Updated: March 1, 2020
Is it possible that our dietary choices, beyond the basic question of how much sugar we consume, can impact our dental health? Today, I will be sharing our experience working with a holistic dentist who had a three-pronged approach to dental health: diet, using remineralization products, and regular dental cleanings. Let’s talk about why she chose that approach.
Dr. Weston A Price
I was first interested in this topic when I was introduced to Dr. Weston A Price’s book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. He was a dentist at the turn of the century who focused on the correlation between diet and cavities. Price traveled the world, studying the nutritional value of traditional diets and the dental health of those who ate said diets. He found two things: traditional diets were much higher in nutrients than the typical diet in industrialized nations, and the people who ate these traditional diets had less dental decay and better teeth and jaw formations. It’s important to note that these were not studies, and his observations don’t prove anything more than a correlational link.
That said, he wrote about his own experience of feeding malnourished children a nutrient-dense diet and seeing if it made an impact on cavities. Before the trial, the children’s diet consisted “of highly sweetened strong coffee and white bread, vegetable fat, pancakes made of white flour and eaten with syrup and doughnuts fried in vegetable fat.”
The diet he fed them at their mid-day meal (they were still eating at home for breakfast and dinner) was:
- 4 ounces of tomato juice or orange juice
- 1 teaspoon of equal parts of very high vitamin natural cod liver oil and an especially high vitamin butter (at the beginning of the meal)
- 1 pint of stew, full of nutrient-dense homemade stock, made with plenty of bone marrow bones, meat, and vegetables.
- Cooked fruit with very little sweetening
- Rolls made out of freshly ground whole wheat and lots of pastured butter.
- Plus, each child was given two glasses of fresh whole milk.
Each child had seconds if they wanted it (and many did). This menu regularly varied to include fish chowder or organ meats.
Before the program, Price had carefully examined and taken x-rays of all of the children’s teeth. He reported that, after being in his program, 90% of the children showed signs of arrested cavities. Their cavities weren’t getting worse, and new ones weren’t forming. He also showed through x-rays that some of the children had cavities remineralized. (You can see the x-rays in his book). He also noted improved nutrient levels in their salvia (more on saliva below).
He found that if they stopped eating his food, they would often start having rapid decay again.
What’s happening here? First, we should note that this was certainly not a low-sugar or low-carbohydrate diet. They were still eating highly sweetened food in the morning and evening, though this meal would likely help them reduce simple sugars for one meal. But he argues that it was not simply taking out sugary foods but rather adding in nutrient-dense foods.
What does modern research show us? Here is a sample of what research is showing:
Vitamin D and Cavities
Dr. Price noted higher amounts of vitamin D (alongside other nutrients) among traditional diets. He fed children foods high in vitamin D for that reason. Recent research does show a link between vitamin D and dental health. “This systematic review…suggests that supplemental vitamin D was associated with a 47% reduced risk of caries.” Source (PDF)
Malnutrition and Cavities
Recent research has shown a connection between malnutrition and cavities. One study shows a relationship between cavities, mouth pain, and malnutrition. Another study found that early malnutrition resulted in more cavities. Other research shows, interestingly, that children who were obese or underweight had more cavities.
Impacts of sugars and carbohydrates
There is a dynamic relationship between both simple sugars, and other fermentable carbohydrates, as they “affect the integrity of the teeth, quantity, pH, and composition of the saliva, and plaque pH…” Source
Furthermore, “The relation between diet and nutrition and oral health and disease can best be described as a synergistic 2-way street. Diet has a local effect on oral health, primarily on the integrity of the teeth, pH, and composition of the saliva and plaque. Nutrition, however, has a systemic effect on the integrity of the oral cavity, including teeth, periodontium (supporting structure of the teeth), oral mucosa, and alveolar bone. Alterations in nutrient intake secondary to changes in diet intake, absorption, metabolism, or excretion can affect the integrity of the teeth, surrounding tissues, and bone as well as the response to wound healing.”
In short, what we eat does matter.
One food item Dr. Price added was dairy. Here are two related studies.
Yogurt is linked to Lower Cavities:
Research shows that “a high consumption of yogurt may be associated with a lower prevalence of dental caries in young children.” Source
Cheese linked to Lower Cavities
Cheese may help prevent cavities because it helps increase saliva (more on that below), it could help inhibit “plaque bacteria,” and “thereby reducing acid production”, and because it increases “alkaline substances, calcium, inorganic phosphate, and casein, which decrease mineralization and enhance remineralization.”
What is Remineralization?
Dr. Price claims to have seen remineralization in children who were eating a better diet. What does that mean?
“Tooth remineralization is a reparative process, which occurs naturally and daily inside the mouth. This process repairs the lost enamel (outermost part of the tooth) and helps in preventing cavities.” Source
Here are two factors that relate to remineralization:
pH of saliva (impacted by the calcium and phosphate it contains)
Bacteria in the mouth
According to research, cavities are caused “by the interaction of bacteria, mostly Streptococcus mutans, and sugar on tooth enamel surfaces.” Bacteria breaks down carbohydrates and then causes an acidic environment that “leads to demineralization and resultant carious lesions.”
