Dr Steven Lin’s The dental diet is a fantastic book that develops the ideas of Weston Price and his ground-breaking research from the 1920s and 1930s. Price was a Canadian dentist who visited many countries and found that the indigenous groups who ate traditional diets had much better teeth.
We know a lot more of the science now and this book reveals the ways that the modern processed diet has negatively impacted on our bones and teeth. Not surprisingly he identifies sugar as being one of the biggest problems, but also points out that our modern diets are sorely lacking in the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K, as well as sufficient fibre.
Dr Lin writes about the importance of your microbiome in dental health. Your microbiome is unique to you and is made up of bacteria , fungi and viruses (I know, doesn’t sound promising) that are everywhere on and in your body. There are more than 100 trillion organisms in a healthy microbiome (that’s trillion, with 12 zeros!) Your microbiome helps digest our food and protect us from getting sick, you can think of them as your private army. Mice who are breed in a lab without a microbiome are small, weak and sickly. A healthy mouth microbiome protects your teeth from decay and cavities, even if you never brush your teeth!
Some of Dr Lin’s tips for healthy teeth are:
- Oxygen is vital and helps build a healthy mouth and jaw. Breathe through your nose as a habit and try some relaxed deep breathing before a meal.
- Eat lots of fat-soluble vitamins (A,D and K). Fatty fish, fish oil, butter, natto, cheese and egg yolks are all good sources.
- Cut back on refined foods like white bread.
- Try not to cook with vegetable oil, try coconut oil instead.
- Eats lots and lots of fibre to keep your microbiome balanced (vegetables are a good source)
- CUT THE SUGAR!! Check labels and try to drink mostly water.
I have been trying to follow most of these recommendations for some time and have noticed a difference. If you feel you need some help getting fat soluble vitamins the Weston Price foundation recommends Green Pastures products. You might want to try the fermented cod liver oil and butter gel – it hasn’t won any prizes for taste but I quite enjoy it!