How to Keep your Teeth Healthy on a Vegan Diet
More and more people are switching to a vegan diet, for reasons which range from health to ethics. However, while there is lots of evidence to suggest that a meat-heavy diet is bad for your overall health, there is also research which shows that a vegetarian diet can be bad for your teeth.
Vegans avoid milk, butter, cheese, and other dairy products, and so they unfortunately minimize the calcium they can take in at a stroke. With no calcium, it can be difficult to keep teeth as strong as they once were. This is compounded by what is normally quite a large increase in the amount of fruit which is eaten on a daily basis. Fruit equals both sugar and acid, both of which are bad for teeth, especially in large quantities.
There is quite a lot of evidence to suggest that a vegetarian diet can be bad for your overall dental health, but this is something which is more due to inappropriate beliefs about cleaning and dental health than anything else. Vegetarians and vegans are at no more risk than omnivores are if they know how to keep their teeth clean, and which foods damage teeth if not taken in moderation.
It is important to look after your teeth, and while a vegetarian diet is not something which is automatically at fault, it is your responsibility to make sure that you pick up the slack when you change diets. The first step is to go and see a dentist, as they will be the best people to tell you how to care for your teeth. They will give you the best advice for your situation, as to how to keep your mouth and gums healthy.
Obviously, cleaning your teeth is of primary importance – this applies no matter what your diet is, but just brushing your teeth without thinking is something which is not a good idea. Certain foods are bad for your teeth, such as sugary and acidic foods. These can loosen the enamel, and brushing after them is a bad idea. If your enamel is loose when you brush it, you can brush it off, thereby accomplishing the exact opposite of what you want when you pick up a toothbrush. The current recommendations for people who have eaten either of these types of food is to wait for half an hour before they brush their teeth.
Brushing is the best process for your mouth, but remember to floss and try and clean your tongue as well. There is such a thing as a dental water jet, and this can work wonders for dental health. When eating, a further step that could be taken is to rinse your mouth out, with either water or mouthwash, to try and flush some of the acid out from your teeth. If brushing too hard harms your teeth, using either water or mouthwash will work very effectively to clean your mouth out before you pick up a brush. This will limit the damage done, and work to help keep your teeth healthier over time.
No matter what your diet, if you eat food that is good for dental health, if you clean your teeth properly, and if you pay attention to what your doctor says, then you will stand a good chance of having healthy teeth throughout your life. Remember that the research studying the link between vegetarian diets and dental health is still in its infancy, so while we know a little bit about the impact of diet on teeth, we still don’t know everything, so be sure to take your own precautions for the best dental care possible.