Saliva’s Role in Remineralization
Saliva is “one of the most important biological factors” in neutralizing acid exposure. Dental erosion is “directly related to the buffering capacity and rate” of saliva. Saliva helps because it has a“cleaning and antibacterial action” but also because it is a “constant source of calcium and phosphate.” This is helpful because those minerals “helps in maintaining supersaturation with respect to tooth minerals, therefore inhibiting tooth demineralization during periods of low pH.”
Do you remember how Dr. Price noted higher nutrients in the saliva of kids eating a better diet? Calcium and phosphate in your saliva are known to help remineralize teeth. I couldn’t find research backing his claims that a more nutrient-dense diet increased minerals in saliva, but it’s an interesting note.
Because saliva is so important for your dental health, if you have dry mouth (and therefore less saliva), you are much more prone to cavities. Those who sleep with their mouth open, also causing dry mouth, are also more prone to decay.
Our Experience Working with a Holistic Dentist.
Besides the typical encouragement to get regular dental cleanings, our dentist also recommended a low sugar and high nutrient diet. Many holistic dentists also discourage eating and drinking all day long, as the constant influx of foods and beverages reduces the pH in your mouth, and therefore prevents teeth from remineralizing.
She recommended several different avenues to help teeth in their regular remineralization process. One was using both toothpaste and a mouthwash that specifically helps with three things, 1) pH, 2) remineralization substances 3) xylitol (which research has linked to lower amounts of bacteria in the mouth).
The other rule was to chew xylitol gum after drinking or eating, when not brushing. (I link to the brand recommended by many dentists because it not only has xylitol, but it also keeps the mouth at a better pH).
Fluoride is the most common remineralization addition to toothpaste, and the products she recommends contain them. Her stance was that research shows the most benefit from using fluoride orally, rather than drinking fluoridated water. If you are looking for an alternative to fluoride that also promotes remineralization, in Japan, they use hydroxyapatite, a mineral that constitutes 90% of our tooth enamel, and that many studies show protects and helps remineralize with similar results as fluoride. Specific brands suggested below.
Apagard Premio: Well respected Japanese brand that uses hydroxyapatite (mineralization) and xylitol (anti-bacterial). Boka offers a similar toothpaste, with added essential oils (flavor and anti-bacterial).
Ctx4: This is the system that our dentist recommends. It helps with pH neutralization, uses xylitol (anti-bacterial), fluoride and nano hydroxyapatite for remineralization.
Coral Nano Silver Toothpaste: Uses xylitol (anti-bacterial), nanosilver solution (antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal) coral calcium (restores proper pH, offers trace minerals for remineralization), and essential oils (antibacterial, anti-inflammatory)
Mouthwatchers Toothbrushes: The fine bristles cleans teeth better than a typical toothbrush, and the silver in it helps prevent bacterial growth
Probiotics for the Mouth: Because good bacteria is just as important as not having bad bacteria in the mouth.
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Wow! I seriously need to read Dr. Price’s book! I was introduced to him and his research through Nourishing Traditions, but I’ve never read the book. To answer your questions, I feel like we do have at least one very nutrient dense meal per day…when my husband is home. He is a nurse and is gone 14 hours per day on the 3-5 days per week that he works, and fixing that kind of meal when I’m alone with 4 children 5 and under is overwhelming at best to well-nigh impossible at worst. When it’s just the children and I, we tend to eat leftovers (which can be very nutrient-dense) or more snacky foods (homemade nut/seed butters with fruit, homemade muffins, raw cheese, etc) that while nutritious, fall rather short of the abundance of Dr. Price’s meal. I think, like you, I’m guilty of spreading the nutrients out too much throughout the day. For instance, the children and I drink milk BETWEEN or well before meals because I find if I give them milk with a meal, they’re too full to eat well. We take the cod liver oil with the butter oil in it, so I have that partnership covered, but I admit that while I’m generally very knowledgeable about food/nutrients/proper preparation, I’m apparently quite ignorant of the synergistic workings of many nutrients. I definitely need to do some research on this.
Our teeth are very good. My children have beautiful, evenly spaced teeth with wide palates.
The idea of preparing that dense of a meal is terribly overwhelming to me…it’s just a new idea to include everything in one meal instead of throughout the day. I’m already doing things to increase our consumption of bone broth. I try to always have some in the freezer and/or in the crockpot to either cook grains in, make stew, or just drink. I think I just need to plan a little bit better for days I’m here alone so I can just heat stews or pull rolls out of the freezer, etc.
Thanks for another great post. Got me thinking, as usual, and I’m going to really beef up my knowledge of the synergistic relationships of foods/nutrients.
Preparing that dense of a meal is **not** terribly overwhelming. Oops. Should have proofread (says she with the writing degree. Blushes.)
I really want to implement this kind of a meal at LEAST several times a week at dinner. My kids dont love stew (they dont like broth) but if it is thick/chunky enough it might be ok. I have been doing homemade sourdough with white and wheat flour but am going to try to perfect my 100% freshly ground whole wheat. My poor daughter, 6 years old, has 8 cavities. One is almost to the nerve. We are getting fillings on 4 of them, all baby teeth, because I don’t have enough confidence in my ability to get these foods into her consistently enough to heal them quickly and I don’t want to end up having to do a root canal. If anyone has advice, I’m open to it!
