My visits to the dentist throughout my life were all compulsory (i.e. parents forced me). Now, I brush with coconut oil and baking soda, floss regularly, and don't experience any pain or visible ailments to gums and teeth.
Do you still go to the dentist? Why?
If so: Do you still get X-rays? (not paleo) Fluoride? (er ... I'm 98.7% sure it's bad news ...) Do you just go for a general cleaning?
Any comments on the topic are welcome. Thanks!
As a dentist, Of course I suggest you still get a 'regular check-up'.
1. There are concavities and irregularities with the anatomy of teeth that don't allow access from tooth brush and floss to reach them. Those areas should be scaled by a denal professional regularly.
2. Most dental disease is painless, until it is advanced. You should be routinely screened for decay, gum disease, oral cancer (rising due to HPV) and other structural damage from parafunction. With that said... being paleo, your are most likely at a much lower risk for dental disease and would most likely not require x-rays annually or fluoride treatments (like someone at high risk)
Yes I still go to the dentist. My stance is that while I don't think I can do better for my health than a paleo diet a paleo diet doesn't magically cure all the ills of the body and I don't think we should expect it to. Yes it can be helpful for many ailments and hopefully prevent many more but this idea that eating paleo magically imparts perfect health is not one I am fond of. Some of us, no matter how vigilant, will still get cavities, gum disease, acne, nail fungus, yeast infections, heart disease, cancer, and on and on and on. I get my teeth cleaned and x-rayed and have big fat zero issue with either. I get a mammogram and a pap smear and annual blood work, cast my broken bones and use bandaid and neosporin when I routinely gouge myself while cooking dinner none of which are "paleo". I eat and move paleo. I don't wear a brightly colored rubber bracelet that asks "What would grok do". I think if grok had had a dentist around she probably would have gone because, well, toothaches really suck.
You should read "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Winston Price. He was a dentist whom traveled the world during the 20's & 30's and wrote what might be considered the initial modern paleo work.
It was made available free online, and can be found below in web format or downloaded in PDF/EPUB (free & legal) from a variety of sources.
I know that does not answer your questions, but from my read of the book your initial thoughts are correct. That said, I would always get an x-ray if I felt it was needed as nutrition does not do much for any structural damage.
I have not been to a dentist since I was 10. This sounds shocking to most (haven't been to an MD or taken a pill, either), but here I am, alive, well, and paleo. I second the advice to read the work of Winston Price. Sometimes dental intervention is necessary, just like sometimes medical intervention is necessary. I cannot stress that enough. But I believe that the regular maintenance of your teeth, just like the regular maintenance of the rest of your body, should be a function of diet and lifestyle, not of fluoride, mercury, and X-ray.
I haven't been to the dentist coming up on two years now, and I haven't had any problems. In the past couple months or so I've noticed that I can't really eat any frozen foods, since it makes my teeth hurt, although I've had sensitive teeth since I was young. I used to eat so many Warheads that it made my teeth hurt, and I kind of have a feeling I've damaged my enamel due to that. I used to take calcium supplements (generic Oscal, ground up oyster shells), which I stopped about a month and a half ago. I'm thinking about starting to take it again, thinking that it might take care of the sensitive teeth thing.
I'm no dentist, but I would think that low-carb aspects of paleo lend itself to teeth-protecting diet, being that there are not a lot of starches/sugars present for bacteria to break down into lactic acid. I just started using Tom's fluoride-free propylis and myrrh toothpaste, mainly because I saw it on sale. It works pretty good, has a good taste, and it leaves my teeth feeling clean.
I'm a little undecided about going to the dentist, since it's not covered in my health insurance, so I'm thinking that I would only go if one of my teeth start showing trouble, either visibly or if I feel pain.
I go for cleaning...and I find it really bugs me that the dentist gets to look into my mouth for 2 seconds to say "all is good." (I know he is there just in case I have a problem,) I say no to Xray and definitely would not get fluoride. Back in the day when I would let them do that fluoride on my kids, they charged my insurance, like $ 80 a piece/ times 3 kids. And on their last visit, they didn't ask me if I wanted them to get fluoride and they did it anyway...so I am thinking about changing dentist for this reason.
If I didn't have insurance, I would probably not be going for the regular cleaning so often.
Its not just Western Price, beside Western Price there is Charlotte Garson, Dr. Nara Nicole Artemise Ramiel Nagel,...And one woman from the natural Hygiene institiut.
There is a lot alternative things out there. I have the feeling paleo folks are not so risky with trying this. One side is the diet from Western Price to feed the people with essential vitamins. And the other side is to drink vegetables juices to get the body clean. Intermitten fasting is probably also very good.