Is A Plant-Based Diet Good Or Bad News For Your Oral Health?
Whether it’s due to moral reasons, food intolerances, or simply taste, you might find yourself interested in adopting a plant-based diet. In fact, the National Library of Medicine found that making this switch can lower body weight, decrease your risk of cancer, and reduce your risk of death from ischemic heart disease. So, it’s not surprising that about 10% of Americans over the age of 18 are vegan or vegetarian! While it’s an obvious win for your overall health, many patients are curious if it’s good news for their oral health as well. To learn the answer, keep reading!
How Going Plant-Based Benefits Your Oral Health
The good news is that adopting a plant-based diet benefits your oral health too! There are a few reasons for this. To begin, this often means that your plate gets filled with fiber and healthy fats as well as essential vitamins and minerals. All of these can go a long way in keeping your teeth and gums healthy from the inside-out. Secondly, the improvements to your overall health can boost your immune system, helping your body fight off gum disease and other infections in your mouth.
A Few Important Things to Keep in Mind
As with any diet, there are a few things you should be mindful about when it comes to your oral health. For example, patients who choose keto often end up with something called “keto breath,” which is important to be aware of ahead of time. In the case of vegan/vegetarian diets, patients can end up low in Iron and Vitamin B12 if they aren’t careful. It’s also important to be intentional with your meals instead of loading your plate with added starches and sugars. For these reasons, it’s best to talk to your primary care physician or dietician first.
5 Oral Health Best Practices That Will Help Keep Your Smile Healthy
Filling your plate with vitamin-rich foods and keeping your consumption of sugar to a minimum can go a long way when it comes to preventing tooth decay and gum disease. To keep your smile in tip-top shape, you should also:
• Visit your dentist every six months for a dental checkup and cleaning
• Brush for a full two minutes each morning and evening
• Floss and rinse with mouthwash daily
• Quit unhealthy dental habits, like smoking, chewing on ice, and biting your nails
• Drink plenty of water throughout the day
Ultimately, adopting a plant-based lifestyle comes with several noteworthy benefits. Of course, it’s still a good idea to talk to your primary care provider and dentist before moving forward. That way, they can help you navigate the transition, keeping your oral and overall health in good condition along the way.