The Health Advocate

by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

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A proper vegan diet helps to keep the body healthy and strong. Vegans that don’t follow a nutritious diet may find that their teeth aren’t as strong as they need to be. Often, a vegan diet lacks the proper amount of calcium and Vitamin D necessary to have healthy teeth, and certain studies have shown that vegans and vegetarians suffer more tooth decay than those with omnivorous diets. But do not fear! This doesn’t mean that a healthy vegan lifestyle is incompatible with dental health; it simply means you need to be aware of what you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Consider the following tips to keep your teeth strong on an all-vegan diet.
Find a Source of Calcium
With a distinct lack of dairy products in their diet, vegans need to be very intentional about getting calcium. While most people are familiar with the fact that calcium is in milk, yogurt, and fish like sardines, there are also many vegan sources. Calcium is also often found in nuts, seeds, veggies, and fruits. Some of the best sources of calcium include blackberries, almonds, artichokes, collard greens, kale, broccoli, oranges, and figs. Sesame seeds are also a great source of calcium, as well as being a common and healthy snack.
As you load your diet with these plants and vegetables, be sure to add in vitamin supplements. Focus on vitamins K, D, and A to make sure you’re getting the most out of your calcium intake. These vitamins serve to supplement and improve calcium intake.
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Going vegan doesn’t automatically mean you’ll eat healthier. Make sure the food you’re eating is as healthy as possible by designing a well-balanced diet. This diet should provide you with the essential minerals and vitamins that your body needs to be healthy. Though you may have to work a bit harder to track your intake of food, doing this will make sure that your dental health is never compromised. In addition to boosting your intake of calcium, you’ll need to make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein. By filling your diet with these foods, you’ll work to keep the health of your teeth and your overall health in check.
Vitamin D is also especially helpful to keeping your bones and teeth strong and healthy. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find good sources of Vitamin D outside of meats and fatty fishes. Some good vegan sources include fortified foods like orange juice or soy milk, mushrooms, and certain cereals and instant oatmeal. Vitamin supplements will also help you maintain your dental health along with your vegan lifestyle.
Vegan sources of protein include beans, chickpeas, peas, tofu, edamame, tempeh, and vegan protein powder. Some good foods to get fatty acids from are chia seeds, brussel sprouts, algal oil, hemp seed, walnuts, and flaxseeds.
Avoid Certain Foods
Just as certain foods serve to bolster your diet, the wrong foods will have a negative impact on your teeth. Excessively sugary and acidic foods will have a negative impact on your teeth. If you hope to have strong teeth, it’s best to avoid these foods. As a vegan, you are already used to avoiding certain unhealthy products. It’s a good idea to go for fresh products and avoid saturated fats, heavily processed foods, and sugar-filled foods, even if there are no animal byproducts in them. Remember"just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Sour candies, most breads, alcohol, and sticky dried fruits can cling to your teeth, break down enamel, and lower your teeth’s acid resistance. Even citrus like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons, while healthy, can erode enamel due to their high acid content. Eat them with moderation and rinse with water afterwards.
Visit the Dentist Frequently
Vegans that are unsure about the state of their dental health should make a trip to the dentist sooner rather than later. As vegans are especially vulnerable to potential dental issues, it’s best to be proactive about scheduling dentist appointments. By taking the time now to get your teeth cleaned or visit a same day dental clinic, you’ll be able to avoid any major medical emergencies in the future. Your dentist can also suggest specific vegan-friendly toothpastes (as many use animal by-products) and certain foods to add into your diet to help with your dental health. Practicing proper dental hygiene, including regularly flossing, brushing, and rinsing your mouth after meals, will also go a long way to helping you keep your teeth healthy.
With a healthy diet, you’ll be able to eat nutritiously without experiencing negative effects on your teeth. Keep this information ...    Continue

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