarily a problem for those who eat
nothing but acidic fruit for months on end. If you
want to eat lots of citrus, especially during the
winter when it's in season and tastes great, go
ahead. I would not suggest a diet of nothing but
acid fruit, however. When you do eat something
acidic, follow the meal with a water swish to make
sure the acid does not stay on your teeth.
5) I Care For My
Teeth: Though I stopped using toothpaste
some time ago, I'm still meticulous about my
flossing and brushing. I also periodically use some
baking soda. It may be overkill, as the dentist
consistently says my teeth are great, but I make it
a habit to brush once a day and floss twice a day.
Care For Teeth: The
There is such a
thing as overdoing it. One of the largest causes of
gum disease is overzealous brushing, which can
damage delicate gum tissue.
Another is flossing the actual gums instead of the
sides of the teeth, which can create pockets in the
flesh. Those pockets can then host food particles,
creating more problems.
Although I see little reason why anyone not
suffering from physical trauma should bother with a
medical doctor, I am absolutely in favor of regular
cleanings at the dentist.
Our teeth need regular cleanings, and even if that
need is reduced on a raw food diet, we still should
get a professional to help us clean areas that are
hard to get at.
Why Switching Diets
Will Not Work Miracles
Raw foodists are troubled by their past diets as
much as by the one they're on. You simply can't
expect to undo decades of dental abuse overnight. If
your dentist finds a cavity after six weeks on a raw
diet, it's probably not the raw diet that caused it.
Don't expect overnight miracles.
In Short: Want to Care For Teeth? Eat well in the
long term, brush and floss, and you won't have to
care for teeth with your checkbook in the dentist's
The same diet that cures diseases and gives you
incredibly amounts of energy also keeps your teeth
Learn how to eat a healthy raw
Read how the diet
helps you care for teeth also combats disease.
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