People who are transitioning to a plant-based diet may wonder whether it would affect the state of their oral health. After all, removing certain foods in one’s diet could drastically impact a person’s overall well-being, and that includes the teeth. Although vegans tend to have a greater awareness of how food affects their bodies, the improper management of their diet could result in nutrient imbalances.
Dental Problems Commonly Associated With a Vegan Diet
Some oral health problems that are linked to a vegan diet are dental cavities and tooth decay. Vegans are at a greater risk of these two dental problems due to their consumption of foods packed with natural sugars, such as fruits. Taylor Burley Kleiman Dental says that when an individual eats sugary food, the bacteria in the mouth combine with the sugar to form an acidic environment that could eventually damage the teeth.
Calcium and Oral Health
On top of these dental problems, there is also the issue of vegans not getting enough calcium. This essential nutrient is required to achieve a healthy smile as it helps fortify bones and teeth. A vegan diet, however, may cause a deficiency of calcium in their system as they eliminate dairy products from their meals.
Maintaining Optimal Oral Health as a Vegan
So, what can vegans do to ensure good oral health? They can start by eating a well-balanced diet which contains all the important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients the body needs to function well. If they cannot get calcium from dairy products, for instance, they can substitute non-dairy sources of calcium, such as broccoli and tofu instead.
It’s also a good idea to limit the intake of sugary and acidic foods. Eating less of these foods can minimise the risk of developing serious oral problems, such as dental erosion.
Proper oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing, is also a good way to maintain optimal oral health. Regular brushing and flossing can remove the food particles attached to the teeth, which keeps them clean and healthy.
While following a vegan diet carries some risk to a person’s dental hygiene, practising good dental hygiene and cutting down on food that causes oral damage can mitigate these risks, making for a beautiful and healthy smile.