3 million people in the UK alone have already made the switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet. While the most common drivers of this change are health benefits and social and environmental preferences, much less consideration is given to how a vegan lifestyle can impact your oral health. We take a look at the potential benefits and dangers of a vegan diet for your teeth, and the oral care steps you can take to put your mind at rest.
Pros of having a vegan diet for your teeth
- Calcium is essential for strong teeth and bones and the great news is it’s abundant in plant-based foods! These include fortified tofu, beans/legumes, nuts and seeds, plus leafy green vegetables like broccoli, spinach and on-trend curly kale.
- Certain fibrous vegetarian foods can even help ‘clean’ the teeth of plaque, including apples, carrots and celery. They can also stimulate saliva production to help neutralise any acids.
- Eating plant-based foods is also thought to help support the tissues surrounding the teeth and prevent gum inflammation.
- A diet rich in plant-based foods can be more alkaline in pH, which means less acidic, so can therefore help reduce enamel erosion.
- L-arginine is an amino acid thought to help prevent the formation of plaque on the teeth which is largely found in meat and poultry, and is also found in dairy, soy beans, nuts and beansprouts.
Cons of having a vegan diet for your teeth
- Your body needs enough calcium to support healthy teeth and gums. Vegans need to supplement their diet with plenty of plant sources that contain calcium, as well as fortified vegan milks (almond, rice, soy, etc.)
- It can be easy as a vegan to eat a diet based on sweet/starchy foods like fruits and grains, but the bacterias in your mouth that cause tooth decay thrive on sugar. If you are vegan, make sure to round out your diet with non-sugary foods, such as tofu, nuts, seeds, and plenty of vegetables!
- Continual snacking provides an environment for bacteria to thrive and attack your tooth’s enamel. Vegans may be more prone to frequent snacking in an effort to meet their body’s need for energy. Eating meals with a higher fat content will help you stay full for longer periods of time.
Protect your teeth by improving your wider oral health
Like with everything, it all comes down to moderation. As long as you’re taking the right steps to ensure you’re consuming essential nutrients through a balanced diet, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy being a vegan or vegetarian while taking care of your oral care routine!
Plant-based foods are a large part of a vegan and vegetarian diet. This means we need to make sure we’re taking enough calcium and vitamin D for strong bone development.
At Floe, we’re in the business of helping people build, maintain and strengthen positive oral health habits. We do this by delivering everything you need for a healthier smile every three months. Our subscription box features:
- A brand new Curaprox brush. With exactly 5460 bristles, it’s the best manual brush of 2020 according to Electric Teeth.
- Two toothpastes designed for morning and evening brushing. Our Dawn paste helps whiten your teeth while our Dusk paste fights decay.
- Natural activated charcoal floss. To help you clear food debris from between your teeth where it does unseen damage.
By subscribing to Floe, you’ll never have to worry about running out of the tools you need to keep your teeth strong, healthy and bright whilst having a vegan diet!