I’m in the same boat and feel like I need a nutritionist to help. My son has an allergy to milk so is often drinking oat milk. We buy raw milk and I try to use stock into our grains. We eat almond flour waffles but they have syrup? He’s picky and doesn’t like soup, stews, or vegetables for that matter! I need help.
love this installment of articles on dr. price’s book kimi! i think you nailed it when you said, “making sure that we are getting a synergy of nutrients in one meal” is the key to filling in the gaps.
since printing out your pdf, i’ve noticed ways i can combine food to create that effect. ie, this weekend i made a chard soup with shredded beef–sauteed the chard in butter, used some beef bone broth to deglaze the pan and steam cook the greens, and as the base for the soup, added the slow cooked grass-fed beef, caramelized red onion, generous garnish of fresh parsley, and healthy dollop of creme fraiche.
the issue for me is that my body doesn’t tolerate grains well, or dairy that isn’t cultured. (butter seems to be okay, but drinking milk bothers me). i’d love to know what other folks do to combine their food in a way that maximizes nutrient content.
I am sure that using only cultured dairy and going grain-free is fine! Magnesium can be harder to get in on a grain-free diet, but they aren’t the only food source of magnesium. 🙂
What sounds hard to me is finding something that everyone in my family likes every day of the week while providing variety (they don’t want the same things for dinner every day). I also need to look up which gluten-free grains, and which non-grain food, I can use for magnesium because I do much better without grains. I would love to find a kind of gluten-free bread recipe that everyone will eat that is properly prepared, and one I can keep up with making regularly. Gluten-free preferably because even though I’m the only GF person here, I avoid baking/cooking with wheat for cross-contamination. Sorry for the stream-of-consciousness comment! Very interesting blog post; thank you.
I have added Epsom salt baths into our teeth healing protocol. 2 cups in a bath for adults or 1 cup for kids. It is such an easy (and inexpensive) way to get magnesium into our bodies!
Oooh, I love the idea of Epsom salt baths into teeth healing protocol for magnesium! Where did you read/hear that, Miranda?
Like Jen, we have restrictions that most don’t because we live a non-stop travel lifestyle and at the moment we are in tropical Asia for kidlet’s Mandarin immersion.
We’ve got to keep it simple and rather repetitive because there are just less healthy WAPF food choices here. Luckily I just found a great raw goats milk dairy which is going to help a lot.
I have actually cured myself of SEVERE gum disease and severe bone loss…actually grew back all the bone ( which every dentist will tell you is impossible, but I have the x-rays to prove it) …and I did this between 55 and 58 years old ( still great now at almost 61.
Interestingly, I did it in a natural way, but it was BEFORE I discovered Price and changed to his diet ideas. Cavities just don’t run in my family ( despite eating bad foods…I had my first tiny cavity at 36) but I did have a bad case of gum disease from my twenties. ( Interestingly we had a period of raw Jersey milk in my teens).
Now I am working on using diet to cure my daughter’s and husband’s cavities. Definitely a challenge with our lifestyle, but I think we can do it. Important too I think to make sure it is type 2 milk ( ala Devil in the Milk info)….few mention the importance of that fact.
Thanks for that tip … and this post Kimi!
Jeanne, If I may ask, could you let us know how you managed to cure your bone loss and gum disease?
don’t know where you are jen but i eat grindstone bakery loaves with are traditionally prepared. they use millet and quinoa and have a sesame/sunflower/flax seed “crust.”
http://www.wisechoicemarket.com/ This is another good choice I love their little breads.
I am hoping some of you have ideas for me on how to get these nutrients in my son who is allergic to dairy, beef and eggs among other things. On our most recent trip to the dentist all my kids are cavity free but I do keep their intake of sugar very low. We never drink cow milk as my oldest is the one with allergies and milk wasn’t introduced to the younger ones at an early age and they never developed a taste for it. But I do have great access to grassfed beef and bones which I prepare occasionally for my other children although we do more chicken broth since my oldest can tolerate that. He also has a fish allergy so cod liver oil is out as well.
Lamb stock and chicken stock work well! You can use chicken liver instead of cod liver oil. As a side note, we just found out that I am not allergic to goat milk (but am to cow’s), sometimes it is just cow’s milk that you react too. However, I should note that the majority of people groups Dr. Price studied didn’t consume dairy. 🙂 They just ate a lot of seafood, organ meats, and marrow bones. (and insects…but I don’t go there!)
Kimi have you tried cow’s milk from traditional breeds such as Jersey cows?
Dr Natasha Campbell said in a recent lecture (Wise Traditions London 2012) that the casein of the milk of the new cow breeds (Frankestein breeds as she calls them 🙂 ) is harmful and it causes all sorts of health problems. Casein from traditional breeds, on the other hand, is very different and does not generally cause intolerances and allergies.
She recommends to drink only milk from traditional breeds and if we cannot find it to choose goat’s or sheep’s milk.
About your question, we’ve been on the GAPS diet for about a year now and I believe that we are eating a nutrient dense diet.
