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Thread: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

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    Default 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    Hello! I'd like to ask for your advice and opinions.

    We have three children - 11, 8 and 2 years old. The youngest is a vegan from birth and is still breastfed. The other two are vegetarians for 4 years and vegans for about 1 year. The older two have no problems with their teeth, and never had any. But our youngest has got caries. Our dentists offered us a treatment under general anesthesia, which we refused. I started to read the Internet. I found that there is a method of natural treatment of caries. Though enamel cannot be restored, the tooth decay can be stopped. The author of this method is an American dentist, Dr. Weston Price. One needs to eliminate sugar (well, we know this), grains (no, we do not eat wheat... but one needs to exclude all cereals!), and take cod liver oil (preferably fermented) with butter oil daily (these are the sources of vitamins A and E, e.g. Green Pasture's Blue Ice Royal Butter Oil / Fermented Cod Liver Oil). Only these vitamins help calcium to strengthen the teeth. There are many stories of tooth decay successfully stopped with this diet. I also want to stop the caries on my child's teeth, but...

    all this is contrary to all our vegan life style! I just can't believe vegan diet is not good for my children, and they need this horrible fish liver...
    Are there an adequate replacement for these animal foods? Eating tons of carrots or other beta-carotene food will not help, they say... only animal products! I am completely at a loss.

    Has somebody faced with Early Child Caries? What do you think of the Weston Price diet as a way to stop tooth decay? Can cod liver oil and butter oil as sources of vitamins A and E be replaced with vegan products? Would you give your vegan child cod liver oil and butter oil, trying to stop his tooth decay, if alternatives are not found? Is it dangerous for a vegan's health?

    Thank you so much!

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    Hi, and welcome!

    Quote Kaisa View Post
    The author of this method is an American dentist, Dr. Weston Price.
    For some reason, people who log in and write something which seems negative about vegan diet often mention this anti-vegetarian. Want a simple advice? If Weston "Meat And Butter" Price suggests something, don't do it.

    http://www.vegsource.com/news/2010/0...oundation.html
    http://www.energygrid.com/health/200...henbyrnes.html
    http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives...tter-diet.html

    Weston A Price was a dentist, but he was born in 1870, and like a lot of other outdated "information" from early last century, it's usually not worth getting worried about.

    Would you give your vegan child cod liver oil and butter oil, trying to stop his tooth decay, if alternatives are not found?
    That's an irrelevant question, because there's no common agreement or common assumption that we need animal products like butter and cod liver roil for our teeth.
    Only these vitamins help calcium to strengthen the teeth.
    I've never heard anyone, vegan or not, who has received advice from a dentist or anyone else suggesting that one needs animal products to build and maintain good levels of vitamin A and E.


    One needs [...] take cod liver oil (preferably fermented) with butter oil daily...
    The older two have no problems with their teeth, and never had any. But our youngest has got caries.
    For the records, my youngest son is soon 13, and has no sign of tooth decay/caries. My humble advice would be to ask questions to those who has presented this theory, and ask them for scientific documentation. I understand your worries, but building some kind of conclusion based on three people isn't very 'scientific'.


    Sorry for not being able to give you advice about tooth decay in vegan-since-birth kids. But I'm sure there are people out there who can help you - good luck!
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    I have been vegan for over 2.5 years and I have not had a single cavity or other problem since (I had plenty before despite eating healthy even as an omnivore). In fact my dentist and the woman who always cleans my teeth compliment me every time on how excellent my teeth and gums are and how easy it is to clean my teeth because I have far less plaque buildup. I kid you not. BTW I also eat plenty of whole grains with gluten AND without...buckwheat groats, millet, quinoa, bulgur wheat, spelt etc (just not in the form of processed cereals) along with loads of fruits and vegetables and beans and a few nuts/seeds. I can't speak for children as I have little experience in this regard but I agree with what korn said. Weston Price is famous for anti vegan sentiment and will go to great lengths to devalue this movement despite not having a scientific leg to stand on.

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    I've been vegan for a year, veggie for 19 years. I've not had a single filling and my dentist comments on how great my teeth are. I do 'oil pulling' with coconut oil every morning which has drastically improved my teeth. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...oth-decay.aspx http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0902222459.htm
    The researchers suggest that enzyme-modified coconut oil has potential as a marketable antimicrobial which could be of particular interest to the oral healthcare industry. Dr Damien Brady who is leading the research said, "Dental caries is a commonly overlooked health problem affecting 60-90% of children and the majority of adults in industrialized countries. Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives, particularly as it works at relatively low concentrations. Also, with increasing antibiotic resistance, it is important that we turn our attention to new ways to combat microbial infection."

