This is a little out of left field, but why have we not seen any babies from a paleo couple that had the full dental arch that Weston Price talks about?
Ryan has been posting some very interesting stuff on fixing malocclusion during adulthood:
But paleo dieting has been around for a while. Why has there never been a paleo couple (that we know of) who has given birth to a child that has been able to get full palatal development?
Maybe these kids are out there... but I have never heard of them.
Stephan has a great summary and expansion on Weston Price's study of dental health here:
My wife and I are expecting our first child in mid April, and have been diligent to feed properly, hoping to achieve just this and all the other proper health benefits of Paleo nutrition. It may take generations to reverse the epigenetic course we've been set down. Both my wife and I have narrow dental arches, crowded teeth, wisdom teeth requiring pulled, narrow faces with poor nasal/sinus passages, and all that jazz that 2 generations raised on grains, sugars and veggie/seed/grain oils has given us. Luckily our grandparents on both sides were farm raised kids from birth with what amounted to a Weston Price style diet with the advent of modern foods only coming into play during our parents' upbringing, here's hoping the damage done is somewhat reversible.
It is so remarkable to look at a person today with broad chin, cheekbones and HUGE gracefully arched jaw lines. Big straight teeth gleaming out from a perfect face. Rare to see locally, but when I do, it JUMPS out at me. Usually inquiry brings out that the person is ignorant of what got the them there, but are often farm kids from traditional families.
Regardless of our success in growing a proper human (and many more years before we are done), this nutrition and lifestyle is the legacy I hope to give the little guy.
I actually don't know of anyone who has done a paleo pre-conception, pregnancy, and nursing. Perhaps me in the future? Although I worry it may take several generations to get our genes working to their full potential.
I do know several families in the local Weston A. Price chapter have children with full dental arches.
Weston A. Price attracts more reproductively oriented people it seems. The local paleo chapter is primarily singles and nobody has children that I know, whereas Weston A. Price has lots of married women starting families.
The only person my own age I've met with a full arch was my old Swedish roommate whose parents ate a traditional diet rich in liver, blood, and milk fat. But then again I don't go asking everyone about this...I just noticed his teeth were really straight and I asked him if he had ever had braces or wisdom teeth removed.
Another anecdote: I have a relative who has been vegan for several decades. He is in pretty good shape, but his child who is my cousin has terribly crowded teeth, even worse than mine. Sometimes inadequacies in diet don't come out until the kids...
I'm 26, 'paleo' for 2 years, and my fiance and I are planning to have a baby in the next couple years. I'm sure I'll find a way to 'discuss' (more like brag about) my future child's development on paleo hacks, so stay tuned.
The paleo movement is relatively new after all. In a few years I bet parents who have been in it since before they gave birth will be reporting on the bone structure of their paleo kids.
My mom has beautiful broad facial bone structure and teeth, my dad and I while narrow-faced have big mouths and pretty teeth (I do have an overbite and U shaped arch but my teeth are straight and my wisdoms are all in), and my fiance and his family have wonderful teeth and mostly very broad, strong faces - so I'm hoping our kid has a good chance at a classically well-developed face and C-shaped arch. I'm storing up nutrients for him/her as we speak.
Ever since I read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration I've been fascinated with facial bone formation and teeth. The faces of my mom and her sisters are a perfect illustration of the theory: my grandmother had her daughters when she was 22, 23, 28, 32, and 34. My oldest aunt, my middle aunt (5 and 6 year gap between sibs on either side), and my mom (4th child, born after 6 year gap) have broad, strong cheekbones, jaws, and noses (they hate their wide nose bridges of course) and perfect teeth and bites. My two other aunts, who were born respectively a year and two years after older siblings, before grandma had time to recover nutritionally, have narrow faces, pinched noses, tiny jaws, and very crowded teeth (lots of extractions).
My own siblings and I are also typical, though we had more of a disadvantage than my aunts due to my mom being a Jane Brody fan, also from genetics from my dad's side. I am the oldest and have the nicest teeth, most space in my mouth, and most developed cheekbones; my middle sister, who was born a year and a half after my mom a]had a full-term pregnancy which b]resulted in a stillbirth and intense grieving (which I am sure wasn't great for her eating) has very little cheekbones, small jaw, receding chin, teeth that are fucked in every way possible (overbite, browded, crooked, soft, plenty rotten already at the ripe ago of 20); and my littlest sister, born 26 months after that, has just okay teeth.
Proper child spacing is vitally important, IMO, even with the best possible nutrition. Even CW understands that pregnancies less than two years apart are suboptimal both for mother and child. Luckily, even if I didn't believe 3-4 years was a good spacing between siblings simply for nutritional/physical development reasons, I have always had a fondness for larger spacings due to my own memories of my sisters as babies and my horror at the thought of having two babies/toddlers in diapers at one time (had enough of that as an older sister and babysitter).
"Although I worry it may take several generations to get our genes working to their full potential."
"...here's hoping the damage done is somewhat reversible."
Thankfully, there is no need to worry. Just as the ills of a poor diet strike a generation immediately, the benefits of a proper diet will effect a generation immediately. The genes are always there, they just need the proper nutrition to activate.
