April 27, 2015
There is no doubt that a vegan or vegetarian diet has certain health benefits, but that does not mean that these diets are healthy for your teeth and gums. Anyone with such a restrictive diet needs to take care to ensure they are getting all the vitamins they need for strong teeth and to make sure the otherwise healthy foods they eat aren’t damaging their teeth.
Thomas J. Feder, DDS, PC, in Belleville, wants to see that you are aware of some concerns for anyone following a meat free, or animal product free, diet.
Vitamin D and Calcium.
This is not as big an issue for vegetarians as it is for vegans. Although vegetarians don’t eat meat, most still consume milk, eggs, and cheese, which provides calcium, as well as important vitamins, like Vitamin D.
Vitamin D, with the help of sunlight, helps calcium to build healthy bones and teeth. Vegans, who do not eat animal products of any kind, need to make sure they are getting their calcium and Vitamin D from somewhere.
This is not a problem because plenty of leafy greens contain calcium. Where do you think the cows gets their calcium? Almonds are also a great source of calcium, which is why almond milk is a popular dairy substitute. If you’re vegan, you may need to take a Vitamin D supplement, but remember: Vitamin D needs sunlight to work, so don’t forget to get outside once in a while.
Be Careful With Fruits.
Fruit is often a go to snack for non-meat eaters. Fruits, like pineapples and pears, are healthy and delicious, but they also contain lots of sugar. Even though fruit sugar is natural, it is still sugar, and sugar is bad for your teeth. As you may know, one of the leading contributors to tooth decay is sugary snacks and drinks, this includes fruits and fruit juice.
To protect your teeth from harmful fruit sugars, be sure to drink plenty of water and brush your teeth regularly. But don’t brush right away! The acids in fruit weakens the enamel, so immediate brushing after eating fruit will just cause more damage.
And, just like any other food, moderation is key. Don’t let too much of a good thing ruin your teeth!
A False Sense of Security
On average, vegetarians and vegans visit the dentist less often than meat eaters. This may be because their otherwise healthy lifestyle makes them feel they do not need professional dental care. This could not be any further from the truth!
Here at Thomas J. Feder, DDS, PC, we offer thorough examinations that will help protect vegans and vegetarians from vitamin deficiencies and tooth decay. It is important that anyone with a specialized diet come talk to us, so we can help prevent any dental problems associated with restricted eating habits.
Any drastic change in diet can have potentially harmful effects on your teeth, so if you are considering a vegan or vegetarian diet, contact us now more information. Don’t let a healthy diet give you unhealthy teeth!