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    ^^^ It's good you picked up on that, Korn. It's surprising that such outdated advice is still given & followed.

    ^ I'd be very sceptical about those digested coconut oil claims - the alleged supporting research should be published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal to be seriously considered (I don't think it is), then this research thoroughly scrutinised. Otherwise, don't waste your money on it.

    I've found that I do need to be careful with sour fruits, especially citrus, as the acid softens and dissolves tooth enamel. My dentist tells me to drink fruit juice through a straw, or to rinse with water after drinking. I don't though, unless it's lemon juice. Nutritionally, a vegan diet should be excellent for dental health.

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    I began using coconut oil ages ago, before this research. I do not see it as a waste of money. All I can say is, since using coconut oil all my teeth and mouth issues have gone- and my dentist has noticed and even asked what I'd done differently. I suffered with 'loose teeth', receding and sore gum lines , very sensitive and weak teeth and a lot of enamel damage (due to years of bulimia) and my dentist said my teeth have really improved dramatically and they are loads whiter and 'tighter'. Considering the years of bulimia and bad diet I have no cavities. People have been commenting on how nice my teeth have been looking lately and asked what I've been doing, and a few have tried it and they've been having good results. I don't always buy into the fact it needs to be tested or published in a medical journal. It's been used for years in Indian medicine, and I also use turmeric for my joints, which is also Indian. I mean look how many people loathe veganism and think it's unhealthy and ridiculous, but I know it's improved my health and other peoples. But it was just a suggestion, and there are no horrible side effects, so it could be worth a go? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19435442
    Last edited by misosoup; Sep 8th, 2013 at 10:25 PM.

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    My children are vegan - 6 and 8 - and they both have perfect teeth, except for the two front ones that my son managed to knock out. They have daily fresh-made juice and fruit smoothies. They are not allowed lollies or soda pop. I have not been too worried about them brushing their teeth more than once a day.

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    Hello Kaisa,

    I, too, was shocked to hear that my kids (who are non-vegan, btw) already had karies at a very early age.
    According to the dentist (in Germany) that is more and more frequent nowadays (most likely thanks to eating more candy and sugar than generations before).

    He told us not to worry too much about it - especially as it was concerning the "first teeth" (Milchzaehne), but to pay more attention to brushing teeth as soon as our kids have their second teeth.

    I would certainly NOT start feeding your kids butter and other awful nonvegan substances based on the advice of Dr. Weston A Price.

    Best regards,
    Andy

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    Maybe so, Misosoup. I didn't realise it was a traditional treatment - that's a bit more reason to investigate it. Do you use a special treated coconut oil from a particular manufacturer, or ordinary coconut oil from a grocery store? That'd be inexpensive enough and worth a try.

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    1) Sensodyne toothbrush. soft vegan toothbrush that doesn't scrape the tooth enamel.
    2) magnesium supplement.
    3) walnuts
    4) leafy greens (for vit A & K)
    5) sunshine or vitamin d supplement like vitashine. Check the correct dose for a 2 year old with the doctor.
    Last edited by Consistency; Sep 20th, 2013 at 07:50 PM.

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    Quote Consistency View Post
    1) Sensodyne toothbrush.
    a heads up for new people and for those who boycott Glaxosmithkline due to their vivisection policy, Sensodyne is owned by them....
    "when the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    There are also lots of other toothbrushes, just go for a SOFT one ...

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    Sorry!

    I obviously didn't know.

    Its the only toothbrush that doesnt cause cavaties that I know of at the moment.

    Quote Andy_T View Post
    There are also lots of other toothbrushes, just go for a SOFT one ...
    Those cheap SOFT toothbrushes scrape my enamel off.
    Last edited by Consistency; Sep 20th, 2013 at 07:39 PM.

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    I have been reading that vitamin k2 is important to help the body direct calcium to bones/teeth rather than blood vessels where it forms plaque. K2 is difficult to get as a vegan. You should investigate k2 further.

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    Quote novice3142 View Post
    I have been reading that vitamin k2 is important to help the body direct calcium to bones/teeth rather than blood vessels where it forms plaque. K2 is difficult to get as a vegan. You should investigate k2 further.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_K#Food_sources

    Which foods are the richest source of Vitamin K?

