Starting a plant-based vegan diet can be a great way to flush out the toxins in your body and introduce healthier foods into your regular diet. However, recent studies show that for longer-term vegans, a lack of animal-based fat can have unwanted effects on tooth health. So when it comes to veganism, how do you keep your gums, mouth, and molars happy? It’s a lot simpler than you’d imagine. Here are a few of the key factors to avoid when practicing a vegan diet.
Avoid Swishing with Acids
Many vegans like to have a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar or lemon juice handy to use as a healthy ingredient in teas and cleanses. While these acidic drinks have a lot of health benefits, using them as mouthwash is to be avoided at all costs. The acid in both liquids can wear down the enamel on your teeth, especially when you don’t wait the appropriate amount of time (a half-hour or more) before brushing.
Beware of Processed Foods
Foods that are labeled ‘vegan’ aren’t necessarily healthier than other foods. In fact, many vegan foods require more processing to make up for the lack of traditional fats and baking aids that exist in non-vegan products. Always check the labels of foods like vegan breads, rice milk, agave, and other alternative ingredients to keep aware of their sugar content. As we already know, sugar is a major source of cavities, and if you’re not watching your sugar consumption, your smile could see the worst of it.
Be Mindful of Soy Intake
Many staples of a vegan diet are heavy in soy, which is a processed food that often comes with a lot of unwanted filler ingredients. Many soy milk brands and products containing soy, like vegan bread alternatives, contain sugar. Even more innocent soy-based products like tofu can actually have the effect of sucking minerals out of the body. This double effect can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. Always check the nutrition facts before purchasing soy-based ingredients to keep aware of their sugar content.
As a vegan, it helps to mindful of the nutrients you’re getting less of simply by forgoing certain staple foods like meat and dairy. To keep ahead of this effect, try and take vitamins and supplements every day to keep your mouth healthy. Pay special attention to your calcium levels, since this will help your teeth grow stronger and will help ward off cavities and gingivitis.