If you follow the advice of modern dentistry, then it’s likely you brush your teeth once or twice per day with toothpaste. But is this practice actually beneficial? Basic statistics show that brushing your teeth really doesn't offer any protective benefit against cavities.
Furthermore, there's a long-standing and overlooked body of evidence that weakens the argument for the use of toothpaste. The evidence, discussed below, cites that tooth decay, dental cavities, and other dental issues are a reflection of nutrient deficiencies and disordered metabolism.
After a brief review of this evidence, you may find yourself questioning your daily brushing habits.
Is Toothpaste Safe and Effective?
Take a look at the ingredient list on the toothpaste and you’ll see a number of chemicals and such as detergents, humectants, and fluoride. The question is whether or not exposing yourself to these chemicals is beneficial every day, twice per day, as the American Dental Association recommends.
Rather than delving into all of the pros and cons these ingredients, it’s better to ask a simple question.
Have you been using fluoridated toothpaste for your entire life, yet still developed a cavity?
According to the CDC, 90% of Americans over age 20 have had at least once cavity in their lifetime.
This means that 9 out of every 10 people will develop a cavity in their lifetime.
It doesn’t seem probable that recommended dental care efforts are actually effective at preventing tooth decay. Only 1 out of 10 people seem to be protected, and most people brush their teeth at least once per day.
If toothpaste were effective, then why is almost 100% of the population still developing cavities?
Weston A. Price and the Cure for Tooth Decay
Ramiel Nagel published a book called Cure Tooth Decay after researching why his young and healthy daughter developed cavities. His book includes the work of Weston A. Price, DDS, who studied the diet and oral health of indigenous populations.
In the 1920s and 30s, Dr. Price discovered that the indigenous populations of countries such as Switzerland and Ireland, who did not have access to modern density, had no signs of tooth decay.
In fact, their oral health was much better in contrast to that of modern civilization. You can read this work for yourself in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
Dr. Price also followed some of the indigenous people who left their native communities to integrate with modern communities. Can you guess what happened to them? They all fell prey to tooth decay and other diseases of metabolism. Why did this happen?
Tooth decay, as Dr. Price concluded from his research, is a metabolic issue related to nutrient deficiencies. The health of the teeth reflect the health of the body.
Although teeth are exposed to the outer world, they are still thoroughly linked to the inner world. Perhaps the most critical finding of Dr. Price’s work is the importance of obtaining key nutrients that are still not advocated for by most dentists.
Calcium, vitamin K2, and vitamin D seem to be the most important nutrients that regulate bone structure, which is a metabolic process. Teeth are bones after all, and bone remodeling is a metabolic process.
Calcium deficiencies are rare, but vitamin D and K2 deficiencies are basically an epidemic. Other important, related nutrients include vitamin A and phosphorus.
Vitamin D is hard to come by unless you live in a very sunny area, and vitamin K2 can only be obtained from pasture-raised animal products and certain fermented foods. Fermented cod liver oil is an excellent source of Vitamins A & D.
Are There any Benefits of Toothbrushing?
While toothbrushing doesn't seem to be effective for tooth decay, this is not to say that there are no benefits. Gently brushing along the gumline stimulates blood flow, dislodges plaque, and removes odorous bacteria.
Generally, improved blood flow offers protective benefit by replenishing oxygen and hastening tissue waste and nutrient exchanges.
The dislodgment of plaque and bacteria perhaps best contributes to improved breath and a cleaner appearance of the mouth. Regardless, toothpaste doesn't seem to have any real contribution to this process other than lending flavor and grit.
Gentle, daily brushing with a safe toothpaste seems like good practice for general hygiene, but not one with sufficient evidence to support the prevention tooth decay.
In reviewing basic evidence dating back as early as the 1930s, it seems more beneficial to focus on filling nutrient gaps and improving overall health than brushing teeth with toothpaste. If you follow the standard American diet, it is likely that you will develop nutrient deficiencies and tooth decay.
I am not advising you to stop brushing your teeth, but simply to question the importance of your diet and how it may be contributing to the health of your teeth.
Where do you stand on tooth brushing?