One worry that people have before going vegan is oral health. They feel that all the natural sugars in the fruit is going to give them cavities. But this is far from the truth. Vegan diets proactively protect your teeth while making you healthier in the process. In this post, we’re going to show you 5 ways that a vegan diet builds strong teeth.
1. Apples Maintain a Healthy pH in The Mouth
Eating apples can have the same effect on your teeth as gargling mouthwash. That’s because apples contain a molecule called “Xylitol”. Xylitol is a naturally-occurring alcohol that isn’t only found in apples- it’s in many fruits and vegetables. Whenever you eat an apple, it’s almost like brushing your teeth. Another benefit to xylitol is that it helps maintain a healthy pH in the mouth. If your pH goes out of whack, it’s easier for bacteria to grow and thrive. Eating apples helps prevent this.
2. Green Tea Prevents Bacterial Growth
We all have “good” and “bad” bacteria in our mouth. The goal is to increase the number of good bacteria while reducing the number of bad bacteria. By drinking green tea on a regular basis, you’ll inhibit the growth of bad bacteria. Green tea is loaded with various polyphenols that prevent bacteria from freely reproducing. This delicious drink can also reduce oral inflammation, increase gum health, and slow the progression of oral cancer. As a side note, if you don’t maintain good oral hygiene, then it can lead to black spots on your tongue due to fungal overgrowth.
3. L-Arginine Kills Bacteria and Promotes Healthy Gums
Vegans tend to get a lot of L-arginine in their diet. That’s because they eat a lot of seeds, soybeans, nuts, and grains. L-arginine is known to promote healthy gums as well as kill harmful bacteria in the mouth. A single cup of roasted soybeans contains approximately 5 grams of L-arginine, which is a respectable amount. Aside from oral health, L-arginine can help boost the immune system, make your kidneys healthier, and even increase the health of arteries.
4. Pycnogenol Reduces Oral Inflammation
Inflammation can occur anywhere in the body, including the mouth. By consuming more pycnogenols, you’ll be able to reverse that inflammation. So, what vegan foods contain pycnogenols? Common sources include the skins, peels, and seeds of cherries, plums, blueberries, and grapes (which most vegans consume daily). Not only does this compound reduce oral inflammation, but it can also discourage the buildup of plaque, as well as seal broken capillaries.
5. Soy Prevents Periodontal Diseases
Periodontal diseases are infections that affect the teeth and gums. In more severe cases, they can affect the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. In its early stages, it begins as gingivitis. But if you continue to eat the wrong foods and not take care of your teeth, it can become much, much worse. Fortunately, eating soy, a vegan staple, can help. Soy can prevent periodontal disease from progressing.
Remember- the natural sugars in fruit aren’t what cause cavities. If that were the case, the vegan community would be riddled with people who are losing their teeth. But this isn’t happening. By eating a vegan diet, you’ll not only live a longer, healthier life, but you’ll also protect your teeth in the process.