It all starts on your plate, says Dr. Steven Lin, DDS, who’s sharing his nutrition-based (results-oriented!) protocol, “The Dental Diet,” with Corganic readers
Some might say Dr. Steven Lin, DDS is the present embodiment of Dr. Weston A. Price, one of America’s greatest nutrition pioneers who started out as a dentist.
Dr. Price traveled the world in the 1930s, seeking the answers to why his patients had crooked, decaying teeth… In doing so, he studied indigenous peoples who maintained their traditional diets and compared their health with those who had been exposed to modern, processed foods.
Now Dr. Lin is the first certified dentist in the world to write a book about the life-changing results he's had upon applying Price’s findings to his patients.*
"The Dental Diet" has launched today in the U.S., and you can order the book here.
Dr. Price’s work converged onto the path of Dr. Lin in the most serendipitous way. Feeling disheartened with his dental practice after seeing heaps of patients automatically needing braces with tooth decay abound - and even treating some adults with chronic disease that led to death - he took a sabbatical.
Backpacking through Europe to clear his head, Dr. Lin stumbled across Dr. Price’s book, “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” on a travelers’ bookshelf (where you can exchange books as you travel). Although Dr. Lin’s intention was to take a temporary breather from dentistry, he just couldn’t look the other way. The more he revisited the book, the more he realized he had found the answer to not only treating his patients - but preventing the dental problems most of them were taught to accept as part of life.
If you’re unfamiliar with Dr. Price’s principles… Price found that without exception, the groups of indigenous people who maintained their traditional diets were healthier than their modernized counterparts. One of Dr. Price’s important findings was that traditional diets contained much higher levels of vitamins A and D and minerals than the modern diets of the U.S. and Europe. To address the shortcomings of contemporary diets, he recommended nutritional supplementation with cod liver oil, as well as avoidance of processed foods.*
Our philosophy at Corganic is to nourish your health with real food that’s rich in nutrients and lacking additives and processing; and the amazing work of Dr. Price is at its foundation. We’ve so gladly come to know Dr. Lin, who applies this philosophy straight to his practice (he's currently the Principal Dentist at Luminous Dentistry on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia). We believe Dr. Lin has created the utopia of dentistry - treating his patients with nutrients first, instead of automatically resorting to painful, invasive procedures.
As Dr. Lin so emphatically questions, “Why isn’t nutrition taught in medical school?!” His mantra naturally follows, “Fluoride and braces do not address the core ways to have great dental health. It’s about eating real food.”
Did we mention he's also a TEDx speaker, with work published in The Sydney Morning Herald and The British Dental Journal?
Below we’d like to share a special interview we had with Dr. Lin, upon the launch of “The Dental Diet.” Dr. Lin’s book has it all, but he was generous enough to share the crux of his protocol and his powerful experience with Corganic readers.
Q. Dr. Lin, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us at Corganic. We really admire your work! Can you please tell us how, as a certified dentist, you came to embrace the work of Dr. Weston A. Price?
A. My whole journey to writing the book started when was I was in dental practice and was becoming disillusioned with it. All we were doing was fixing teeth, and people were coming in with more and more disease. I had adults coming in with chronic disease they were dying from.
I didn’t have the answers. So I took time off and traveled through Europe, where I came across Dr. Price’s book on a travelers’ bookshelf. In my two tertiary degrees, I had never heard of Dr. Weston A. Price. It’s quite an amazing story when you see 15,000 photographs of people from a dentist who traveled the world in the ‘30s. At first I discounted it. I thought, “Who’s this guy writing about food?” It wasn’t scientific in my eyes.
But then the book kept calling me back. I began looking at anthropology, the history of our teeth. What Price was saying is now being collaborated by anthropologists. For example, wisdom teeth impactions had not happened until we started an industrialized diet.
“The Dental Diet” is inspired by the diet Dr. Price recommended. We are putting braces on over 4 million kids. More than 10 million people are having their wisdom teeth pulled. We don’t understand; we’re just doing it. Now, all of the science coming out aligns with what was postulated in the ‘30s by Dr. Price. Yet the dental industries don’t recognize it.
Q. Can you please tell us more about “The Dental Diet”?
A. "The Dental Diet" is a journey to understanding Dr. Price, and also understanding our teeth; how food that is evolutionary has been destroyed by a modern diet... We take a trip through the body to see how food affects every aspect of it. It’s a 40-day program to establish our relationship with food. The goal is to understand how the mouth connects to the health of the body... it’s the best science for the health of the rest of the body.
Currently, people are having chronic craniofacial development issues. There are underlying reasons as to why kids need braces. Kids with cramped, crooked teeth have cramped airways, too. You can follow these issues from the gut, to the immune system, metabolic system and the brain. We can track it. But it all starts in the mouth. The mouth is the best diagnostic tool for our whole body health.
