If you're seriously considering changing to a vegan diet, you'll need to make sure you're getting all the nutrition you need for various aspects of health -- including for your dental health. There are other considerations as well. Take action to keep your teeth and gums healthy after you eliminate all animal products from your diet. This will help prevent some of the problems that can develop.
Get Sufficient Nutrition
A primary issue with the vegan diet is the lack of foods that contain substantial calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is essential for healthy teeth and gums, and vitamin D helps the body absorb this mineral.
Get enough calcium by eating plenty of foods such as green leafy vegetables, legumes, almonds, Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds. Some food producers add calcium to items such as orange juice, soy beverages and cereal.
Vitamin D is a little more problematic because the body generates this substance through exposure to sunlight. It can be difficult to get enough sunshine for this purpose. Foods fortified with calcium also may have added vitamin D, so look for those.
Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements also is an option.
Manage Issues With Fruit
It's safe to say that many vegans are big fans of fruit and use it to fill in for some calories they no longer obtain from animal sources. Unfortunately, fruit is high in sugar, and many kinds of fruit are acidic. Brushing your teeth every time you eat fruit can do more harm than good. All that brushing can be hard on the enamel, especially while an acidic substance is present and weakening the enamel.
Instead, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water after eating fruit. You may want to also rinse with a mouthwash containing neem, which helps protect tooth enamel. In addition, chewing sugar-free gum containing xylitol remineralizes enamel to a certain extent.
Continue Proper Oral Hygiene
Of course, you'll want to continue brushing your teeth at least twice each day and flossing every day. The main concern vegans tend to have with commercial toothpaste isn't so much the ingredients but that these large manufacturers do animal testing on products. You can buy cruelty-free oral hygiene products instead.
With due diligence in your nutrition intake and attention to your oral health, there's no reason that eating a vegan diet should cause issues with your teeth or gums. Continue seeing your dentist and hygienist for regular exams and professional teeth cleaning, and follow their instructions if they notice any signs of problems. For more advice on keeping your teeth healthy with a vegan diet, ask a dentist such as Dr. Casarella.Share
14 November 2014
Being born with naturally soft teeth, I've spent a lot of time in and out of the dentist's office. Not only have I learned a lot about basic dental care, I've also discovered many tips for dealing with broken teeth, extractions, implants, and more. I decided that I wanted to make the most of my experience by sharing what I've learned with others. True first-hand experience is a great teacher, and I knew that my story could help. I created this site to do just that, and I hope that the information here helps you to understand what to expect from your dental problems.