While I am a firm believer that aspects of our health are interrelated and that nutrition affects both our physical and mental health, I am also a firm believer that many people misrepresent these effects. I was intrigued by a recent article I came across discussing the relationship between nutrition and dental health. Unfortunately, this article didn’t provide the solid advice regarding the benefits of consuming foods containing vitamin D and calcium, avoiding consumption of sweet starchy foods in combination (e.g. raisins and soda crackers), rinsing the mouth with water after eating, and avoiding brushing immediately after consuming acidic foods. Nope, this “Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist” – now there’s a mouthful! – cited shoddy research by Dr. Weston A. Price.
Dr. Weston A. Price, can naturally be found on Quack Watch where I found exactly what I suspected I might, and more. Dr. Price and the author believed that “primitive” societies had better oral health, and fewer cavities, because of their diets. This is the same sort of argument posited by many subscribers to fad diets and it drives me insane. Oh sure, they may have not experienced certain diseases or tooth decay but they also only lived to less than half our average life span. If you too want to avoid many modern-day illnesses be sure to die before you reach the ripe old age of 40. Also, there are many more differences between our modern lifestyle and the lifestyles of our ancestors and of those living in more primitive societies. We can’t just say, “Oh, they didn’t eat refined sugar so that’s why they didn’t have as many cavities or cancers”. Not that I’m advocating for the consumption of refined sugar, I just don’t like the unscientific argument used to advocate for various diets. Nor do I like the implication that regular brushing and flossing are not essential to good oral health.