If you want to avoid cavities and tooth decay, it's important that you take great care of your teeth, and what you eat plays a big part in this. If you are a vegetarian, you have to be even more mindful about the link between what you put in your mouth and the effect on your teeth.
Ludwig Leibsohn, a member of the American Academy of General Dentistry, warned that vegetarians who ate a meat-free diet for a prolonged period were at risk of developing periodontal disease due to a lack of Vitamin D and calcium; therefore, it's important to make sure you eat a balanced diet to get all the nutrients you may be missing out on. Eat plenty of the following foods and avoid too much sugar, and you'll be well on the way to making sure you have the ultimate tooth-friendly diet that still fits with your vegetarian lifestyle.
Milk, Cheese and Yoghurt
Milk, cheese and other dairy products are a great source of both calcium and vitamin D, as well as protein, so they are wonderful to eat to make sure your teeth stay as healthy as possible.
Cheese in particular was found to have anti-cavity properties in a 2013 study carried out by the Academy of General Dentistry.
To make sure your gums are protected, include lots of natural plain yoghurt (not the sugar-laden varieties!) in your diet as well. The good bacteria in yoghurt counterbalances the bad bacteria that cause cavities.
Greens like kale, pak choy and spinach are not only amazing for your body, but they are also crucial for good dental health as they are filled with calcium, as well as other tooth-friendly nutrients such as magnesium and Vitamin B. It's best to pair your leafy greens with healthy fats, such as avocados or olive oil, as this will help them absorb better in your body.
Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to get the adequate amount of B12 necessary if you don't eat meat. However, fortified breakfast cereals are one good source; just make sure you don't choose one filled with sugar, as sugar is your teeth's worst enemy.
It may be worth taking a supplement to make sure you are getting the B12 that your body needs.
Almonds are packed full of calcium, so they are a great choice for a snack. If you're not keen on almonds, brazil nuts are a great alternative as they have nearly as much calcium as almonds.
If you haven't mentioned your vegetarian diet to your dentist before now, it may be worth doing so, as he or she will be able to take this into consideration when examining your teeth and offer you other suggestions for maintaining good oral health.
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