Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Metal Mouth

I am still in a bit of shock.  Last April was it, I took Mlyons and Bitsy to the dentist to be told that they each had something like 6 cavities in their teeth and both of them needed an extraction and Bitsy also need what amounts to almost/not quite a root canal. MLyons is 8 years old.  Bitsy is 6 years old.  My kids have had a cavity here and there in the past but nothing, nothing, like this.

So what is different?

Well, I cannot help but wonder, is it our food?
Tim went vegan nearly 2 years ago (it will be 2 years in August.) after reading about Dr. Esselstyn's diet and President Clinton.  After he read Dr. Esselstyn's book he read "The China Study" and decided we all needed to be vegan.  Seriously, read that book, The China Study and you won't eat anything but oatmeal for a week at least.

My friend Marcia is a big fan of Westin Price Foundation and for the past two weeks every time we see each other she has begun our day with a 30 to 40 minute argument about food.  And why being vegan is bad for my kids.  In April 2006 Sally Fallon (who Marcia ascribes to) wrote this article: The Right Price.  I am not, and have never been, convinced that my children need by 100% vegan.  I have argued with my husband that an egg or a fish or soup stock made from bones is something frequently found in the cultures studied by the author of the China Study.  But I never expected to see our children's teeth show such a difference.

So I've been really thinking about what we eat.  First, Almond and Soy milk instead of milk.  (I will not listen to arguments for dairy.  There are so very many people who argue against store ready dairy for so many reasons that unless you are arguing for freshly milked, spring grass, un-pasteurized dairy I'm going to tell you that you do not know what you are talking about.)  However, Tim and the kids preferred the sweetened Almond and Soy milk. (Of course they did right?) So that was kaboshed immediately upon returning home from the dentist in April.  But what about other sugars? And what about pasta? And white rice? Tim loves his Indian White Rice.  He buys it at the Asian Store in Richmond.  We actually don't eat that much pasta these days... but rice. Yeah. We eat a lot of rice.  So I guess I have some research to do.  Does anybody know what the dental health is like in countries that eat a lot of rice?

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9 AM at the hospital
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in her gown, waiting her turn

Because of her age and the amount of work the dentist thought she needed, Bitsy went under general anesthesia on Monday.  (Yes, I did get a second opinion.) And two hours later she was returned to me, decidedly less chipper, with a one tooth extracted and caps on the others...

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lots of metal in that mouth

Our medical staff was great and Bitsy is recovering well.  So now to find out how to be sure history does not repeat itself...
I have emailed both Dr. Esselstyn's contact email on his website and the contact email on the Engine2 diet website.  I am sure they both receive many emails but I will share what they say, if they respond.

July 3rd, 6:33 PM
*Dude* I just received a phone call, a personal phone call from Dr. Esselstyn.  Holy Crow.  My husband will be so jealous!  He stands by his research.  He believes that a plant based diet should make their teeth stronger however, and this is big I think, he cautions against white flour and refined carbohydrates.  Many people (myself and my husband included) focus on "vegan" not on plant strong and "vegan" meaning noodles and bread is not what Dr. Esselstyn advocates.  I'm so impressed that he called me! And it makes me feel better about food and is a reminder to focus on whole foods.  

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