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Brace Yourself!

Brace Yourself!

Brace yourself. Proper nutrition isn’t just the foundation of overall health, but it’s also foundational to dental health, including whether or not a person needs braces due to crowded teeth, say holistic dentists.

This is not a new concept, however. Back in the 1930s, Dr. Weston Price, a Harvard-trained dentist, set out to found out what led to misaligned teeth and dental caries. He went on a 10-year research trek to native cultures spanning the globe. What he found was this: the secret to dental and overall health is found in proper nutrition. In short, in the native cultures he studied, people had nearly perfect, strong, decay-free teeth as well as adequate space in the jawbone for the teeth to come in and not be crowded. Price also observed that those with the healthy teeth and jaws ate their traditional diet packed with nutrition, including water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins.

In fact, Price found that those vitamins were four to 10 times greater in the natives’ diets than what was found in the typical American diet of the day. No doubt, that amount would be even greater today with the nutritional downward spiral of our nation’s standard diet. Interestingly, the current dietary recommendations typically are greatly lacking in those all-important fat-soluble vitamins that are necessary for wide palates and for strong, healthy teeth. What Dr. Price alluded to back in the 1930s, modern day holistic dentists now embrace as being the cornerstone of dental health—adequate nutrition for the jaw bone to develop correctly and to avoid cavities.

The problem is that our processed modern diet doesn’t allow for proper palate development or for cavity-free teeth.The result? Poor dental health, including the need for braces due to the crowded teeth.

The difference in diet—and the resulting health and dental outcomes—that Dr. Price noted was nothing short of fascinating. The natives’ traditional diet was rich in fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K2 found in healthy fats. However, Price observed that when some of the natives started to consume a diet comprised of processed food containing white flour, sugar, processed oils such as soybean, corn or cottonseed (which are devoid of nutrients, cause unhealthy inflammation and are often genetically modified), along with canned goods such as canned milk, veggies and fruits, then their teeth started decaying.

What’s more is that Price found that the offspring of those who ate this processed diet had crooked teeth and tooth decay as well. However, if the natives returned to their traditional diet, then their teeth improved and their offspring once again had jaw bones and palates that adequately accommodated all the teeth, which were straight. Dr. Price also experimented with giving the natives two teaspoons of cod liver oil and butter oil daily. The results? A significant increased resistance to tooth decay and/or its reversal. Cod liver oil is, of course, rich in vitamins A and D, while butter oil is packed with vitamin K2.

If your diet isn’t adequate for dental—and overall—health, then brace yourself. It could mean stunted jaw bone and palate development as well as dental unhealth and more.

So, be sure you get enough nutrients, including those all-important fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K2.


This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

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