I don’t brush my teeth

This is how I get all my hot dates.

“Hi, I’m Pepper.  I don’t brush my teeth.  Want to make out?”



But really.   I don’t brush.   This is the point at which back-pedalling usually becomes wise.  “Well, no, of course I brush my teeth, that would just be ridiculous.  Honestly.”

But I do not.  My name is Pepper, and I do not brush my teeth.

Except for when I feel like it or when I consume carbohydrates, which might be once every day or every other day or five or so.

So shoot me.  I do brush my teeth.  I’m a little bit of a liar.   But I don’t do it for hygiene, and I do it very reluctantly, and infrequently, and angrily.  Fuck you society!  Who are you to fuck up my teeth and then make me give you money to fix them?  Who are you to tell me what to eat and what to clean?  Who are you to create banes of humanity such as gingivitis and root canals?

When I do brush, it’s for vanity’s sake.  It’s true that they look a bit whiter having residues scrubbed off of them.  I’ve whitened them before, too.  I really do care about my teeth.  I also always make sure my breath smells nice–I’ve spent much of the last few years asking very blunt people about my odor just to make sure–so that’s a big motivator.  But other than that, I just don’t do it.  I don’t enjoy brushing my teeth.  It’s a waste of an entire 12 minutes of my day, which adds up to more than 4000 minutes per year.  I suppose it does give me that “clean” feeling everyone raves about, but what if my mouth never feels dirty in the first place?  What if it’s never swimming in plaque?  What if I never put garbage in it, so no swarms of bacteria can ever fester?

Because I don’t.  And that, my friends, is my case.

This is how we develop cavities:

Bacteria are always present in our mouths.  They help enzymes in our saliva break down food, and then they get to enjoy the kickback benefits of their altruism, which is a benevolent living environment.  What’s more, in today’s day and age, they get to go crazy.  Our sugar consumption is through the roof.  Given that glucose is saliva bacteria’s preferred fuel, sugar enables them to hang out on the surface of our teeth and multiply.  Proteins in our saliva help them stick together to form a plaque biofilm (ever feel like your teeth are fuzzy?  This is it.)  A byproduct of glucose metabolism is acid.  Acid leaks out of the plaque biofilm and onto the surface of our teeth, reacting with the basic Ca/Mg carbonate, and dissolve s it.  Poof, there goes our bones.  Voila, here come the fillings.

I have yet to find any reference online about bacteria in our mouths consuming anything but sugar.  And surely you’ve noticed as well– that ‘fuzzy tooth’ feeling really does only follow carbohydrate consumption.   With a diet low in carbohydrates, plaque builds slowly.  A day or two can pass before anything might seem even the slightest bit off, and then one can brush, happily.

These bacteria are also the ones that go wild at nighttime and give us morning breath.  So, while my morning breath definitely hasn’t disappeared, it’s certainly become more pleasant since cutting carbs.  I like this.  A few other people in my life have enjoyed this too.

That said, we have conventional wisdom to thank (again) for a whole host of unpleasant diseases.  Bad breath, cavities, tooth erosion, gingivitis, perionditis, and something really pleasant called trench mouth.

The absolute worst part is that no one seems to make sense of the correlations between dentistry and wider health.  Idiots.  Gum disease is widely known to be associated with diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and pancreatic cancer. This time, it’s the Harvard School of Public Health claiming that “our study provides strong evidence that periodontal disease may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.”  Jesus.  Can they never look at the bigger picture?  What do diabetes, tooth decay, and the pancreas have in common?  With heart disease and stroke on top of that?  I know that these are just correlations, and that I cannot just fling my hands around in the air and shout “meaningful cause and effect!  meaningful cause and effect!” the way the Harvard researchers are doing,  but I am going to continue to be angry when I brush my teeth.  I’ve got a hunch about the connection between these diseases, and I will not go down without a fight.

My name is Pepper.  And I do not brush my teeth.*


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02 2011

8 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. PJ #

    Hey Pepper… Recently found yur blog and have been working my way through all of your posts. Some really great reading here, so thanks a bunch for your work!

    I’ve quit using commercially made toothpaste now when I brush, and have been using a super simple home made version without all the crap.

