Our kids have tooth decay NOT because they’re deficient in fluoride.
Our kids have bleeding gums NOT because they don’t brush and floss twice a day.
The primary reasons our kids have tooth decay and gum disease are because their nutrition is deficient; their drinks are acidic and sugary, their healthy gut bacteria are compromised; and their lifestyles are sedentary. These deficiencies also manifest in childhood as obesity, high blood pressure, depression, skin eruptions, allergies, and a host of other diseases. Improper nutrition and lifestyles early in life sow the seeds for many of the degenerative diseases that plague these individuals in their 40s and older.
When it comes to the mouth, brushing and flossing are important. But, most importantly:
- The avoidance of refined carbohydrates, which is part of a Paleo-type diet, prevents the proliferation of unhealthy bacteria and maintains a healthy acid level in the mouth.
- Essential nutrients and trace minerals from a Paleo-type diet provide a necessary arsenal in the saliva to remineralize teeth, which is a natural 24/7 process.
- Healthy bacteria in the gut promote healthy bacteria in the saliva allowing normal function in the mouth as well as assisting in the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease.
- An active lifestyle of playing outside, rather than sitting in front of a TV or playing video games, improves gut health and metabolism.
So, what is a Paleo-type diet?
A Paleo-type diet is basically the elimination of ALL foods that contain unhealthy fats and oils; food colorings, preservatives, emulsifiers, and other chemicals; added sugars; grains and grain products; and pasteurized dairy products. A nutrient-dense Paleo-type diet consists of pastured meats along with their healthy fats, wild caught fish (especially salmon, sardines, and shellfish), organ meats (like liver), all vegetables – especially leafy greens (either raw or cooked), fruits – especially dark-colored (like all the berries) in moderation, and raw nuts and seeds in moderation.
Our kids will eat the way Mom and Dad eat. Kids learn by example. Healthy snacks could include fresh fruit and nuts, almond butter spread on celery sticks, slices of raw cheeses, liver pâté on slices of cucumber, and cut up pieces of colorful sweet peppers. Healthy drinks could include filtered water, unsweetened seltzers, teas without sugar (some local raw honey might be OK), and kombucha (a naturally carbonated tea fermented from healthy bacteria). If they are eating healthy in the home, and if they are given healthy meals and snacks for lunches at school, then whatever minimal cheating they do is not so bad.
I have some of My Favorite Paleo Recipes in my blogs. Also, there are many cookbooks on Amazon describing easy-to-prepare Paleo recipes for on-the-go lifestyles.
Dental visits should be pleasant. Your children shouldn’t have to be concerned about tooth decay or gum disease if they are providing the nutrients their bodies need to thrive. Kids should clean their mouths appropriately, but they must eat nutritiously. Their mouths will thank them, and their overall health will thank them.