book reviews


CURE TOOTH DECAY: REMINERALIZE CAVITIES & REPAIR YOUR TEETH NATURALLY WITH GOOD FOOD (Second Edition), is written by Ramiel Nagel, who has a degree in Legal Studies from UC Santa Cruz, and gives an in- depth look at our eating habits and cultural traditions, how they are linked to our overall dental health, and how through the same avenues, can be repaired. Ramiel Nagel began searching for ways to naturally cure tooth decay upon discovering his young daughter’s need for dental work and did not wan to subject her to harsh treatments.

“Your teeth are not designed to decay. They were designed to remain strong, resilient, and cavity free for your entire life,” is the first line of this text, and tells us contrary to what most of us have been made to believe, cavities, decaying teeth, and dentures in our old age is not only abnormal, but is a complete contradiction to nature. Why would nature contradict itself?  Ramiel Nagel based much of his initial research from Dr. Weston Price, whose work as a dentist and research of indigenous cultures and their thriving dental and overall health found that not only did they have optimal facial bone structure, but they were immune to dental caries and cavities. The overarching question to be answered is “Why do we suffer from tooth decay, and what can we do about it?

I felt a bit overwhelmed by this book — by the list of things to eat, but mostly the list of things to avoid. This feeling comes from a place of privilege as well as a place where I must orient myself in this world, and take into account a global society around me. In the country I live in we often believe we are better than others in that we feel our industrial and modern society is superior. However, it is this same types of thinking and practices that make us often disregard the lessons we can learn from others who do things differently. This is also where we turn our backs on the suffering we often cause, support, or simply pretend it does not exist. For that reason, I want to start out by recognizing my privilege and, like Ramiel Nagel in his small section titled Thanksgiving, where he acknowledges his thankfulness for having food whether good food or bad food, thank God and the Universe that I eat everyday. There have been times where I have faced tremendous hardship, but I don’t go hungry. In fact, in the midsts of my deepest struggles, I have been made to consciously recognize the blessing of my eating habits — consuming whole, unprocessed foods, while the situation could have been drastically different. Even though I can’t say the majority of foods produced today, at least in the society I’m in, are all natural and are produced in the best moral and social settings and have the intentions of bringing this in the best way to its consumers, I do recognize many around the world and even in my own environment do not have access to even that. And if you have read this text and like me are feeling overwhelmed by what seems to be too many restrictions, you are also likely coming from a place of privilege. Recognizing this continues to motivate me, and I hope you as well, to become and remain actively involved in eradicating these types of injustices and disparities, and work at getting to a place where everyone, everywhere can have healthy and filling meals that nourish us, and repair and restore our bodies.

I have always lived by the mantra “The earth has everything we need to sustain ourselves!” Yet we have been heavily influenced and conditioned to believe that outside intervention is not only viable, but the only option in our dental health and well-being, and the majority of us have sworn by this for generations. However, as mentioned above, that message only reflects the utter contradiction of nature. “Our teeth should remain strong, resilient, and cavity free for our entire lives. Why would nature contradict itself?” It also reflects the need for each of us to go beneath the surface and question what contributes to the increasing decline in our dental health, and while we’re at it, we could also benefit from seeking out and questioning a few other areas that work together in keeping this dependence on modern society and misinformation in many areas at the backdrop of our society.

I had long known the dangers of the Western diet are often times, despite our efforts, less than ideal — “Store food gives us store teeth.” And I knew the body was capable of repairing itself through nutrition, but when it came to teeth I didn’t really know the extent of just how the meals we believe are healthy affects our teeth, or that through this same avenue — eating, could be repaired. If I never saw Ramiel Nagel’s credentials, I would have never known his background is in Legal Studies. This text, forewarded by the President of the Holistic Dental Association, provides well-researched and informative material that, for starters is not filled with esoteric facts, dental-eese, or requires a working knowledge of the dental industry, but also gives us an in- depth history of the industry’s practices and why these have been able to continue. 

CURE TOOTH DECAY gives us alternatives. And these alternatives, unlike the dental industry which is something experienced by the privileged, are more accessible to many people.The recipes, tips, and simple methods such as brushing with sea salt, or oil pulling, for example, that do not require a large budget or extensive knowledge, and shows us that taking care of our teeth can be achieved outside of those mainstream institutions. Somewhere along the way while reading this text, I became convinced this author has some background in anthropology, and believe some of the recipes he provides along with raw milk, eggs, etc. — those considered non-traditional or what many here in Western culture would consider so-called scraps — fish head soup, fish intestines, for example,  can work to destigmatize and de-‘Other’ize certain groups whose eating habits are different and whose dental and overall health are thriving. He even shared his children’s love of eating grasshoppers. The only area where I felt slightly discouraged is towards the end. All of the methods were praised throughout this text, then mentioned they may not work, but that I know, is a given for anything, and of course was not enough to thwart my belief in nature’s ability to heal us, or my belief in the part we can play in healing ourselves. 

The information provided is information I would share while working with communities in lower-socio economic statuses — those who do not have access to proper dental care which, in my opinion, makes this more than just information on obtaining better dental health for ourselves, but it is key in showing us how we can implement these in areas that need it most. Our teeth can tell a lot about our living situation and our society, and through these methods we can change those areas that are flawed — with more people and communities having access, garnering our own sense of agency and increasing our overall health. At least that’s the way I see it. I walked away with the feeling this book is more than just about being published and making profit, but about empowering people, contributing to positive social changes, and making a difference. I really appreciate this information, and am so happy to have read this.

In this video, Ramiel Nagel talks about the holistic alternative to conventional dentistry!

Click here for Part II and her for Part III

Author: Ramiel Nagel

Year: 2010
Paperback: 28.97
Genre: Dentistry/Health
Pages: 234 
ISBN: 978-1434810601
Thank you, Golden Child Publishing, for providing a copy of CURE TOOTH DECAY: REMINERALIZE CAVITIES & REPAIR YOUR TEETH NATURALLY WITH GOOD FOOD, for this review.

Note: All opinions are my own and honest, and I am not compensated by the publisher!

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