    Paleo-friendly toothpaste – I don’t remember where I first found this, so I won’t take any credit for it, but… in a small container, mix up some bi-carb soda, a little salt and however much coconut oil it takes to form a tothpaste like consistency. Works a charm!

    • pepper #

      Mmmm sounds tasty! Haha. I’ve been using conventional tpaste or just baking soda recently, or just my brush. I have a feeling we don’t really need the toothpaste but we like the taste.

      That’s super kind of you. I honestly can’t say I’d read anything I write

  2. Ben #

    Brilliant. Can’t say I’ve used the that line to pick up women but maybe its time to give it a shot. I’ve definately cut back my own brushing and i’ve switched to a coconut based ‘toothpaste’ as it has no sugar substitutes in it. Congrats on the whole for finding and embracing paleo/primal living. I’ve been on it for a bout 1 1/2 years. I gave up trying to ‘get big’ and ‘ripped’ through weights and just start eating and working out to feel better. 2 months in I was down to 6% body fat and had a six pack that didn’t require me to flex and not breath to show it off. Eat more, work less; I love primal life.

  3. 4

    Read the book Cure Tooth Decay http://www.curetoothdecay.com/. He definitively has ade the connection and gives idea how to correct problemes if there are.
    I was the same, not brushing unless needed. And then I went vegetarian, but badly since I got my calories from carbohydrates, and in 2 years, my dental health went very bad (several cavities).

  4. 5

    Hi Pepper I’m Anthony and I don’t wash my hair!

    Nice story you have Pepper, good to see you have left the “grain grazers” and are now living large with us Omnivores. I came over from The Daily Apple which I have just taken too looking at now and then.

    (WARNING, sorry Pepper – I just started writing – down below that is, it just started pouring out – you know how it is:)

    OK it is not to “out there” (the hair thing) but it is another “stop following the herd” stand (I you would describe it as a “f..k you Society!). My hunch is that we evolved quite nicely over the past few million years without the aid of shampoo, so it is probably doing more damage than good – like most things we put on or into our bodies other than fresh unprocessed foods.

    No roll-on or spray deodorants (high aluminum) either, I use just a smidgen of one of those “stick deodorant’s” and when I have to – a clean natural sunscreen that does not have any of those realllly long words in it’s active ingredients!

    What you said about glucose playing havoc on our teeth makes sense. Eat chocolate or bread or cereal (cereal Pepper cereal, “look in to my eyes” – na just kidding, put the box of Techno, Frankenstein Carbs down!) umm, yeah, that stuff (glucose) feels crap on your teeth after eating compared to a fresh piece of fruit. Nature leaves clues…

    “Too much Technology f..ks things up.”

    Take the car = Don’t walk, Watch too much T.V or computers = don’t socialize and exercise, use a calculater = don’t use your brain to add, process – then “fake-up” grains with salt, sugar and fat which leads to an endless number of ailments and crap health = don’t eat fresh vege’s fruit and meat.

    My favorite quote sums this all up – “behind every new invention there is a withered human faculty”

    Processed foods are techno foods, and anything – be it lifestyle or foods that come out of technological advances are ADDICTIVE. They are to be used sparingly and consciously.

    We all no about people that are addicted to sugar, or alcohol, or fat and salt additives, actually most people have a routine (we all have at some stage)of eating addictive foods (chocolate or ice cream, alcohol, CEREAL) every day.
    Never heard of someone being addicted to eating too many apples or fish, off course not, you can not get addicted to naturally growing non processed foods – period.

    Anyway Pepper (it is good your nickname is not Sugar!) I better get going, I will have blog being installed in the next day or two so I can “rant” over there about health.

    Keep your Temple Of Health Strong,


  5. 6

    I’m Randal and I don’t brush my teeth or go to the dentist (last trip was over 30 years ago). My wife, who does the whole brush/floss routine throughout the day, has teeth falling out of her head and is in constant pain. I can still pry bottle caps off with my teeth. Go figure. Good post, now to plow through the rest of our post. Oh, I also don’t wear shoes except to work where I have no choice.

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  1. Primal Dental Ideology | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 09 03 11

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