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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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November 26, 2007

Dental Decay Before Birth?

By Mark Sisson

Though Americans have access to some of the finest dental care on the planet, American babies are showing increasing rates of dental decay. There are a number of causes. First, the tremendous popularity of bottled water has played a part in higher cavity rates (bottled water is typically not fluoridated). Ironically, tap water is healthier than the pricey bottled options. Second, the prevalent reliance on juices, sweet drinks and milk for children – all high in sweeteners such as sugar and high fructose corn syrup – has contributed to the decay problem. And, finally, studies indicate that dental decay likely begins before children even have their teeth. Infants’ mouths and gums should be wiped clean and gently stimulated with a washcloth several times daily, even before their first tooth breaks. Interestingly, decay can begin in the womb. It turns out that a mother’s dental care regimen has a direct impact upon the developing dentition of her unborn baby. So, if the mother isn’t flossing, rinsing, and brushing consistently, or is following a diet that encourages bacterial growth (e.g. one high in grains and sugars), this can create early dental problems in the child. Though baby teeth are “disposable”, poor prevention and early decay impacts the strength, straightness, and health of the permanent teeth. Moreover, early gum problems can set the stage for systemic illness down the road.

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Further reading:

Homeopathy Is an Unscientific Scam

The Definitive Guide to Insulin, Blood Sugar, and Type 2 Diabetes

Photo Credit: Andrew Bain

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6 Comments on "Dental Decay Before Birth?"


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9 years 3 months ago
Great post, except that water flouridation is controversial among naturopathic/alternative health practioners. Dr. Joseph Mercola is a vocal opponent. He believes that ingesting flouride in water not only does not help teeth but actually harms the body. You are probably familiar with the work of dentist Weston Price. Those hunter-gatherers didn’t get their perfect teeth by drinking flouridated water. Price’s book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration documented very clearly that cavities were practically non-existent among hunter-gathers and rare amongst people eating traditional diets made from whole foods. The worst teeth were found among poor people who subsisted on white flour products.… Read more »
9 years 3 months ago


9 years 3 months ago

I’m not sure what I think of fluridation as a whole, but some places do it far too much. Where I live, my dentist said she could narrow the specific municipality I lived in to two, because of the state of my teeth. Both of these over-fluridate their water.

9 years 3 months ago

My city does not have fluoride in the drinking water and I do not have it in my toothpaste. My family and I have good teeth. My 14 year old has never had a cavity despite the lack of fluoride. Hyperthyroidism used to be treated with fluoride because it slows the thyroid down.
Kids are put to bed with bottles and juice boxes are out of control.

9 years 2 months ago

Loved the article, but I have to agree that added fluoride to the water system, not to mention chlorination, is not good. The fluoride that is added is a waste by-product of aluminum.

Keep up the good work. Reading your posts are always an education.

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8 years 1 month ago

I agree with Dr. Mercola. Fluoride is a poison. Besides, it’s completely foreign to the Primal Blueprint. It’s too bad that the government insists on mass medicating us… with medicine that does more harm than good.

Furthermore, tooth brushing was also non-existent during millions of years of evolution. I’m still brushing and flossing, but am highly skeptical and it wouldn’t take much for me to stop. Dental problems come from the diet (sugar and flour), so with a healthy diet, brushing should be redundant.