When you’re following a special diet, you may need to pay some extra attention to your oral health. Every diet has its pros and cons when it comes to your teeth. Before you start a new diet, you should consult your dentist to make sure it won’t have any negative side effects on your dental health. Today we’re taking a look at five trendy fad diets and how they affect your teeth.
The Dental Health Pros and Cons of 5 Trending Diets
- Pros: No Sugar
- Cons: Bad Breath
This trendy weight-loss diet cuts out carbs and sugar, which is great for your teeth. However, the chemicals your body releases during ketosis can make your breath smell really bad. If you’re on a keto diet, try adding some fresh mint to your drinking water for a natural breath freshener.
- Pros: No Processed Foods
- Cons: Low Calcium
Trying to eat the same way your paleolithic ancestors did? This diet steers clear of all processed foods, grains, beans, potatoes, and dairy. The fact that it’s low-carb and low-sugar is great news for your teeth. But the bad news is that a paleo diet also omits dairy products, a significant source of calcium. If you follow a paleo diet, you’ll need to make sure to include lots of calcium-rich plants in your meals, like leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, and almonds.
- Pros: Fiber and Vitamins
- Cons: Processed Foods
With a vegan diet, your oral health is going to depend on whether you’re eating lots of whole grains and fresh vegetables or lots of processed foods. Fresh vegetables have lots of water, fiber, and vitamins, so if you’re eating salads and leafy greens, a vegan diet could be great for your teeth. If you’re eating a carb-heavy processed vegan diet or drinking fruit smoothies every day, it could be very bad for your teeth.
Vegans might also need to take a calcium supplement if they don’t eat enough calcium-rich foods. However, you can still get enough calcium without consuming dairy. Plant-based sources of calcium like almonds, kale, tahini, and tofu have greater bioavailability. This means that even though dairy products have more calcium than plant sources, your body can use more of the calcium it gets from almond or soy milk than it gets from cow’s milk.
- Pros: Vitamin D
- Cons: Red Wine
The Mediterranean diet centers on a balanced variety of fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and olive oil. It even allows for dessert and one glass of red wine per day. One of the best things about this diet is that it fights inflammation and gum disease. And, with calcium from dairy and vitamins A and C from fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s pretty good for your teeth.
If you’re following a Mediterranean diet, watch out for sugars and acids—dont eat too much pasta or too many citrus fruits. Red wine has more sugar than you might think, and it can also stain your teeth if you drink it every day, so remember that moderation is key with this diet.
- Pros: Anti-Inflammatory
- Cons: Dry Mouth
Another super trendy diet right now is intermittent fasting. On this diet, you go without eating for most of the day. Cutting back on snacking can be great for your teeth, but there are a few things to watch out for if you try this diet.
People who practice intermittent fasting often experience acid reflux from an empty stomach, which can erode tooth enamel. They might also unconsciously grind their teeth when they’re hungry. Teeth grinding also wears down tooth enamel, and can even cause tooth fractures.
The most important thing to remember if you try intermittent fasting is to drink plenty of water. Many people forget to drink water between meals, and if you forget to hydrate while fasting, you could develop dry mouth. The bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease thrive in a dry mouth, so if you want healthy teeth, stay hydrated.
Talk to Your Dentist Before You Start a New Diet
Fad diets can help you lose weight, but they aren’t always good for your teeth. If you’re thinking about trying a new diet, talk to your dentist first about how it might affect your oral health. Bring all your questions with you to your next exam at 38th Modern Dental in the Highlands. Give us a call or request an appointment online today.