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Food

Eating The Right Food For Better Oral Health

Food is essential in keeping our overall health in check. It is the “source of information” of our body and the key to its right functioning.

But it is not enough that we eat. We must ingest the right foods to sustain our body with the proper nourishment.
When we eat right, we maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, we reduce the likelihood of chronic diseases and promote overall good health. Unhealthy eating habits and a poor diet can lead to obesity, health risks like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and hypertension.

Eating the wrong food also affects our oral health. Inadequate nutrition is linked to gum diseases and tooth decay because it weakens our immune system and heightens the risk of infection.

How can you keep your oral and overall health in check? Eat right and lead a healthy lifestyle. Simple, right? But, these words will always be easier said than done. It’s not a hopeless case either because with determination, patience, and discipline, it is achievable.

Here’s how:

  • Have variety in your food intake by including vegetables, lean meat, fruits, low-fat dairy foods, lean protein, and grains.
  • A serving of leafy vegetables is rich in vitamins and minerals including calcium and folic acids. Calcium and folic acids help strengthen the enamel and prevent gum diseases. Another vegetable you can consider adding to your plate is broccoli which contains iron, antioxidants, and vitamin C.
  • Limit your snacks, especially those that contain artificial sugar as it helps in acid production, wears the enamel, and contributes to cavities.
  • Opt for healthier snacks like yogurt, milk, cheese, celery, carrots, and apples which stimulate saliva production. Celery, carrots, and apples are also good sources of vitamin A and C for stronger gums. On the other hand, yogurt can combat harmful bacteria through its probiotics. Along with cheese and milk, yogurt can also neutralize the acids in our mouth. You can even munch on some cashews which have microbe-fighting properties to destroy bacteria.
  • Upkeep good hydration. Drinking water gives you a cleaner mouth, fresher breath, stronger teeth, and a moist mouth.
  • Water rinses away food particles which oral bacteria can feed on and can reduce the risk of cavities, bad breath, among others. It also moistens the mouth, encouraging the production of saliva.
  • Lower the intake of unhealthy foods like coffee, cake, soda, candies, and the like because of their high-sugar component. Also cut back on coffee as it can cause teeth discoloration.
  • Aside from a nutrient-filled diet, avoid activities like smoking and drinking alcohol which are harmful to oral health and our overall well-being.

Does Being Vegan Affect The Health Of My Teeth?

Health issues related to cholesterol and fat have actually prompted many to become vegan. For others, going vegan is about respecting animals and/or pledging not to support farms and facilities that mistreat animals for food. After all, with the heavy use of GMOs and chemicals to raise animals for food, it is no wonder more are going vegan.

Regardless of the reason for going vegan, those following this form of diet may prevent high blood pressure, cancer, and other diseases.

In truth, as stated by the American Dietetic Association, nearly everyone including children can safely go without meat if so they prefer.

However, because there are valuable nutrients which aren’t sufficiently taken when following a vegan diet, some may suffer from dental health issues.

What Does a Vegan Diet Do for My Dental Health?

Unfortunately, vegans who refrain from consuming animal products are more susceptible to suffering from gum disease (periodontal disease) and other dental health complications. The reason behind this is because they might be deficient in some key nutrients. To assist you in carefully planning your diet, you may refer to a dietitian.

What Should I Do to Maintain Good Oral Health as a Vegan?

If you plan to go vegan, discuss this first with a dentist or a doctor. They may be able to discuss with you the vital vitamins and minerals you may have to supplement. Thus, you can provide yourself with the nutrients you need to upkeep good oral health.

Important tooth-health vitamins include:

  • Vitamin D. This is the vitamin the body needs to absorb/use calcium. Deficiency in Vitamin D can lead to weak and brittle teeth. Foods that contain this vitamin include almond milk, mushrooms, oatmeal, cereal, and soy milk. Additionally, spending more time in the sun can boost vitamin D levels.
  • Calcium. This vitamin is essential for making the teeth and bones stronger. Foods that are rich in calcium compose of dark leafy greens, broccoli, navy beans, chia seeds, tofu, and more.

More Information on Maintaining a Tooth-healthy Vegan Diet

A person may need to take supplements when they can’t obtain an adequate amount of these nutrients through diet alone. Take into consideration that the probability of deficiencies is highest among kids and teens who put themselves on vegan diets without being aware enough of the necessary nutrition. After all, nutrition is extra critical for those who are still growing and developing.

Even though vegan diets differ, some vegans suffer from deficiencies regarding protein, vitamin B12, riboflavin, vitamin D, and calcium. In fact, research reveals that through consuming an adequate amount of veggies, legumes, fruits, and grains, one can acquire the necessary nutrition.

Please remember that diet is a vital part of a person’s medical history and future. Additionally, patients must always inform their dentist if they follow special forms of diet.

Schedule an appointment at Hawaii Family Dental and discuss how to ensure good oral health on a vegan diet.


Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.

References:

https://happyhappyvegan.com/vegan-dental-health/

https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/does-vegan-diet-lead-cavities

https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/new-study-vegetarians-have-more-tooth-decay/

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