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Nutrition for Healthy Teeth

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  • Nutrition for Healthy Teeth

    ETA: Oh my goodness, sorry for the mini-book. Thanks to anyone who reads through it all!

    What I've gathered so far is that magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, along with vitamins K, D, and A, are important for building strong teeth. Possibly zinc, too. Saw mixed research on xylitol. Looks like sorbitol and glycerin may be damaging. Phytic acid in grains and unsoaked nuts (among other foods) is damaging. Anything else I'm missing?

    The reason I'm asking is my 8 yr old's teeth are horrible. Three baby teeth have been pulled. Six cavities filled, with an appt to get 3 more filled. What's really got me worried is that some of the cavities are on adult teeth. It's like, geez, at this rate will my kid need dentures by early adulthood? And is my youngest child going to go through the same bad oral health?

    My kids and husband aren't grain free or even gluten free, but I do try to make their diets as primal as they'll tolerate. Juice and soda are not a part of the kids' diets, except for rare occasions. (and neither is milk because they hate the taste.) A typical day's menu for my 8 yr old looks something like this:

    Breakfast: bagel with butter, fruit
    Snack: carrots or applesauce or cereal
    Lunch: peanut butter and jelly sandwich, blueberries
    Dinner: chicken or beef, vegetables
    Snack: yogurt, nuts

    Some things I'm thinking of doing:
    ~Replacing the morning bagel with butter for buttered eggs with mozzarella cheese. There will be some resistance to this (already tried recently), but the kids used to enjoy cheesy eggs before so I'm hoping they'll get in the habit again.

    ~Making raw carrots the only food choice for 1st snack since they're high in vitamin content.

    ~Replacing the PB and jelly sandwich with a primal food. At a loss right now, since this is for a school lunch and my kid doesn't want hardboiled eggs, lunchmeat, or cheese sticks.

    ~Switching the pre-sweetened yogurt for Greek yogurt. The kids didn't like plain Greek yogurt, but perhaps adding a bit of honey will sweeten the deal (nyuk nyuk ).

    ~Adding more spinach to their diet because of all the vitamins it has. Was thinking of trying out a spinach patty recipe using an almond-based crust and frying it in coconut oil. If anyone knows of a kid-friendly recipe, I'm all ears (er, make that eyes).

    ~Soaking the nuts to reduce its phytic acid content. Still looking for a way to do this. All I've gathered for now is that the soaking needs to be for at least 18 hours. But I also read soaking creates a risk of moldy nuts.

    Does this look like a good plan? I asked my dentist and she just says brushing, flossing, and mouthwash, which is already being done and hasn't helped any. The 8 yr old even got 5 new cavities a month AFTER getting a fluoride treatment from the dentist. Very frustrating! I'm picking up a book called "Cure Tooth Decay" from the library today. Hoping it'll prove useful.
    I'm retraining and strengthening my taste buds, one primal meal at a time.

  • #2
    Read this (just the pictures tell an amazing story):
    Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

    Sugar and white flour are the enemy.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Heidi View Post
      I'm picking up a book called "Cure Tooth Decay" from the library today. Hoping it'll prove useful.
      You can listen to an interesting interview with the author of that book at Cure Tooth Decay with Rami Nagel 05/19 by Underground Wellness | Blog Talk Radio


      • #4
        I have been taking butter oil and cod liver oil for the past 6 months and have seen some great results regarding my teeth. I use to get horrible plaque build up but that seems to have gone away. I am waiting to see what happens at my next dentist appointment before I get too excited though.
        Check out my primal blog:


        • #5
          Dentists are so stupid sometimes. I have lost faith in the profession, and honestly the only reason why I would ever bother going is if I got into a car accident that knocked out all my teeth. Someone would need to make me pretty again or I would cry until the mascara ran down my face. And then no one would want to see me.

          Read the book Cure Tooth Decay. It is excellent! And helped me personally with my own dental problems while I was a poor, starving graduate student. It sucked to have to pay more money for the food and supplements, but it was still cheaper than having to go to a dentist even with my crappy student dental insurance.

          The changes I made to my diet were the following:

          1) Adding: Lots of broth, pasture-fed butter (for vitamin K that helps body intake vit A and D), grass fed liver, more offal, eating toast with butter and caviar (I know there are grains in toast, but I felt that it was offset by the benefits of what was on top), raw dairy

          2) Fermented cod liver oil taken everyday.

          3) Switching out my sweetener of choice: processed honey for raw local honey. The local part is not important. I am a sap when it comes to helping those awesome Massachusetts farmers. What will remain awesome independently of the sapiness is the raw part. Muuuuuuuch better for you and without as many nasty insulin spikes that seems to impact negatively on dental health.

          4) Removing most things that are processed (with exception of my butter/caviar toast mmm). A healthy body and system should be able to thrive in spite of occassional toxins in small quantities. If your teeth are bad, this is not the case as it generally means your body is so starved of essential nutrients it is forced to get them from other sources (again...bones and teeth).
          Last edited by catbreu; 04-10-2012, 08:42 AM.


