Being a vegan has never been easier! There is no excuse for you to compromise on taste or nutrition with endless product options, recipes, and health guides on the internet. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to remineralize teeth on a vegan diet and avoid dental problems.
What is Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
As a vegan, you need to make sure you’re fulfilling your daily nutritional requirements. For example, vitamin B12 is commonly sourced through animal products like fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy items. Hence a B12 deficiency is a common trap many vegans fall into. The common effects of this nutritional deficit are gum disease and even tooth loss in extreme situations.
Other nutrients that deal specifically with dental health include calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. These are essential vitamins and minerals that you will need to supplement your diet with if you want to remineralize your teeth.
Why do You Need to Remineralize?
If you’re eating a diet that has a lot of sugary starches, then the resulting acidity can erode the natural protective enamel layer on your teeth. However, there are plenty of vitamins and minerals that can restore dental health. As long as you know which foods can remineralize your teeth, you don’t have anything to worry about.
However, this can pose a problem for vegans since dairy products are the most common source of remineralizing foods. Hence, medical or healthcare professionals may not be beneficial in providing solutions that keep your dietary restrictions in mind. Of course, you can always take supplements to boost your vitamin B12 levels, but that is not the only solution.
Easy Ways to Remineralize Your Teeth on a Vegan Diet
Luckily there are plenty of foods that can help vegans remineralize their teeth. It all comes down to picking suitable fruits and vegetables. There is absolutely no reason why people on a vegan diet should face any nutritional deficiencies. Like with all diets, you simply need to take extra care with the ingredients you put into your food.
If you want to learn how to remineralize teeth on a vegan diet, the simplest solution is to purchase B12 fortified grocery items. You’ll see this label on several products in the grocery store, especially if you’re visiting outlets that cater to vegan diets. Commonly, B12 fortified items are cereals, soy-based items, and even plant milk.
Another nutrient essential for rebuilding tooth enamel and gum strength is calcium. While milk is often boasted as the most popular source of calcium, it is far from the only way to add calcium to your diet. Plenty of fruits and vegetables that will supplement your diet with the necessary calcium like black-eyed peas, beans, lentils, and legumes.
Not to mention leafy green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and vegan kale. You can also try nuts like almost or drinks with added calcium. Look for orange juice, or almond and soy milk with tags that say calcium supplemented.
Simply adding calcium to your diet is not enough because your body won’t be able to absorb it. In order for your teeth to be able to use the calcium, you’re supplementing your diet with you also need to fulfill your daily requirements for vitamin D.
You can get vitamin D from fortified cereals and portabella mushrooms. Alternatively, take a walk in the sun and you’ll get plenty of vitamin D. Just make sure you’re wearing enough sunscreen. Of course, if you’re still worried then there are supplements that you can take specifically for vitamin D and calcium.
As we’ve already discussed, acidity is the main cause of enamel erosion. Luckily, a diet filled with potassium can control the levels of acid in your body, protecting your bones and teeth. Some of the popular sources of potassium for vegans are avocado, raw banana, sweet potato, tomatoes, prunes, and potatoes.
Phosphorus can be sourced through ingredients like lentils, soybeans, and pumpkin seeds and is a great way to strengthen teeth and rebuild protective enamel. Once you’ve added all these ingredients to your diet you’ll notice a huge change in your dental health.
How to Prevent Dental Issues on a Vegan Diet?
There are also other issues you may be facing because of nutritional deficiency on a vegan diet such as dental plaque, dry mouth, cavities, or tooth decay. With a few changes to your diet, you can easily avoid all this. Remember, the best steps are preventative!
One common nutrient that promotes dental health is the amino acid arginine. This is great for getting rid of dental plaque and avoiding issues like cavities and gum infections. The only problem is that it’s most often sourced from meat and dairy products. However, vegans can supplement the arginine in their diets with foods like chickpeas, peanuts, lentils, soybeans, and pumpkin seeds.
Vitamin A is essential in preventing dry mouth. You can find it in apricots, carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, pumpkin seeds, kale, and spinach. One thing you’ll notice throughout this article is that the same select ingredients are chock full of a bunch of essential nutrients. So a few small additions to your grocery list can save you from a world of trouble!
Your body uses Vitamin K to heal wounds and stop bleeding. If you’re not getting enough Vitamin K in your diet you’ll experience issues like dental bleeding and it’ll also take longer for your cuts and bruises to heal. That’s why you need to load up your diet with green vegetables like broccoli, collard greens, spinach, kale, and parsley.
At the end of the day, you have to remember that most medical professionals are educated on the nuances of a vegan diet. So if your dentist is prescribing you non-vegan toothpaste or recommending you add more milk and cheese to your diet, it’s likely because they don’t know of any vegan-friendly solutions.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t any; just that you’ll have to look for them yourself. And this guide should give you everything you need to get started. Good luck!