Recently, a friend sent me a message. She has been on a 100% raw vegan diet for over 5 years.
“Do you know anything about teeth?”, she said.
Unfortunately, I have had to learn a lot about teeth because I have had some issues with damage to my teeth over the last few years.
She let me know she had been to the dentist. He had told her that the enamel was thin on A LOT of her teeth. She had cried about it later that day. She was no longer sure what to think about this diet as her dentist had told her that the problem was the fruit.
“Do you eat dates?”, I asked.
“Yes, ALL THE TIME” she said.
“Give up the dates, 100%, zero tolerance policy”
I went on to explain to her in detail why this was almost certainly the main cause of the issue. I made sure to go over the point again and again as many people do not like hearing this advice.
Why am I so clear about this?
For years, I new that I was having problems with my teeth on a raw diet and couldn’t seem to find the solution. I had been to many dentists and went to talks from raw food gurus and read their books. I had become more confused rather than found clarity.
I started to make some changes that made a real impact such as using interdental brushes or floss sticks after meals to clear out the food that was stuck between the teeth. I would brush more often and I switched back to flouride toothpaste after many years using “natural” toothpastes that had no flouride.
These things made a difference but still some damage progressed.
Eventually a dentist explained to me I must be eating sugar. When I explained to him that I ate fruit but not sugar he clearly said to me:
“it’s not fruit, fruit doesn’t do that. It doesn’t stick to your teeth like sweets do”
He told me about people that had a pattern of damage similar to mine. They would suck on mints or hard boiled sweets all day long. The sugar would sit in the mouth and the saliva would become like a syrup coating the teeth for hours at a time, making tooth decay more likely.
“What about dried fruit?”, I said
“Yes dried fruit is the same as sugar” he said.
I suddenly thought of all the times I would put a date in my mouth and just sit it right beside my teeth and suck on it til it almost dissolved.
Dates had sometimes been a staple of mine on a raw vegan diet. I had never eaten dates until I became a raw vegan…I didn’t really know what they were until I heard some raw gurus online say that dates and bananas were the rice and pasta of a raw vegan diet.
Of course, they are delicious and easy to get anywhere. They can be stored easily and they are always ready to eat. They are also dense in carbohydrates which many raw foods are not.
Some people have said to me “but dates are natural”
This is correct but they are also a fruit from a desert climate. Our ancestors would never have come across fruits like that and most fruits would not have grown in direct sunlight either so they would not have dried so readily.
When I made a commitment to give up dried fruit and dates in particular it made a big change. I regret not making this change 4 or 5 years ago.
I was speaking to a raw food guru recently and I mentioned this to him. He said “yes, dried fruit will do that”. I was wondering why he had never mentioned this when I had heard people ask him about teeth issues. His answer had been “some people say their teeth is better than ever, some people have issues”…but he never seemed to offer a solution.
Another expert gave an in depth talk in which he seemed to be blaming a mineral deficiency. He seems to blame mineral deficiencies for everything so it’s not surprising that he would. As the saying goes:
“To a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”
However mineral deficiencies are not the cause of this particular pattern of damage. If I had had a mineral deficiency my dentist would have seen something very unusual indeed.
Diseases related to dietary deficiency are from a bygone age when food was limited and most people struggled to get enough calories never mind get all their nutrients. This doesn’t stop their being a mass paranoia among vegans and raw vegans that their diet is deficient in something….but this is not the case here.
A third expert blamed the way we eat the raw vegan diet. We tend to snack all day long and our teeth end up exposed to an acidic environment all day with not enough time to remineralise.
Though his information was good, it still missed the core of the problem.
I suggest you take dried fruit off the menu if you are having any teeth sensitivities at all. This could save you a lot of pain, a lot of time and a lot of money in dental costs in the future.
In other news….
Are you interested in learning about UK Fruitfest? I am hosting a webinar this week that is open to all to join. It takes place on Thursday at 7pm GMT.
You can learn more about it and register here:
UK Fruitfest takes place this year from the 21st to the 28th of July 2019. The venue is Croft Farm Waterpark, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.
Join our upcoming webinar this Thursday at 7pm CLICK HERE