Updated on: 28 August, 2017
The state of your dental health is closely associated with your diet. While most people would blame poor dental health on sugary foods and drinks, there are those that attribute dental ailments to a plant-based diet as well. In fact, the dental health of vegans has been a topic of concern for those considering a transition to the all-natural eating lifestyle. In this article, we’ll try to address these concerns by taking a look at specific food groups and how they translate into a vegan’s dental health.
Does the lack of calcium in a vegan’s non-dairy diet put their teeth and bones at risk? This is a commonly asked question that demands further clarification. Calcium provides one of the major building blocks for developing strong and healthy teeth. However, dairy products while rich in calcium are not the only sources of that important nutrient. You can derive a healthy source of calcium from plant-based foods including vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits. Besides boosting your calcium intake, you should also be mindful of factor that can cause calcium loss, such as: High protein diets, caffeine, smoking, lack of exercise, etc.
Further, a properly balanced vegan diet consisting of important minerals and nutrients like fat-soluble vitamins A and D are essential to unleashing the full potential of calcium, by aiding its absorption into the body.
Vegans are always thinking of new ways of incorporating citrus fruits as part of their organic recipes. Citrus fruits make a fabulous source of nutrients like Vitamin C, folate, potassium, glycaemic and non-glycaemic carbohydrates, etc. The natural goodness found in fruits like grapefurits, oranges, lemons and limes are a vital component of a well-balanced diet – and not solely for vegans but anyone who wishes to eat healthy. That is probably why citrus fruit drinks are almost staple beverage in a vegan’s daily diet.
However, you should be cautious about over-indulging. Citrus fruits are highly acidic and notorious for causing teeth enamel erosion, which can lead to tooth decay. The acids found in citrus fruits can exacerbate the tooth enamel erosion already affected by acids released by oral bacteria. Studies have shown that orange juice, in particular, can reduce the hardness of teeth and even roughen them, making your teeth more vulnerable to plaque and cavities.1
If course, fruit juices are not free from sugar either. Whether in the form of added sugar or naturally occurring sugar, fruit juices are infused with the cavity-causing substance. In some cases, they may even contain more sugar than a soda drink.1
We get the most Vitamin D from spending time under the sun. Besides strengthening tooth enamel, Vitamin D also helps to break down harmful bacteria in our bodies. Vegans can also get their Vitamin D from mushrooms and Vitamin D supplements, although the best way is still spending more time outdoors on sunny days.
Another important nutrient for absorbing calcium is Vitamin K, which although mostly found in dairy products, can also be sought from vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and spinach.
If you’re looking for a trusted dentist to monitor your dental health and meet your oral care needs, please contact Sydney CBD Dental at (02) 9232 3900.