Nutrition and oral health are as bound together as our heart health and nutrition. we often assume that just cutting out foods that are high in sugar and starches can lead to healthier teeth, but it’s not just about what are teeth are chewing on. It’s also about what how well our body is supplying our teeth with the vitamins and mineral that they need.
Dr. Weston A. Price
The Weston A. Price Foundation is a website dedicated to a dentist who founded the link between decaying teeth and nutrition. Dr. Price was an American Dentist in the early twentieth century who founded, what is today, the American Dental Association. He was concerned with the mouths of children he was working on. How their tooth decayed at such an early age. He had the notion that our bodies were not supposed to be these decaying vessels, but instead, full of vitality and continuous growth. He decided that our western diet was inadequate and he wanted to find culture’s whose diets were adequate to a fully developed, healthy human being.
Dr. Price’s Research
He knew that modern America civilization had somehow lost it’s heritage and tradition. Perhaps due in large to the massive immigration leading up to modern America. People wanted new opportunity but at the expense of their tradition and ancestral heritage. Once they arrived in America, they had to find new ways of surviving and eating food. This lead to the preservatives, additives, and new ways of processing the food we eat. Price decided that if the western’s “civilized” culture lead to such decayed mouths, he ought to study “uncivilized” cultures and make comparisons. His findings are absolutely astonishing.
As he went from culture to culture, from eskimos, to Australian aborigines, African tribes, South American Tribes, and others, he found that they all had traditional diets. These were diets that were not sought after. There was no online guide to determine what the meal plan for the week should be. There were no advertisements telling them what they needed to have. There was no bookstore with multitudes of books all claiming to have the best solution for similar goals.There was only their ancestral and experiential knowledge and traditional practices.
Dr.Price observed amazing ways that tribes worked to produce healthy individuals. When a man and woman wanted to start trying to have a baby, their community knew what foods to provide for them in order to produce a fully developed, healthy baby. In pictures of these kids, you can see fully developed cheek bones, jawlines, and a broad facial structure. Dr. Price observed that the people of these cultures had an emotional stability unlike that of western cultures (later he made connections between patients in Asylums, their facial structure, and their malnutrition.
Most importantly,he found that their diet lead to straight, white, healthy teeth. Their jawlines had developed large enough to hold all their teeth. They didn’t eat the processed or sugary foods that rot westerners teeth. Plus, their internal organs were fueled by the nutritionally dense food which also aided their dental health.
The Uncivilized Diet
Dr. Price found three key factors in a diet that lead to a successful and healthy mouth:
- the presence of enough minerals
- the presence of enough fat soluble vitamins
- how bio-available these nutrients are
These cultures ate food that wasn’t processed, nor did it have additives. They also ate very few grains and seeds which add high levels of phytic acid in the body that inhibit nutrition absorption. Developing a diet that mimics isolated cultures has been a huge influence in how we view the food that we eat (organic and paleo movements are both largely influenced by Dr. Price).
How You Can Improve Your Nutrition and Oral Health
Hopefully this blog post will motivate you to get out there and see how you can improve your entire life through better and more conscious nutrition. Developing a nutrition plan that can satisfy your bodily function and promote oral health takes a lot of time and research. However, changes in diet to promote oral health have shown to remineralize damaged and decaying teeth (changes in diets have even been shown to reverse cavities!). So keep searching and let this serve as a springboard to the possibilities of developing a nutritional lifestyle. The three criteria listed above can serve as helpful guidelines towards finding a meal plan that works for your budget and your taste buds.
Call us for a free consultation and find out how you can start getting your mouth more healthy and more happy.