When you look at it from the perspective of oral health, it’s simple. You eat simple nutrition that your mouth needs and your health falls in order.
Q. Can you please tell us what nutrients and therefore, what foods you recommend for optimum dental health?
A. Dr. Price said modern food has changed our mouths and that every single human diet he studied was rich in nutrients. There are reasons why our ancestors didn’t get dental disease. If you had a tooth abscess in nature, you’re done. There were systems in their bodies that prevented tooth decay and gum disease from ever happening.
The agricultural revolution is when decay started to pop up. In the industrialized society, wisdom teeth and molars don’t fit; it’s actually a jaw growth problem.
So here’s what I’m recommending (from food):
- Vitamin A,
- Vitamin D,
- Vitamin K2.
As far as certain foods…
- Full-fat animal products, rich in vitamins A, D and K2 such as grass-raised butter and ghee and organ meats, like beef liver.
- I love Rosita cod liver oil, as the teeth have an inner immune system that’s hungry for vitamins A and D.
- Emu oil is a great source of K2 and so are fermented hard and soft cheeses.
Price was very ahead of his time on the vitamin K2. There’s now research in Japan that says it’s a therapeutic treatment for osteoporosis.* It shows bone density has more vitamin K2.
A small set of foods provide these nutrients… And a lot of the foods that people say are "bad" are in reality, crucial for dental and overall health.*
Q. You touched on gut health being connected to dental health. Can you please expand on that point?
A. Yes, another huge aspect to dental health is gut health. When I get my patients to rebalance their digestive systems with nourishing food and quality probiotics, it supports their immune systems, which clears inflammation. In all, they don’t have mucus and they can breathe properly. Some kids will need braces eventually, but the goal is to get the jaw and cranium in harmony through diet and gut health so we can address the teeth.
Q. How has implementing “The Dental Diet” affected your dental practice?
A. What I see with kids coming in to my dental practice when the jaws don’t develop is what we call “skinny face syndrome.” There are dark circles under the eyes, a long face and an open mouth that doesn’t rest. The cause is that they’re not breathing right. These kids are starving for oxygen. Their airways are small because their jaws are small. They’re also restricted because they’re inflamed with mucous.
I realized food was at the root cause of all my patients’ problems, and so I began to build food programs for my patients.
Today, we can also help a child’s jaw grow through functional principles, breathing, tongue posture and chewing. If we can get a child to breath through the nose and close their lips naturally, their jaw starts to grow naturally. But food underlies all of these functional aspects. They’re the cogs and wheels of growth.
This is especially important to kids, but to adults as well.
What Price wrote about so long ago lacked the scientific validation that we need in the medical profession. If we can intervene with function and nutrition, the jaw is going to grow naturally to support a full set of healthy teeth that may not need braces.
Q. So you actually work on breathing as part of your patients’ treatment?
A. Breathing is an important part. I teach my patients to put their tongues to their lips and close their mouths, and their craniofacial face starts to change. They have remarkable results. If we intervene early enough in the growth cycle, we can see the growth naturally.
In my protocol, I teach people how to breathe through their noses before a meal so you open your airways.
Treating kids and adults to breathe is crucial. In breathing, you’re sending messages to your brain and your body when your posture is right. For instance, if your daytime posture isn’t good, then your nighttime posure isn’t good either. That’s when you get sleep apnea and all of the problems that starve the brain of oxygen.
Q. Do you have any advice you’d like to share with moms and dads out there, who of course want their kids to have healthy smiles?
A. I want moms and parents to know that you can spot the signs of whether your kids teeth are growing naturally or whether they are hitting their growth points. Red flags are if you see kids breathing through mouths, if they don’t sleep well, snore or if they have allergies.
Or you look down the back of the throat. If you can see swollen adenoids, that’s a problem with the immune system. It’s, in essence, a gut health problem because the immune system is not tolerant to the environment.
Once you correct diet and breath, then everything starts to fall into place. Kids' craniofacial structures can begin to change within weeks or months.
As I said before, kids’ jaws are getting smaller and smaller. This is connected to poor sleep, breathing and ADHD… But when you fix breathing, stimulate growth and get the immune system out of distress, all of the sudden they can concentrate.
I also advise, in many cases, more vitamin D. You can get it through diet if you eat organ meats, eggs and grass-raised diary. These nutrients come in foods. Additionally, people need Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil and emu oil, especially through the winter.
You can prevent a lot of problems in your child’s future just by resetting their foods. Parents today should know they can prevent braces in their kids!
Q. Anything else you’d like to share with us?
A. This has been quite a journey and it has become my life’s work.
I hope we come forward in the health system of how we need to integrate foods and medicine. They’re illogically separated. I was never taught nutrition in dental school. We need to say that nutrition is at the root cause of dental health.