We have experienced a lot of healing, especially myself, and I believe that you would too if you try the diet once more and stick to it a little longer 🙂
In that same lecture Dr Natasha also discusses how a person can be iron-deficient despite having the best diet in the world and taking the most expensive supplements, it’s all down to the gut function.
My 2-year old is fussy again so I must go, I feel you about sleeping times – we are in the same lousy situation here and also I’m pregnant with my third baby (I have a 5-year old as well!) and need a lot of sleep but I’m having a hard time getting it.
Best wishes from Athens! xxx
Are brown swiss cattle considered a traditional breed?
I had the same problem with my girls’ allergies (some anaphylactic) and we were introduced to N.A.E.T. Their allergies have been ‘cured’ ever since and they are eating all the foods that used to make them break out in hives or make their lips swell, causing them to have to carry epi-pens with them. Check out the website:
It has changed my kids’ lives!
I have also used NAET to cure our allergies. We were eating all the correct foods for teeth health, but 2 of my kids were still getting cavities. They actually had vitamin d, k, and a allergies, so they weren’t absorbing what they ate. We’re still in the first month of waiting to see if their teeth heal, but the allergies are definitely gone.
I really appreciate these write ups! I’m inspired to start grinding flour. I wonder if anyone has anything to say about the vitamix container with the dry blade for this?
The most overwhelming part for me is the raw milk. I don’t like the taste of milk, never have. Neither do my parents. We don’t drink a lot of any kind of milk but when we do (for pancakes, etc.) it is from a carton (coconut, almond…) I do believe in the benefits or raw milk, though. Maybe I could make it chocolate milk and include it at least a couple of times a week.
I love my dry mix container for my Vitamix. I use it for grains, beans, flax, nuts and even coconut to make flour. It is fast and easy to use. You just have to be careful to not mix too long or you end up with “butter”. I also usually run the mix through a sieve if I’m making something like a cake to makes sure I pull out any unground bits.
Great, thank you!
I should also share my cavity story. I grew up eating very nourishing Russian foods (cabbage rolls, borsh, fish…) and although my diet was not sugar free and my dental hygiene was just average I never had a cavity during my childhood.
In college, I began brushing my teeth much more thoroughly, flossing daily and just being more aware. At the same time I began eating a low fat diet, sorely lacking in nutrients. By the time I graduated college, got insurance and went to the dentist I was expecting the same report as always – “no cavities!” But instead I had 12! Since then, I’ve been eating healthier, I have not had problems with my teeth though, thankfully. I fully believe that while flossing and brushing is important, what you put in is more so.
That’s very interesting. Thanks for sharing!
Anastasia @ eco-babyz
I have a story similar to yours! I was raised in Russia and was 11 when I came to the U.S. I ate pretty nutritious food there, it was simple – but real. There was no such things as ‘low-fat’ dairy back then. Though our dairy was pasteurized, we lived someplace where it was very high quality nevertheless. I had great tooth health. Fast forward to coming to America. We were on food stamps for the first year, went to the supermarkets and bought all this seemingly ‘awesome American food’. My teeth went downhill from there big time. Now I have kids of my own and we are trying to save my daughter’s teeth this year with Ramiel’s Cure Tooth Decay protocol 🙂 I hope it works! http://www.eco-babyz.com/2012/12/crumbling-baby-teeth.html
That is really interesting! I agree with Alicia! Thank you for sharing a personal story. I’d love to hear more details about what you ate growing up!
I am from Russia as well, except my parents ate poorly and candy/sugar was given to me. So I needed crowns when I came to America.
My challenge is getting my two year old to eat nutrient dense food. She ha a bad cold right now so I made chicken broth but she will not drink it. She is also showing signs f food sensitivities so we have taken dairy and gluten out of her diet. It stressful when she has a will of steal. I’m hoping that as we remove all of the bad stuff she will slowly start eating, or at least trying the good stuff. If anyone has any ideas or advice on this it would be great to hear. Kimi I remember you mentioning once that your youngest is kind of picky. Do you still struggle with that? Any thoughts?
This deserves a whole post. My daughter was very, very sensitive to textures. We learned not to push any food on her. It was a hard lesson to learn, as our oldest was a great eater, so we couldn’t understand our second not wanting to eat. I’ve learned just to put a wide variety of things in front of her throughout the day, and not to comment about it. I just let her eat what she wants. Eventually, she started eating more and more nourishing food, though she is still not a poster child for a Weston A Price diet! Lunch today included a stew. She won’t eat the very soft stew meat, but she will eat the broth. She ate maybe 6 bites of the broth, a couple bites of the sausage, and a piece of gluten-free whole grain toast slaughtered with pastured butter. Better than before, but I would have wished if she ate more broth! However, she LOVES cod liver oil.
Anyways, don’t stress yourself about it, and DON’T stress her about it. The more you push the more she will probably push back. Just set in front of her a lot of good food, and let her explore it. Eventually, I betcha she will be eating better. Toddlers often go through stages of eating only small amounts. 🙂 And I keep introducing her to foods. The first 6 -8 times I set yogurt in front of her, she wouldn’t have anything to do with it after the first bite. Now, all of a sudden, she loves it. It takes time.
