Can a Vegetarian Diet Affect Dental Health?


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In a word: yes! Any type of diet affects your body, not just your dental health. When it comes to healthy teeth and gums, vegetarians need to be sure they’re getting adequate nutrition to support their pearly whites. Vegetarians tend to be much healthier than meat eaters, but their dental health can suffer if proper care isn’t taken to ensure their teeth and gums are healthy as well. Why may it be beneficial to go vegetarian, and how can people who adopt this diet protect their smile?

Vegetarians Live Longer

First, let’s define the difference between vegetarians and vegans: vegetarians do not consume any meat products, including fish (vegetarians that consume fish are called pescetarians). However, vegetarians still eat dairy and eggs and wear animal products. Vegans, on the other hand, adopt an animal-free lifestyle when it comes to any type of consumption. Vegans do not eat meat, eggs, or dairy, will not wear leather, and tend to ensure all their beauty products are cruelty-free.

Both of these diets have a range of health benefits if done properly. Physicians see less heart disease and cancer among vegetarians as opposed to meat eaters. Vegetarians may also be more health conscious, and will limit their alcohol consumption, sugar intake, and drink more water as well as exercise. People who eat a vegetarian diet tend to have a greater awareness of how food impacts their bodies as well as the planet, and their health benefits from this!

They Tend to Consume Less Vitamin D and Calcium

Many people are deficient in vitamin D, not just vegetarians! However, because of their diets, vegetarians tend to consume less vitamin D3 than non-vegetarians, and vegans tend to do worse on this scale due to the fact that they don’t eat eggs and dairy. Vegetarians also tend not to get as much calcium, although calcium is certainly feasible for vegetarians to consume as they have the option of eating yogurt and cheese.

Vitamin D and calcium are essential nutrients for a healthy smile! Both calcium and vitamin D contribute to formation of strong, healthy bones—and your teeth are rooted in your jaw bones! Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and can also help with gum disease as well as gum inflammation.

How Vegetarians Can Ensure Proper Nutrition for Their Smile

By consuming enough vitamin D and calcium in their well-balanced diet, vegetarians can have excellent dental health as well as bodily health. Vegetarians have the option of consuming dairy products high in calcium and vitamin D including cheese, yogurt, and milk. If you’re a vegetarian that avoids dairy, look for non-dairy alternatives to these products, and find quality supplements. Vegetarians can also aim to get 10-20 minutes of sunlight every day. Our bodies make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, and can store vitamin D in the body.

If you eat a vegetarian diet, get enough calcium and vitamin D to ensure excellent dental health! Your teeth need strong bones and healthy gums to thrive. As vegetarians are usually healthier than non-vegetarians, ensuring proper vitamin and mineral intake can make for a super-healthy smile!

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Can a Vegetarian Diet Affect Dental Health?
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Why may it be beneficial to go vegetarian, and how can people who adopt this diet protect their smile? Learn more with Dr. Nhien Lu!

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Nhien Lu
Nhien Lu

Dr. Lu has built a reputation as a leading dentist in family, cosmetic and restorative dentistry and emergency dentist serving Northern Virginia. For more information on Dr. Lu visit http://www.northernvirginiadentist.com

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