"We have seen that very soon after the feeding of orange juice is begun, the pulp, though incapable of returning to its former size or form, resumes some of its functions and initiates the development of secondary dentin, which might be called dental scar tissue."
Animals fed on a deficient diet until they are about ready to die, and have sustained great injury to their teeth, improve upon being given orange juice. Dr. Howe says that within twenty-four hours after the first feeding of orange juice, the pulp of the teeth begins to resume its dentin-building function. I have seen great improvement in the condition of the teeth of adults follow improved diet. Howe tells us that "when the nutritional balance is restored, the destructive process from within can be stopped and, if it has not gone too far, may be repaired. It is quite possible that you may do that with these other teeth if you will prescribe liberal quantities of fresh whole milk, unpasteurized, orange juice and green vegetables. Keep the protein in the diet low. Excess protein in the diet of experimental animals is always a disturbing factor." The great stress he lays upon milk is the natural outcome of his experiments upon animals.
By the time a child is five or five and a half years old its baby teeth should be well spread apart in front to make room for the permanent teeth, which will soon begin to erupt. If the child's diet and care has been proper, so that his or her development has been normal, this will be so. But how often do we see it otherwise? The vault of the mouth is so often high rather than broad and flat, as it should be. There is not room in the jaws for the permanent teeth. As a result these are crowded or overlapped, malposed and irregular. They must also be defective for the same developmental failure which resulted in a faulty dental arch, also produces defective teeth.
Children in England and Scotland show about 85% decayed teeth. In America children who are breast-fed for six months or more show 42.6% decayed teeth; if they are nursed under six months they show 42.9% decayed teeth. Children fed on sweetened condensed milk show nearly 73% decayed teeth. The vital necessity of nursing your child is thus made manifest. But, it is also necessary that you feed yourself properly.
Older children must have foods that require chewing, for, if the teeth are not used they decay.
Sunshine and other elements of hygiene, as well as the absence of drugs are also essential to good teeth.
The teeth are integral parts of the body and do not stand apart from it as separate entities. They are parts of the body's bony system, are merely pieces of highly specialized bone, and partake of the infirmities of the body as a whole. A carious tooth is not to be regarded as a local disease unrelated to the general condition of the body, but as a local effect of far-reaching general or systemic causes, which causes effect the body as a whole.
Indeed, the processes which can be shown experimentally, in animals, to destroy and distort the teeth, are known to injure many other parts of the body--perhaps all parts more or less. Diet-deficiency for instance, is not confined in its effects, to the teeth. Experimenters record cases where not merely the teeth, but the jaw bone and even the skull itself are carious. In fact they tell us that while such skulls are never developed on a normal diet, which diet also preserves the teeth, carious skulls are very common on deficient diets. Decay of the teeth is but a part of the universal decay of the body, all of this decay arising out of the same causes. Not merely the bones, but the soft tissues, as well, partake in this deterioration. The absurdity of the present fad for extracting abscessed or carious teeth to cure various disease states should be apparent to all. The deterioration of the teeth is not the cause of the deterioration elsewere, but all local evidences of decay are concomitant and successive effects of a common basic cause.
Dr. Howe says: "There can be little doubt that the pathology seen in the mouth is indicative of a pathological condition general throughout the body, but perhaps not so easily recognized elsewhere. Such conditions may cause neuritis, joint inflammations, and other symptoms from apparently obscure causes."
These things being true, and they are, in preserving the teeth of a child you are assuring it good general health; or, to put this the more correct way, in building up a positive health of the child you are also preserving its teeth. Likewise, that diet that is best for the teeth of the unborn child is best both for the mother, herself, and for the other tissues of the developing fetus. This puts the whole matter of health of mother and child and the integrity of the child's teeth on a single, workable basis--on a basis of Natural Hygiene.
The tooth-brushing fad was the logical outgrowth of the absurdities and vagaries of the germ theory. Tooth decay was attributed to the action of bacteria and their acid products upon the teeth. In recounting his experiments on monkeys in which dental caries were produced by a deficient diet and, incidentally, referring to the lactic acid theory of tooth decay. Dr. Howe says:
"Before we examine the effects of vitamin C deficiencies upon the teeth of monkeys, let me remind you that all of our efforts to affect these teeth by fermentation in the mouth for long periods of time by the feeding and injection of micro-organisms associated with caries have been unavailing so long as the diet was normal."
Experiments by Drs. Howe and Hatch (1917) in America and by Sir James McIntosh, Warwick James and Lazarus Barlow, working together in England, in trying to produce dental carries by using acid forming bacteria all resulted negatively. Dr. Howe says that:
"So long as the diet is normal it has been found impossible to cause dental caries or pyorrhea by maintaining fermentation in the mouth or by feeding or injecting the bacteria believed to be most actively associated with dental caries."