Thank you Kimi for your reply to Hanni on the picky eater topic. My 4 year old is extremely picky – he absolutely can not stand certain textures. (New to me since my oldest has always been a great eater – even better than me!) I’ve been very frustrated because he has also become hypoglycemic. So it’s really hard not to force him to eat because when he doesn’t have a good meal or snack, he will just fall apart because of the low blood sugar issue. I am trying to make a bigger variety of things for him to try and hoping we’ll hit on more things he likes. But I have a 3 month old baby and this just seems to be such a hard time to deal with all this. But anyway, thank you for encouraging the “keep introducing foods” – I needed to be reminded of that!
Diane Craft in her lectures talks about kids that have issues w texture often seem to have an imbalance w good bacteria and yeast – when parents start to add more good bacteria and do grape fruit seed to kill the yeast it seems the kids eat more texture foods. All the info is in her cd Biology of Behavior I believe.
My almost 3 year old is super-picky! I am reading “French Kids Eat Everything” by Karen Le Billon. She has a lot of practical ideas and insight, derived from the French culture. I am really excited about implementing some of the wisdom in her book around our family dinner table!
I’m up for some sort of challenging of combining these types of foods in one meal. Our habit now getting a lot of this at breakfast – pastured eggs, cod liver oil, grass-fed butter on sprouted bread, and raw milk. What would be missing it seems is the meat/broth aspect. I’d consider making a large stew for our lunches (my husband comes home for lunch) and shifting some things to lunch, such as the CLO, more milk of course, and toast with the yummy butter. It would streamline lunch a lot of days, actually, if this was just our lunch at least most days of the week.
ETA: I have never had a cavity, my husband has had a couple in his younger days, and my children (3.5 and 20 mo) have no cavities
Good for you Alicia! And I’m glad you are up for the challenge. 🙂
Welcome to my blog! And welcome to this journey together. 🙂
Anastasia @ eco-babyz
How timely, I just subscribed to your blog a few days ago and I wrote this post on my blog just a few days ago: http://www.eco-babyz.com/2012/12/crumbling-baby-teeth.html
You must have read my mind 🙂 I’m really looking forward to see what this will do for our family’s teeth. We have been grain and sugar free since New Year’s and I just got the Cod Liver Oil in the mail today. It’s going to be tough, but worth it. We’re picking up our 1/4 cow soon at a local farm and we found some great places for raw milk! Can’t wait to meet the farmers 🙂
I think that genetics must come into play at some point. I have been following the Weston-Price/Nourishing Traditions blueprint for years now, and my teeth are not great. I floss at least twice daily, brush (non-fluoride, much to my dentist’s chagrin), oil pull with coconut oil, use a dental pic after eating, and still have cavities, two being discovered yesterday. My dentist thinks I lie about my dental hygiene. Some of us just have teeth genetically prone to caries. Not all things work for all people. I am not following Weston-Price just for my teeth, but for overall health and eco-sustainability, which is enough for me.
Have you considered omitting grains?
This is such an interesting topic. I never had any cavities until after the birth of my 2nd child – then I had 5! But none since. However I have a terrible problem with receding gums and had to have grafting surgeries several times. My husband and his sisters all have terribly crooked teeth – ever since reading what Mr. Price wrote about teeth a couple years ago, I have wondered if their crooked teeth had to do with their diet growing up. They grew up very poor on a farm – they ate “real food” but not much variety.
Kimi – what kind of cod liver oil do you all use? We’ve started with the Green Pastures fermented – but after reading this post, I wonder if I need the one that has the butter fat in it. (I just got the cheapest one of theirs)
Dina-Marie @ Cultured Palate
I love this topic and am so glad you are spreading the word!
Ihave been on the GAPS diet for 1 year now and have experiences amazing results! I no longer suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and can eat meat now after a 30 + year allergy! I had the entire family ( husband an 7 out of 10 children who are still at home)on it for several months to make sure their gut bacteria was of the good kind (one goal of GAPS). That being said, I think we do get the nutrients recommended but sometimes not in the quantities in 1 meal. I have read Cure Tooth Decay and have myself experienced the reminerialization of a tooth as well as seen the healing of a brown spot is our 6 year old’s tooth. And, my osteoporosis is reversing since changing my eating! We do have our own family milk cow so we get plenty of fresh raw milk.
One interesting note about the people groups studied by Dr. Price in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, when they ate grains, they were usually prepared in a traditional way (sourdough) which neutralized the phytic acid found in grains. Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that binds with the calcium in your food and your body. It prevents your body from absorbing calcium as well as other nutrients. Mr. Nagel in his book also references going grain free to cure cavities because of the phytic acid.
Idid a post a while back which reviewed Mr. Nagel’s book along with some other research in addition to Dr. Price’s:
I think that we, like you, Kimi, tend to spread our nutrient-dense food out throughout the day.. And some days are better than others! I have 2 great eaters and 2 who are picky… I’ve never tried cod liver oil… How do you serve that? Also, I have a husband who is very suspicious of raw milk. Am I understanding correctly that whole pasteurized milk may have some benefit over the reduced-fat varieties, even if it isn”t raw? Finally, I’m wondering about sources of goat milk. Where do you find it? We’ve actually been considering raising goats, so if anyone has any experience with that, I’d love to ‘hear’ about it! Thanks for these interesting posts!!!
