This post was originally a comment on Dr. Judene Smith's Facebook.
I agree that what we put in our mouths today "may" harm our teeth more than most other things dentists are doing to "help" them heal (fillings and such). If you've read about Native Americans of 300+ years ago, some of the tribes had very beautiful teeth, compared to many newly arrived Americans (exactly w
hy, I don't know, fermented cod liver oil???). But choosing one or the other (as this made it seem was the case) is not really the solution either.
First, there must be a point when fillings are required, which is where the dentist comes in, right?
Second, sending people to a book seems like a way to nip things in the bud, but being a voracious reader myself, I can see where this could be a problem. Like stopping people from going to a dentist in more significant numbers than already do. After reading three books on one subject, I am either confused, believing the last book I read is right or saying they are all idiots, and I need to read another book to find out the "real" answer. (An exaggeration, but as to science, medicine, economics, history and politics, reading in these subject areas can take me, and many others, in a similar direction.)
Third, criticizing fluoride is like telling people to quit going to the grocery for fruits and vegetables, and to grow it themselves, but only it's easier to drop it all (in this case, going to dentist and no fluoride) for a while, and then decide you only need to grow vegetables or do half the work (cod oil and no dentist ever). It also feeds into the hysteria (in some places) that fluoride isn't naturally occurring, unlike "fermented" cod liver oil. That hysteria reinforcement is an unfortunate side effect of this type of "I have the REAL solution" book.
Finally, I am suspicious of any book that goes against "everything" in the dental world, and tells people to "merely" take "ancient Chinese secret herbal green tea anabolic hemorrhoid supplements", and live as Henry David Thoreau did (and actually didn't for very long), etc. and shun anything we've learned in the last 150 years... While this is also an exaggeration of the book, in some or many ways, again the promotional language of Dr. Smith's book seems to suggest a "renouncing all ideology" to the casual observer at least. These casual observers and/or readers can end up being a large part of the adherents/converts, and of course, all those who they have influence over (family, friends, etc.), and so on...
Her book may have all the qualities suggested and implied be the promotional elements or noted inside the full text, but having not read all of Kevin Trudeau's books (beating cancer, diets, etc.), I think it still makes sense to be cautious when someone has all the easy answers to life's problem or an entire profession's problems, or again, seeming too at least:
Sincerely, Richard The Chwalek
I'm a communication consultant for dentists; I am not a dentist.
PS: It is not that many of Dr. Smith's claims may or may not be spot on, it's that the implementation of these ideas for health "refashioning" can be significantly more problematic than just stating an end to something and moving to another. Sadly, a book does not change societies - societies do, and the wild swings of this kind of idea in the marketplace, like the Slick medicine show huckster with the flask of cod liver Oily salvation, can harm many as well.