Vegetarians and Their Oral Health
A balanced diet is important for good dental health. Your teeth need a daily dose of minerals to stay strong, while your gums need nutrients to resist bacteria and reduce the risk of gum disease. When you eliminate food groups from your diet, you might be missing out on critical nutrients. Vegetarians typically eat healthy diets, but they may need to take additional steps to ensure they are getting everything their smiles need to stay strong.
Diets that eliminate all foods of animal origins can be deficient in:
• Vitamin D
• Complete proteins
All of these nutrients are critical to a healthy smile, but you do not need to compromise your diet to get them. Vitamin D can be produced by your own body when you spend some time in the sun, and can also be found in vegetable margarine, soy milk, and fortified juices. Soy, almond, and rice milks can also be good sources of calcium. Eat more green vegetables, grains, and vegetables to ensure you are getting plenty of riboflavin in your diet. B12 can be found in fortified cereals and plant milks, but you might also need to use a supplement, since this nutrient is not naturally found in plant-based foods. Finally, combine legumes such as peanuts or lentils with whole grains to create complete proteins.
With a little care, you can be confident that your smile and your body are getting all the nutrients they need. Call our dentist today to learn more or to schedule your appointment with our team.
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