Vegan foods have a lot of well-known, well-researched health benefits, but one of the most commonly-asked questions transitioning vegans have is, "Will going vegan cause tooth decay?" While many vegan and non-vegan foods can contribute to tooth decay, there are some vegan foods that are actually great for your teeth and gums. You can make your next visit to the dentist a little less painful by regularly consuming these five vegan foods that are known for producing healthy gums and teeth.
1. Apples Even if you don't eat an apple every day, apples can help keep the dentist's drill away. Not only are apples rich in fiber and water content, but they can also help to reduce the buildup of dental plaque.
2. Strawberries Strawberries are a non-starchy fruit rich in vitamin C, malic acid, and antioxidants. Malic acid is especially crucial in maintaining white teeth (as it acts as an exfoliator) and safely removes tartar buildup from the teeth and gums.
3. Nuts Almonds and peanuts have numerous benefits since they are loaded with protein and calcium. In fact, nuts, in general, can be great for your dental health since they all tend to be packed with folic acid, fiber, and other essential vitamins and nutrients. Also, cashews are ideal for generating more saliva in your mouth.
4. Sesame Seeds If you love sesame seeds, you are in luck! These tiny flower-based seeds don't just add exceptional flavoring to your baked goods, they actually work well at removing particles from your mouth that can cause harmful bacteria to develop. They're also rich in zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, iron, phosphorus, and copper. Sesame seeds break down plaque buildup and help to remineralize your enamel.
5. Celery Last, but certainly not least, celery is one of the best vegan foods for promoting healthy teeth and gums. As anyone who has consumed celery knows, it takes a lot of time to chew celery due to its dense texture. This excessive amount of chewing is a good thing since it stimulates more saliva secretion in the mouth. The more saliva your mouth has, the more balanced your body's pH level will be. A pH level that is too acidic can cause bacteria like Streptococcus mutans to grow in the mouth, so having a healthy pH level means that your body is better able to defend against cavity formation.
Adopting and adapting to a vegan diet isn't easy, and vegans sometimes don't get all the nutrients they need. However, foods like celery, apples, strawberries, sesame seeds, and nuts have multiple health benefits and are packed with all sorts of vitamins and minerals. Consider adding these foods to your diet—your mouth will thank you for it!