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811rv Info. - This FAQ for the VegSource Raw and Sports Nutrition discussion board is housed at Dr. Douglas Graham's website as it is on the 80-10-10 raw vegan method of his. I highly recommend you read them as they answer many of the questions I get and I participated in forming them. They will load in another window when clicked.


Q: I was wondering what your experience has been with discovering a method of tooth care that works for you. I have noticed a number of 80-10-10er's with not so great looking teeth. I'm asking people I know with good looking teeth and fairly experienced with 80-10-10. If you wouldn't mind answering a few questions, I would love to share your answers to people I often come in contact with worried about the diet and their teeth.

    1) What is your daily routine for tooth care? Products that you use? Type of brush or cleaning agent?
    2) Do you go to the dentist? If so do you get routine cleaning?
    3) Do you find your teeth get stained? If so how do you deal with it?
    4) Are your gums more sensitive to brushing? Do they ever bleed?
    5) Have you noticed any change (positive/negative) in your teeth or gums since going 80-10-10?
    6) Can you offer any tips to helping keep great looking healthy teeth and gums?

A: In general my teeth and gums have gotten better than they were before. I have some of the same issues I had before 80-10-10 still, but they have improved. I don't brush as often or as vigorously as I used to before. After doing 80-10-10 for a while I found that I'd forget to brush my teeth for a day or two 'cause they usually feel so clean on 80-10-10 and I usually would be reminded to brush by the feel of them in the past - or bad breath, which I don't get anymore either. Nothing has gotten worse. Here are more specific answers to your specific questions. :)

    1) What is your daily routine for tooth care? Products that you use? Type of brush or cleaning agent?

    At this point I brush every day or two-ish, when I remember or my teeth stop feeling clean. I use only water on a daily basis (see dentist section below for exception). I floss with plain, unwaxed dental floss when I feel I need it - when something's stuck there or my teeth don't feel clean for some reason overall. (That's usually when I've done some less than optimal thing with my diet, leaving my teeth not as clean feeling as usual). If I'm gonna' floss or brush I try not to do it within a half-hour of when I've eaten 'cause I've heard your teeth are softer then and more prone to enamel damage. I don't know if it's true, but I figure it can't hurt to wait a bit - unless there's something stuck between my teeth that is annoying me or I think will be a problem to leave sitting there (like dried fruit). Before 80-10-10 I used to have "pockets" in my gums that food would collect in so flossing was more necessary (and smelly). Now it doesn't smell when I floss 'cause the pockets have gone away.

    I use a basic children's toothbrush 'cause it's softer and more gentle. I had trouble with erosion at the base of my teeth by the gum line before 80-10-10 and found out (can't remember the source at this point) that brushing can do that. Previously I had been using a harder, natural bristle toothbrush and doing a brush, brush, brush with the edge of it at the gum line and then a couple of swipes down and away. That brush, brush, brush at the edge of my gum line was something I had been shown was supposedly good to do by a dental hygenist at one point, but I realized that I had the erosion problem start afterwards. After stopping that method the erosion did stop and so I don't brush that way anymore. I brush with the soft, children's brushes now too for similar reasons.

    When I first started 80-10-10 I didn't change my brushing routine specifically 'cause of it. Gradually I found I disliked the taste of toothpastes more and more and never could deal with baking soda or other alternative things, so I quit using toothpaste at some point fairly early on. I've been doing 80-10-10 for over 6 years now, so early on could be as late as a year and a half, but I think it was earlier than that. So, no, I don't use any toothpaste, gel, powder or what-not on my teeth when brushing or otherwise. Well, correct that, I do occasionally use a tad of baking soda on a Q-tip or similar item to clean off the black spots I have been getting for many, many years (way before 80-10-10). It's usually about once or twice a year that I clean them off. I'll go into that more in your later question more related to it.

    I used to brush my teeth in the morning and evening, flossing before one or the other. Gradually I've found I don't need to do it that much, and as I've said before, I often forget 'cause my teeth already feel clean.

    2) Do you go to the dentist? If so do you get routine cleaning?

    At first I continued to go to the dentist as before. I used to go every 6 months to a year. I used to get loads of tartar on my teeth before 80-10-10 - excessive amounts actually - so I needed to go often to get the tartar cleaned off. It'd only be a few days after a cleaning when I'd notice the gaps between my lower teeth starting to fill in with tartar in the past. By the time 6 months went by I'd need to have longer cleaning apointments arranged for me in order to clean all the tartar off my teeth. I didn't realize it at first, but after my first appointment after doing 80-10-10 I went a very long time without going to the dentist. It was about 3 years I think. I had less tartar on my teeth for that apointment than I'd have had after a week before 80-10-10. Quite a noticable change.

    I also used to get lots of little black spots on my teeth that were a mystery to my dentists and dental hygenists. They kept asking me if I smoked, drank coffee, tea, etc. and I didn't (even before 80-10-10). One of them thought it was from the dark leafy greens. My hubby thinks it's from the metal on the back of a cap I have on one of my front teeth (I broke it in 4th grade & it's been changed out a few times since as my teeth have grown). When I first got the cap it was all white filling stuff shaped like a tooth, then as I got older and my nerve inside was mature and stopped growing in size as much I got more permanent sorts of them that were thinner and more tooth-looking, on the front at least. The backs have been just metal looking. I had discovered back in college that since all the dentists did for them was scrape 'em off I could use a dental tool myself to clean 'em off as needed between appointments. I used to do it a couple of times a week back then. After doing 80-10-10 I didn't need to clean the spots off as often.

    My husband started to be my dental hygenist for them as well and he used a moist Q-tip dipped in baking soda to rub them off, which was probably better for my teeth than the metal tool I'd been using before. I started to use that instead myself. We improved it by using the pointed end of a wood cuticle pusher, or the tip of a wooden skewer or a toothpick and twisting them on a Q-tip or cotton to pick up the cotton on their ends. We'd use one or the other depending on the place the spot was. The cleanings became more and more less frequent.