Anne, you might find this post helpful… http://wholeintentions.com/2012/10/the-goat-set-up/
Lynda, thank you!
Hmmm … I have read your blog for a while and enjoyed many of your recipes. Since you are bringing up Dr. Price, I would love for you to address how to incorporate these ideas when the household has significant food issues. i.e. my son is quite allergic to dairy and we do not even have dairy in the house. So milk + high vitamin butter – not an option. We have been advised not to try goat or other animal milk because of the degree of his sensitivity. Because of my thyroid issues, I am sensitive to a number of “nutrient dense” foods, including gluten and unfortunately brassicas. I suspect some of these issues have been addressed in the comments, and you may be addressing them in future posts … just wanted to throw that issue out there.
Hi. Which cooked fruits do you think he did?
Thanks for the wonderful post.
There are a lot of Lisa’s here…I promise, I haven’t posted since the first post! I wanted to ask if you have an idea of how coconut products would fit on Dr. Price’s food spectrum. We are gluten free due to celiac, and I use about half properly-prepared (sprouted/soured) GF grains such as millet, sorghum, and buckwheat, and about half coconut flour. Sometimes I just have limited time to pre-soak grains or sprout grains for flour, so I use the coconut flour as it has negligible phytic acid. Same with coconut oil and butter. We use about half and half. We get organic butter, but it’s not raw (we do use raw milk and cream). I’m sure coconut doesn’t really show up in Dr. Price’s meals because it wasn’t widely available at that time, and I know it’s very nutritious, but I’m just wondering if the coconut meets the synergy requirements that the fresh ground gluten-containing flour does? Today, I made the children stew with bone broth and vegetables, and I’m serving it with raw milk, fresh fruit (and the ubiquitous cod liver/butter oil), but I made coconut flour cheese crackers to go with it. How would that compare to his biscuits in nutrition?
Okay, and I should have added, his menu is an incredible amount of food! I didn’t even eat the fruit or fruit juice and I’m stuffed almost to discomfort. And my toddlers, who are great eaters and can out-eat many adults couldn’t finish. I understand the children in the study had to have a big meal because their nutrition the rest of the day was dismal, but with my kids already having a big nutritious breakfast and then looking forward to a big supper, there is just no way I can stuff that much food into them. And I gave them small servings too.
Kimi, I am very much looking forward to more details about the challenge. I agree that combining the right foods for a synergistic effect is lacking in my current meal planning. I hope that you will consider mapping out a few different menus to help me wrap my mind around the options.
Thanks for this emphasis on nutrient dense foods. It’s just what I needed at the beginning of the year as I revisit what it working well and what needs tweaking this year.
I’m very interested in this! My teeth are horrible! I’ve eaten crap food my whole life (34yrs) and have just started learning about Dr. Price. I know enough to feed my 14mo old good foods meaning meat’s, raw dairy, fruits, veggies, butter, and fats. But I still slack and eat crap food about 1/2 the week. So yes, I’d love to follow along with something in order to help my teeth and the overall health of my family. No I don’t think I get a nutritiously dense meal often.
The overwhelming part for me will be the bread. I don’t want to eat whole wheat, nor do I know how to make bread or rolls. So I would probably not include that in my meal. Someone earlier mentioned the magnesium benefit from the whole wheat, would it be ok to up my magnesium supplement/oil/lotion? But i should be able to make the bone broth with meat and veggies, drink the raw milk, and have the butter, FCLO and butter oil (can we use homemade ghee made from grass fed butter for this?) and the cooked fruit.
This is a great article! We found the Weston Price stuff upon research when my 3 year old had 8 cavities and 3 that needed baby root canals! Yikes…and no, she had never had soda or candy. We worked on the traditional diet he recommends but it wasn’t changing her teeth fast enough and I wasn’t getting it nutrient dense enough b/c I really had no idea how to cook like this. We went on the Gaps diet and it all stopped in it’s tracks. Her system purged the lingering puss from the tooth infection that she had (without using antibiotics) and now, she has no cavities and stronger teeth and gums! Praise God! I believe Dr. Price’s diet works. We just needed a little gut healing first to be able to absorb all those good nutrients. It has been a huge change lifestyle wise but we aren’t going back and I would do it all over in a heart beat. I love that there are so many great blogs like this one that show people how to do it… it’s a steep learning curve. I just want to encourage people out there that this DOES heal cavities and you CAN reverse tooth decay!
Wow Katrina, what a story!!! I’m so glad you had such great success! Can I ask you where you found the GAPS info and did you buy Dr. Price’s book as well? I need to seriously heal my own teeth and it wouldn’t hurt to just do GAPS for myself to heal my own gut and include my 14mo old along the way just in case he needs his gut healed too. 🙂 Thanks for sharing as your story is living proof that you can reverse tooth decay!!!