          • #6
            I think a lot of it is genetic.

            My kids do not have cavities or the need for braces. They are in their teens. I, too have no cavities or had the need for braces. The dentist says they have the model teeth. However, my husband is entirely a different case. It's one thing or another. His parents have the same issues. He and his parents are sticklers for flossing and brushing morning and night, but this doesn't stop cavities, etc.

            My kids and husband do eat grains, have milk and eat entirely different than me. Although, they eat a whole lot better than the average CW person.

            So, in my case I don't feel diet is the cure or the cause. Maybe it has more to do with flora in my mouth and kids mouths. I don't know?
            Last edited by Tneah; 04-10-2012, 09:46 AM.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Tneah View Post
              I think a lot of it is genetic...
              Yes. But it's genetic in the sense that some people are more susceptible to the nutritional deficiencies that lead to caries and crooked teeth/underdeveloped jaws. Some people are resistant to these deficiency diseases, or they show up elsewhere in the body. But almost everyone could have good teeth if their nutritional state was better. Weston A. price showed this pretty well I think.
              Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

              My Primal Journal


              • #8
                I have some dental damage that cropped up after several years of eating sprouted wheat toast with jelly as a weekend breakfast. Grains & sugar are definitely bad news.


                • #9
                  I skimmed through Dr. Price's online book and found the photos really interesting. Can adopting a grain and processed sugar diet really damage teeth that much? Amazing.

                  Looked into cod liver and butter oil. There's a chocolate flavored gel from Green Pastures. Curious if it actually tastes decent. Goodness knows, the kids would look forward to cod liver oil if it tasted like chocolate. Recently discovered Kerrygold Irish butter. What a difference! It's so yummy I find myself eating it as a snack with sea salt. (Never, ever thought I'd eat plain butter.)

                  There's a meat shop about an hour from my house that has stuff like liver for cheap. I'll have to make a trip soon.

                  Thanks for the replies. I'm off to read that tooth decay book.
                  I'm retraining and strengthening my taste buds, one primal meal at a time.


                  • #10
                    fluoride is very damaging, contrary to what dentists will tell you. Go to and type fluoride into the search bar.... horrible stuff...can't believe they put this neurotoxin into some areas water supplies...yikes!


                    • #11
                      Yes, fluoride treatment seems to have been a waste of time for my 8 yr old. And I have to wonder how much harm it actually did. Would her teeth be stronger now without the two fluoride treatments from the dentist and the fluoride from tap water, toothpaste, and mouthwash? It's disappointing to go to a dentist, a professional with years of experience and education, follow their advice, and not see positive results, maybe even having done more harm than good.
                      I'm retraining and strengthening my taste buds, one primal meal at a time.


                      • #12
                        I found this about nuts from this website:

                        Soaking nuts and seeds

                        Soaking your nuts and seeds overnight in salty water is an easy way to get rid of most of the phytic acid and other antinutrients. After the nuts have soaked for a number of hours, rinse them throughly and dry them under the sun, in a dehydrator or in an oven set at the absolute lowest temperature.

                        You don’t absolutely need to dry the soaked nuts and seeds, but the moisture on them will make it easy for mold to grow so they should be eaten quite quickly.

                        Also, I never thought about other vitamins for tooth health so thanks for this post! I will do some research now.


                        • #13
                          Just wanted to update...

                          Been eating 2-3 tbsp of Kerrygold butter (topped with sea salt). Also upped my magnesium supplement. Don't always remember to take it, but I try to. Actually had a tooth re-mineralize. I had read about this occurrence and didn't know if it was kookiness or what, but I see the proof firsthand. My tooth's side had been worn out at the bottom. It was annoying because food always got stuck in that space. Now that space is filled with tooth. The weird thing is that the new part is a dingy looking orange-like color. I thought I read that's normal at first, but I don't know. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

                          Oh, and I've been doing this "system" I found on an online blog by dentist Dr. Ellie. Twice a day I rinse with Closys, brush with Crest original toothpaste, rinse with Listerine, and then rinse with ACT mouthwash. (I also floss before the nightly session. Dr. Ellie says it's not necessary, but I'm so used to flossing daily.) Plus I eat 2-3 tsp of xylitol daily. It's only been a week, but I'm already seeing improvement. My teeth are a little whiter and some plaque had come off. My teeth feel like they do after a professional cleaning, so that's cool. I also have my 8 yr old doing this protocol. There's no way my preschooler will do the rinses, so it's just brushing and xylitol mints for him.
                          I'm retraining and strengthening my taste buds, one primal meal at a time.


                          • #14
                            Nelle, thanks for the soaking info. I've cut down on nuts for now, but I am doing the soaking for my husband who's still eating nuts daily.
                            I'm retraining and strengthening my taste buds, one primal meal at a time.