Tell Your Dentist About Your Diet

Best_DentistWhen you go on a diet, it doesn’t just affect your waist line, it can affect your gum line, too. “There are diets that may help you lose weight fast,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her Phoenix cosmetic dental office, “but that are not good for your teeth.” A dentist is interested in your health as a whole person, and that includes knowing if you are on a special diet. If you are on a diet for a while or for a lifestyle, tell your dentist. It makes a difference to your dental health.

WebMD says that a mouth-healthy diet includes  “cheeses, chicken or other meats, nuts, and milk. These foods are thought to protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to remineralize teeth (a natural process by which minerals are redeposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids).”

Good nutrition is key to a healthy mouth, and any diet you are on needs to include a balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Vegetarians and vegans get protein from plants instead of animals. Legumes (like lentils and cooked dried peas and beans) are low in sulfer-containing amino acids, but high in an amino acid called lysine. Grains contains the opposite balance.

These two groups are called “complimentary proteins” and exist in such combinations, says WebMD, as

  • Beans and tortillas.
  • Black beans and rice.
  • Chili and corn bread.
  • Pita bread with hummus (ground garbanzo beans and sesame seed paste).

According to Simple Steps (information from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine) , the B Vitamins “deficiencies are one of the most common deficiencies that can affect mouth and teeth.” Vitamin B12 is a vital nutrient found only in animal sources, such as milk, eggs and meat—foods that vegans don’t eat. Vegans must get their B12 from fortified non-animal food, such as soy milk or supplements.

“Your dentist is not going to judge your diet,” says Dr. Ford, “We want you to eat the things you enjoy and we will help your teeth stay healthy so you can eat the things you enjoy.”

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