Wonderful! I have been researching this for the last year and so you inspiring me is perfect timing! Our family has always eaten very well – no sugar or processed foods, whole grains etc. and yet 3 of my 4 children that are old enough to go to the dentist have TERRIBLE cavities! So there HAS to be something else going on here…and so I begin to dig and this is where I found all these connecting stories – Nourishing Traditions last year for my birthday, A local Dentist that adheres to the Tooth Decay book, your blog – amazing and fantastic! I am happy to report that so far my oldest daughter, who had many cavities needing attention, and who I decided to use as my ‘test child’ so-to-speak – has done much of the regimen that Price recommended and has actually begun to remineralize her teeth! (tested with the Canary Method by our new dentist) Now – I think adding in this piece of yours for the whole family to enjoy one main nourishing meal a day (can we really keep up with this?…..) is a perfect addition. Thank you and I will tell you how it goes!
This is one health topic I’m extremely interested in as tooth decay has been like a plague on my life until recently. I’ve halted the disease process in myself and in my kid (who had 4 crumbling upper incisors at the ripe old age of 15 months that would have been treated with pulpotomies and crowns had we gone with the standard of care). DD is 4 now and her teeth are all healthy, cosmetic issues aside. Mine are stable but most molars have or are in need of crowns because they are no longer structurally sound. I have 1 tooth without a cavity – a wisdom tooth that erupted in my 30’s 🙂
What we did: I had my rock bottom dental moment and out of frustration no longer accepted that we just got “bad” teeth or that we were doomed somehow. (really critical shift in thinking)
I did come across the Cure Tooth Decay Book and WAP concepts, but there really is more current, evidence-based information out there on the disease of dental caries. I would suggest these resources as a compliment to WP’s work and to gain an understanding of the possible mechanisms behind his hypotheses (this is very important to me personally; I what to know *why*… not just this happened and then that):
– Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox by Kate Rheaume-Bleue (how vitamin K2 functions in the body and why it needs to be balanced out with vitamins A and D)
– Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye by Dr. Ellie Philips (how to use xylitol for best effects, easy to understand but detailed information on the caries disease process, de- and remineralization… focuses mainly on the bacteria/acid theory which Cure Tooth Decay discounts but there’s no reason why this and other theories are mutually exclusive*)
– A paper titled The Systemic Theory of Dental Caries by Ken Southward, DDS, FAGD
Here’s a link: http://www.sorrentinodental.com/systemic_theory_of_dental_caries.pdf
This one is just FASCINATING! It talks about how the actual destruction of the tooth structure is an inflammatory process.
*IMO, a huge mistake made by conventional dentistry and holistic/natural-minded approaches alike is zeroing in on one theory of tooth decay when really, it is a multi-factoral disease and there are many targets that can be modified to get one’s mouth healthy.
And to make my comment relevant to this post, one thought I had is if our bodies store fat-soluble vitamins and other nutrients, why the pressure to put them down in a meal at once?
Was anyone measuring how the WP cavity kids were eating at home with the inclusion of that humungous, nutritious meal with ample satiating fat? If not, it’s entirely possible that they were eating much less junk to compensate. Younger kids especially, are good at regulating their appetite/caloric intake naturally to meet the needs of their bodies.
Fork and Whisk
Great information and great post. I believe that so many of health issues are directly linked to our diet. Our bodies are amazing when we do actually nourish them and feed ourselves good foods. You are doing a great job posting about this.
I am really confused. I recently watched a movie, “Forks over Knives.” The evidence presented in that movie gathered over the course of several years and by some very well regarded scientists and physicians is that any animal based food products, milk and meat, are very harmful to the human body. While the advertising campaigns try to convince us that these products are beneficial for good health, the evidence found was that they are very harmful. Watch the movie (on Netflix) and let me know what you think. Needless to say, the information outlined above contradicts the information fathered by Dr. Matt Lederman, MD and wife Dr. Alona Pulde, MD, Dr. Colin Campbell, Ph.d.
and Dr. Caldwell Esseltstyn, Jr. MD. I would like to know your thoughts.
This could not come at a better time. My boyfriend is currently in the process of losing his teeth due to a diet frighteningly similar to the diet mentioned in the post – sweetened coffee, breakfast cereals, processed foods, pasta, etc. Very few veggies. From all the coffee and smoking he actually has osteoporosis and his teeth are just rotting right out. For 3 years there has been talk of changing his habits…. he is now several more teeth lighter than 3 years ago and the rest are in perilous shape. I have sent him both these posts to try and galvanize him that visits to the dentist are not the only way to preserve what he has left. It is so heartening to see info like this come up right now!
My teeth have been pretty great. Only a few cavities. I would love to eat more pastured dairy but budget-wise we haven’t been able to afford it. I have been eating less dairy overall but massively increasing my greens intake which is probably helping a lot. Also doing more baking with alternative flours from scratch.
Kindof awesome to know that the budget friendly practices I have adopted like cooking chicken whole and then using the bones for broth actually has a nutritional benefit as well as being thrifty. 🙂
I love my teeth! (and the rest of me) 🙂
Thank you for this information but I have a question. Why is is assumed that spreading out these nourishing ingredients throughout the day would be less effective? Did Dr. Price hold a second study where he was able to do that and have less favorable results? Perhaps these children were healing simply because they were getting better nutrition, not necessarily because they were getting all of their nutrition at one time in a great big meal. What are your thoughts…
This is encouraging as I can see that the changes I’ve made (though I stumbled into most of them or God gave me a nudge or two in the direction) have been moving closer and closer to this nutrient dense diet and my dental health is really good right now. One of my children doesn’t like to eat the things that are good. But since it would only have to be one meal a day and she could have treats without me feeling so guilty this may just work to help her. She’s had tons of cavities and poor energy. She’s been getting better as I direct her eating, but it would be easier if I was focusing on one meal being totally nutrient dense and could relax a bit on the rest. And I could totally do without being the sugar nazi anymore. lol I will so do this with you and look forward to seeing the meal plan you put together. We’ll start doing some basic things like I already ordered our cod liver oil, but high vitamin butter? What’s that?
