What one eats affects everything about them and that includes teeth. All the brushing and flossing in the world will not give your children the healthy teeth that a good diet will.
Because teeth and gums are alive, just like the rest of the body, they need oxygen and nutrients to stay healthy and not die. If you want your children to have healthy teeth, and a similarly healthy body, you must start from the inside out, and that means providing them with a nutrient- rich diet.
The fact a healthy diet leads to healthy gums and teeth is not a new discovery. Back in the 1900s, Dr. Weston A. Price, a major nutritional pioneer who founded the Weston A. Price Foundation (www.westonaprice.org), conducted research about dental health and diet that is still relevant today.
In his book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration,” Dr. Price documented his findings that native tribes who ate a traditional diet free of sugar and white flour had nearly perfect teeth. Tribe members were almost 100 percent free of tooth decay even though they did not use toothbrushes and toothpaste, floss, or have regular dental cleanings. They also had very few chronic diseases of the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, joints, and skin.
But when these tribal populations were introduced to sugar and white flour, their health and teeth rapidly deteriorated.
When Dr. Price studied the native diets, he noticed these similarities in the foods that were keeping the people so healthy:
* The foods were natural, unprocessed and organic. They contained no sugar except for the occasional bit of honey or maple syrup.
* The people ate foods ate locally grown, seasonal foods.
* Many of the cultures ate unpastuerized dairy products, and all of them ate fermented foods.
* The people ate a significant portion of their food raw.
While brushing and flossing is important, it is not even close to the importance of a healthy diet for healthy teeth. If you want good dental health for your children, as well as yourself, follow these helpful guidelines when choosing meals:
* Eat at least one-third of your food raw. Kids love to snack on raw carrot and celery sticks. Serve raw vegetables along with your cooked meals for some added crunch.
* Avoid processed foods, sugar, refined flour and all artificial flavorings, colorings, and artificial sweeteners. Seek out locally grown foods that are in-season.
* Consider fermented foods like natto, kefir and cultured veggies. Though new to most kids, and parents, these can be added to other foods to encourage consumption.
Make sure your family eats enough healthy fats, especially omega-3s, and reduce your intake of omega-6s from vegetable oils.