The 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!