    We'd been focusing only on the visible portion of my teeth, rather than the backs and such, as had the dentists and dental hygenists. At one point my hubby theorized that if he could just get all of it off the backs too then I might have less of a problem, so he spent quite some time once to get rid of all that as much as he could. It was a big job and we didn't get it all, but did get most of it. I don't know if that made a big difference in the frequency I had to clean them or not, but I hardly get them at this point. I'd say at this point I get as many spots after a year as I'd have after a few days before 80-10-10. It's still reducing so perhaps the spots will stop eventually.

    I do not have any other reason to go to a dentist now that we've taken care of the spots. The erosion I'd had at the gum line from whatever it was before 80-10-10 has stopped being sensitive and seems to have filled in slightly - enough to not be sensitive at least. Actually, I need to correct that, they have almost totally filled in! I haven't really checked them in a couple of years I think. I just felt for the drop-off when running my nail up my teeth towards my gums and could not find it on any of my teeth! Wow! Cool! I probably would have kept thinking they were still there but not sensitive anymore. LOL Thanks for helping me discover this. Previously it would feel kinda' like when you were losing a tooth at the top - you could feel a sharp line at the top where it would go in and be sensitive when touched at that indentation at the gums. After doing 80-10-10 for a while I noticed that it was less sensitive at the top indentation and the indentation was less. Now I can't even feel a line, much less sensitivity. There is a tiny bit of curve where the line used to be, but if I didn't know I had a line there I wouldn't detect it. Nifty.

    I used to have "pockets" forming in my gums and a gingivitus (sp?) developing in my gums before 80-10-10 which has reversed itself. I don't know if it's all gone, but it seems so symptom-wise. I know that the dentist was a bit surprised to discover that all the pockets but one had disappeared at the last visit I had - and the one that was left (the one that was the worst before) wasn't big enough to be a problem anymore.

    I've always had pretty good teeth. I never needed braces, even though I have gaps in my teeth they were all straight and well aligned. I only had two small cavities, back in junior high I think it was, that were apparently due to the structure of my molars according to my dentist and not due to poor health or hygiene. My only major dental issue was breaking that front tooth and having a cap placed on it. Other than that I had a tendency towards gingivitus, the excessive tartar and the odd spots. At one point way pre-80-10-10 I tried flossing and brushing after every meal, and it did not help the tartar, so I cut back to just twice a day for quite some time.

    When I went to the dentists I would just get cleanings, not X-rays or fluoride or seals and such. I would allow an X-ray if there was something going on that made it wise to check it out, but that would rarely happen.

    3) Do you find your teeth get stained? If so how do you deal with it?

    My teeth don't get stained other than the tiny pinpoint black spots I'd gotten for many years before 80-10-10. I already went into what I do for that above.

    As you age your teeth do get a bit more yellow in general naturally, but it's a gradual and suttle thing that most people don't notice. The best dentist I ever had was the one who put my first permanent cap on and he recommended that I have the cap changed at certain points in my life. The first few of them being simply due to tooth and nerve growth, the last being simply due to matching the coloration of the aging teeth around it. I have skipped two of those coloration cap changes at this point and the coloration difference is barely noticable in certain lights, not noticable in others. So I suppose that means my teeth are still aging and getting a bit more yellow, but are doing so at a much slower rate than normal and are staying white longer.

    4) Are your gums more sensitive to brushing? Do they ever bleed?

    My gums had always been sensitive to brushing and they would bleed sometimes when brushing or flossing, especially when I had the excessive tartar pre-80-10-10. They are no longer sensitive to brushing, but I don't know if it's 'cause of 80-10-10 or my different brushing method and softer toothbrushes - probably both. They still bleed at times when brushing them vigorously, but it's much less than it was before and it resolves quicker as well - and I find the need to brush them vigorously less now than ever. If I stuck to the optimal 80-10-10 things I probably would never have to bush them in that way, so they would never bleed.

    5) Have you noticed any change (positive/negative) in your teeth or gums since going 80-10-10?

    I think I've already covered that. In short, yes, all positive. Lots of people think that suddenly everything's gonna' be perfect just 'cause of how you eat and all, but that's not realistic unless you had everything close to perfect before. What is realistic is to have improvement and progress towards perfection from where I started, and that is what I've experienced with 80-10-10.

    6) Can you offer any tips to helping keep great looking healthy teeth and gums?

    Be realistic with where your dental health is and act accordingly. If you have issues that are best dealt with by cleanings and dental care, address them and take care of them. (i.e. If your teeth don't feel like they've just been cleaned at the dentist, you probably should brush them. If you are getting tartar on your teeth you probably need to get them professionally cleaned. If you have a cavity, you probably should get it filled. If you have sensitive teeth or gums, you might want to get it checked out at a dentist. If you've got something stuck between your teeth, you should probably use dental floss or something to get it out. If you have bad breath you should probably brush your teeth and tongue as well as adjust your diet and increase your water intake. You know, common sense sorts of things).

    If you follow 80-10-10 well, you'll probably find them resolving and improving over time. As they improve you can adjust what type of care your teeth and gums need and how often they need it. Observe and listen to your body. Don't get caught up in dogma one way or the other, just pay attention to what your body says it needs and doesn't need, then just do it and work towards increased health so that your need to address stuff decreases. ;) :D

K, so that should do it. Thanks for asking the question. I'm about to do a lot of improvements to my website and wanted to add some FAQs, so I think I'll use this in there, if you don't mind. I'm not gonna' put any names to the questions, just the content.

Hope that helps!


Other FAQs for this site will be added soon.

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