Teeth and Our Grain-Free, Whole Foods Diet

wpid-IMAG1068-1.jpgThe other day I was talking to my young niece in SC.  She was shopping with my mother-in-law at the mall, and my mother-in-law asked if she could please have the phone to tell me something.  In March, I had strongly suggested to her that she try changing her eating habits:  no grains, no artificial colors, no artificial preservatives, no processed sugar, no dairy with added sugar/color/preservatives, no processed oils besides cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, and lots more fruits and vegetables.  She was concerned about her weight, BUT I WAS CONCERNED ABOUT HER HEALTH!  (Click here for her story.)


What was so important that she had to steal the phone from my niece in the middle of Belk’s Department Store?  Her dental appointment:

She went to the dentist on Monday. The dentist was digging in her mouth with her fingers (as dentists do), and she emphatically said several times over, “This looks great! You don’t have any plaque! This is great! I need to check my records.”  The dentist proceeded to take some measurements for gum recession, clucking along.  She finally took her hands out of my mother-in-law’s mouth, checked the records, and said “Everything looks so good!  Just an overall improvement!  Even your gum measurements have improved!  Amazing!”

My mother-in-law was tickled and asked if her “new” diet could be helping. And the dentist said, “Sure enough!”

My mother-in-law wanted me to know how well things were going with this new way of eating.  In her own words, “A perk I just wasn’t expecting!”


I took my three girls to the dentist a few months ago, and we got a good bill of dental health and also had reports of very little to no plaque. We were told, “Don’t change a thing.”  This is a big deal in our family because my oldest daughter had cavities requiring sedation and extraction of a molar when she was about 6 years old, as well as a couple of other trouble spots that were being watched.  Dentist appointments always made me feel like a terrible parent back then, but I am very excited to see the fruits of our hard work paying off at the dentist nowadays.

For us, I think it really is more than just sugary substances. I now think of any grain like a sugar, and teach my children the same.  I teach them to try to get their nutrients from vegetables, fruits, and meats rather than insulin-spiking grains with phytic acid that can have detrimental dental effects.  I endeavor to teach my children that grains are a treat, a real treat.


On a personal level, since eating GAPS, I never wake up with that icky, yucky tooth scum I used to get.  Strangely, when I started GAPS, I noticed a light pinky-orange tint to my teeth. Very strange. It went away on its own. I don’t know if it was a food I was leaning on, like carrots, or a change in bacterial by-products or what.  It’s gone, and I’m due now for my dental check-up.  Can’t wait to see how it goes!


No matter what, food counts. As evidenced by my mother-in-law’s dental visit, a person’s dental health can be impacted in just a few months of diet change.  She has been eating this way about 6 months.  Like she says, “A perk I just wasn’t expecting.”

I implore you to look at the food you are eating and feeding your families.  Make some changes, and I’ll bet you find some perks you just aren’t expecting!

You can do it!


12 thoughts on “Teeth and Our Grain-Free, Whole Foods Diet

  1. homemakingwithheart

    We have Ramiel Nagel’s book too – I have some teeth issues (really they are nutritional issues right?) and just need to get disciplined about doing ALL the protocol not just parts of it! – Victoria

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Nutritional. Right. I think. What do you know about that butter oil? I never tried that because of my dairy issues. Otherwise, so much of GAPS aligns, if I remember the book right. Might have to read it again if I ever decide to start leaning again on grains in the future.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Thank you, and that makes me happy! I sadly killed my first daughter’s teeth with fruit snacks, juice boxes, and these things called Goldfish (Do you have those?). The looks I got from the dentist then versus now are East from West! Hope you’re doing well over there!

      1. mummyflyingsolo

        I don’t think we have goldfish! I am pretty strict with sugar intake here and I make a lot of our own snacks to help this (and also because we are dairy free) but I can always be better. And I do still use grains at this point. I love your posts as they give me such great ideas for moving forward. This week your granola is on our agenda!

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Sorry to play “Ping-Pong” here. But I just have to get the word out on that granola! My mom, who is the least healthy just about woman alive, dished out a scoop for the road on Friday for their 17 hour drive home. It is that good. I sometimes split the honey portion into half honey/half maple syrup. Honey is so sweet. But I have maple syrup on hand because my dad makes it. Anyhow. Enjoy your week.

  2. Pingback: Day One: Shopping non-processed / organic on a budget | 90 Day Real Food Challenge

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