On a population level it may take some time to get the word out, but on an individual level all the prospective parents have to do is start eating properly for themselves and their children.
As for children, it looks like there are three growth phases: pre-natal and breast feeding stage (which is dependent on the mother's nutrition), age 1-6, and age 11-17. Even if you've missed all or part of an early phase, it doesn't necessarily mean it's too late for them. Kids are incredibly resilient, far more than adults and of course there are no shortage of stories of amazing results in adults.
All in all, I think there is plenty of good reason for optimism. Best wishes all.
this was dr bg's answer. she is definitely one of the better bloggers.
I agree -- in utero is where the dentition, teeth (baby and adult) and dental arches are FIXED. Pacifiers or pseudo-pacifiers (e.g. thumbs) though can lead to the front teeth coming forward, don't you think? It's interesting to hear you had vastly different diets with each pregnancy. The first one was quite lucky in retrospect! Personally I ate a lot of meat... my kids both have wide arches. However, way more high carbs w/the second and she has MAJOR dental issues. I gained 60 lbs with that pregnancy... 40-50 lbs with the first...
I believe from what I've researched and read from WAPF that the factors likely to lead to narrow arches and crowding are --low thyroid --refined carbs --lack of bone nutrients vitamins ADEK1K2 C B-vits, omega-3s, serotonin, mag, calc, zinc, etc
For birth order dynamics, I've wondered if what is observed all related to the hormone/nutrient milieu in utero -- as the mom gets thyroid depleted (and adrenal depleted -- adrenals make ~50 hormones and chemical messengers) -- this affects brain and organ development. The zodiac characteristics has been associated with vitamin D serum levels. Hhhmm... thoughts?
Well I don't have any photos due to the sudden death of my laptop, but when my second son was at the dentist as a child, the dentist recommended that I have four of his teeth pulled out to make space for others that would be coming in.
My son had wide feet and wide hands and a broad jaw and I decided that he would have room for the new teeth, so I declined the extractions. Sure enough, everything fit just fine.
We lived on a hobby farm at the time and grew a lot of our own food- from veggies to meat and chickens. I breast fed all four kids for various times depending on their needs. Perhaps my kids turned out OK due to our lifestyle.
One of the important things that Stephan outlined in his Malocclusion series was the importance of tough chewy food.
I had a fairly standard upbringing except that we ate butter not 'spread' and I was breastfed until age 3(!).
I seemed to be getting crooked teeth when I was young but I would chew on anything tough, pens were demolished much to my teacher's disdain. I even gnawed on my hairbrush! I was always had a compulsion to chew on something non-edible for some reason.
By the time I hit puberty my teeth were perfectly straight (albeit very weak and prone to cavities). People always ask if I had braces. No one else in my family has teeth as straight as mine:
Here's a bad pic: http://i872.photobucket.com/albums/ab285/0021539/teeth.png
What? My parents weren't SAD but they weren't strict paleo either, they pretty much home cooked everything though, ate real fat, eggs, meat, etc. I was born with straight teeth and a nice defined cheek bones and butt chin at least according to my wife (she would hate to admit she married a troll so she's obviously biased) and my dentist (a guy) who when I was young asked me what I ate and said I had beautiful teeth. My sister on the other hand I called her snaggle tooth she was second born 3 years after me right about the time my mother started working again; third born sister had the snaggle as well; both sisters had dental work. Dad always refused to eat what he called "crap" referring to the vegetable spreads, etc. I never had a cavity. My mother though was into the low-fat stuff after I was born. Growing up sisters always said I had a big head and horse teeth, I think I grew into though. I was breast fed. One of my sisters was on soy and has gut problems already at the ate of 22. My other sister I'm not sure about but she has thyroid issues.
My wife had straight teeth as well (she's Norwegian). She has a broad face more so than mine. Both my Mom and Dad had perfect teeth as well.
I have to track down some pictures of my sisters... it's interesting because as my mother's diet declined you can see how the shape of the skulls changed.
While nowhere close to a paleo diet, I've been raised on real butter, lots of meat and vegetables. No vegetable oils, moderate sugar. Normal birth, breastfed for a whole year.
My teeth are straight, never had bracers. I got to keep my wisdom teeth, but had 1 pulled 3 weeks ago (I'm 22) because a piece of it had broken off and was cutting into my cheek.
My nasal passage unfortunately isn't so great. I even had it surgically enlarged because before the paleo diet I always had clogged sinuses and couldn't breath through my nose much. I was 14 at the time. It seems a bit silly now, why not find out why my sinuses were always stuffed like that? They tested for allergies but that came out negative. pfft.
Hi- first post here. By a wide dental arch do you mean enough space for all the teeth to fit comfortably? I have this and so does my mother, even though my face is longer than it is wide. Never had braces and teeth had more than enough room to fit. I am Peruvian born of Mediterrenean/Slavic ancestry. I think the dental arch issue is more common in Asia and North America...but this is just anecdotal evidence.
Picture of teeth http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3359186&id=664906997
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