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you tackling this subject. Tooth decay is huge problem and doesn’t get nearly enough attention. I am 30 years old and have THE WORST teeth! I am heartbroken to know that I passed this problem on to my 6 year old daughter. I didn’t start my healthier lifestyle until after she was born, so I didn’t give her a good start nutritionally. I was raised on processed junk. In spite of all my attempts at good nutrition, my dental problems have prevailed. I am desperate to find a way to resolve these issues for myself and especially for my daughter. Of course, she is the pickiest eater I’ve ever met, so it may be a challenge for her. So far we are good with the whole milk (from healthy, grass-fed, local cows) and the cod liver oil.
I am looking forward to future posts on this subject. Thanks again!
I love this idea because it’s a nice, attainable goal. It’s one of those small tweaks that can really affect a change in your health.
Just a question: how important do you think it is that the tomato or orange juice be freshly squeezed? Do you think V8 or Tropicana would give some benefit as well?
So do you eat stew every day?
One of our favorite nutrient dense meals is: soaked organic brown rice, home grown baked winter squash with homemade raw butter and maple syrup, home grown steamed kale and grassfed beef liver with organic onions carmelized in grassfed gee!
Thank you so much for these posts. I’ve been following the WAPF for nearly two years, but this takes it to a whole new level. We have foolishly been thinking how healthy we are eating, but not really eating for nourishment. It is so easy to fall prey to the modern thinking on food and nutrition!
In theory this sounds good but like you mentioned, how likely is it to have a diet with meals that are that nutrient dense.
I don’t think that every single meal has to be as nutrient dense as the one that Dr. Price served. Remember, he was trying to stuff as much into that one meal as he could because they were eating very little nutrients at home. Sometimes it seems that any time of “healthy” eating isn’t practical with our lifestyles (I feel that at times!), but I think it is possible to do, and is as practical as we make it. 🙂
I just wanted to say the same thing. I understood that they tried to get everything in one meal since they were not getting anything good at their homes. The only thing he said is a must is taking CLO with High vitamin butter for best result. The rest can be spread through out the day.
Just think about it. Can you eat anything after 2 glasses of milk? I would not be able to eat much after that. Those kids were very hungry and were eating a lot. So, don’t stress out about staffing everything under the sun in one meal. It’s unnecessary. I read this book myself and, believe me, Dr. Price just wanted to give those kids as much as he could in one meal in order to make a difference in their health.
My daughter, 6 has a cavity. I’ve been trying to remineralize it using Earthpaste and Fermented CLO/Butter Oil. I can’t find a holistic pediatric dentist within 3 hours of me. I would like to get her cavity filled with safe filling material. Any suggestions ? I ‘m near Charlotte ,NC if you know of a mercury free pediatric dentist! Is it suggested to give CLO before the meal? Thanks.
Where can you find this butter?
Getting our children on the right diet is key to preventing those those dentist trips. Or maybe it’s the other way around? Hmm… Anyway, I remember those cavity fighting lollipops a couple years ago and haven’t heard much about them since. Found a neat youtube video about it here.
I have read the book “Cure tooth decay” by Ramiel Nagel, the one you mentioned in your blog. It was after reading this book that I came to know about DR Weston Price’s research on importance of nutrition for prevention and cure of tooth decay. The author of this book has based his findings on Price’s research and has given an effective nutritional program which ensures consumption of all the vital nutrients like vitamins A D E K, calcium; phosphorus, potassium and other minerals. This nutritional protocol promises prevention of tooth decay as well as reversal of tooth decay by remineralization of decayed tooth. I would suggest this book to everyone who wants to get rid of cavities forever and wants to have healthy set of teeth. This is the website for more information http://www.curetoothdecay.com
I was wondering if there was a way to remineralize a toddlers teeth on a vegetarian diet?
This all makes a lot of sense to me! A few months ago, I went to the dentist and he said I had amazing teeth. I felt great about it. Then, when I recently went back for a regular check-up, he said I had four cavities! I was so scared. The thing is, I had recently became a vegan, which I think has to deal with it. I wasn’t eating the animal meats I normally ate. Plus, I would eat oatmeal and sugary breakfast foods that I declared “healthy”. I think changing my diet caused all the cavities and a lack of protein. However, I’m going back to my regular diet (which was healthy to start with) and I’m going to attempt to rid myself of cavities with oil pulling. I’ll also be taking more vitamins.
Martin P. Dancy
I love this and appreciate this article for your honesty. So thank you very much. My teeth are so bad and I had no idea that they would be so. This needs to be shared with others, because you only get one set for a lifetime.