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    Vitamin K2 is a different vitamin than Vitamin K. Vitamin K is found in leafy greens but K2 is found mostly in animal products. The best vegetable source in a Japanese food which is made by fermenting soy beans. It is called Natto and everything I have read about it is that is smells bad and tastes worse (to Western pallets.) A distant second best may be sauerkraut that is not pasteurized. I was not able to determine which brands were not pasteurized. I have been taking a daily supplement of K2 which I found online. The importance of vitamin K2 is a rather recent finding so most vegans do not seem to know about it.

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?


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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    Quote novice3142 View Post
    Vitamin K2 is a different vitamin than Vitamin K. Vitamin K is found in leafy greens but K2 is found mostly in animal products. The best vegetable source in a Japanese food which is made by fermenting soy beans. It is called Natto and everything I have read about it is that is smells bad and tastes worse (to Western pallets.) A distant second best may be sauerkraut that is not pasteurized. I was not able to determine which brands were not pasteurized. I have been taking a daily supplement of K2 which I found online. The importance of vitamin K2 is a rather recent finding so most vegans do not seem to know about it.
    Quote novice3142 View Post
    http://chriskresser.com/vitamin-k2-the-missing-nutrient
    Which animal products are good sources of K2? Other than dairy(milk meant for calves).

    If you consume animal products the body will down regulate the genes required to convert K1 into K2. The body upregulates the conversion of important nutrients in those who don't consume animal products, aka vegans.

    Please stop posting paleo presumptions with no basis on actual science.

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    Quote Consistency View Post
    If you consume animal products the body will down regulate the genes required to convert K1 into K2. The body upregulates the conversion of important nutrients in those who don't consume animal products, aka vegans.
    Interesting statement. Can you provide us a source for this scientific information?

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    My two seven year old have been vegan since almost birth, have a well balanced diet, sugary treats are limited and a good brushing routine using sarakan toothpaste and mouthwash ( Vegan friendly/ no animal testing) with no fluoride or any other nasty's. As a result , excellent dental health and a well trusted regime.

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    Quote novice3142 View Post
    Interesting statement. Can you provide us a source for this scientific information?
    I can't remember the video on the nutritionfacts.org website which states that consuming animal products turns off epigenes required for the conversion of inactive molecules into their active ones.

    http://nutritionfacts.org/video/plan...ress-defenses/
    http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=genes

    Here is the science if you are able to understand it.

    Vitamin A:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_A
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retinoid
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retinoid_X_receptor
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_receptor
    http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/technica...-acid-and.html
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16249480

    Vitamin K1 to K2

    NQO2 and to a much lesser extent NQO1, are the enzymes that convert K1 into K2.
    http://www.spandidos-publications.com/ijo/29/3/665

    According to this, retinoic acid(Vitamin A metabolite) regulates the gene expression of NQO2.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17512093

    Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
    http://advances.nutrition.org/content/3/2/204.full
    Last edited by Consistency; Nov 14th, 2013 at 08:55 PM.

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    Quote Consistency View Post
    I can't remember the video on the nutritionfacts.org website which states that consuming animal products turns off epigenes required for the conversion of inactive molecules into their active ones.
    Thanks for the wealth of information. It will take me some time to digest all of this. I took a brief look at each site you suggested and found much more than I had previously found on my own. You and this message board have helped me immensely in my first few days here. Thanks again.

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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    Quote novice3142 View Post
    Thanks for the wealth of information. It will take me some time to digest all of this. I took a brief look at each site you suggested and found much more than I had previously found on my own. You and this message board have helped me immensely in my first few days here. Thanks again.
    Not a problem.

    The science is important to a degree. From my experience, it is a lot more important for a new vegan to learn about the different varieties of plant foods that are available in their local area; different varieties of leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fruits and other plant matter that doesn't make you ill. And learning which varieties are superior in quality to the other varieties.

    Also, shopping before people get off work will give you access to better quality plant foods.

    Walnut Varieties: http://www.burchellnursery.com/store...s/walnuts.html
    Some Types of Leafy Greens:http://www.ugacfs.org/producesafety/...reenTypes.html

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    CATWOMAN sandra's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2 y.o. vegan child with tooth decay. Should we change his diet?

    As a child my mother fed me cod liver oil and butter on a daily basis and I still had tooth decay..............so that obviously doesn't work. I have noticed though in the past 8 years since I've been vegan that I very rarely have tooth decay.
    I like Sandra, she keeps making me giggle. Daft little lady - Frosty

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