For some vegans, eating raw food is a daily routine. Uncooked food generally contain a good dose of fresh fruits, seeds, nuts, vegetables and almost no animal byproducts. Occasionally, the diet may include raw animal by-products (ABPs) such as unpasteurised milk or even raw meat.
From a first glance, it is a cocktail that looks quite healthy and it is often very healthy. But this strong focus on raw healthy nutrition may also come at the cost of your dental health. In fact, dental health is the one aspect of your health that will decline as you fill up on a diet of uncooked food and this happens for multiple reasons.
Teeth are very prone to damage by raw food especially through the corrosion of the enamel that might expose them to even more severe issues. People who eat plenty of raw foods experience twice the rate of enamel erosion as the general population. This is not just due to the abrasive effect of raw uncooked food but also the high acidic content in some of the fruits and vegetables that many vegans are likely to gobble up. If you are a raw foodie and are worried about a visit to Dentureville, here are some useful tips on how you can maintain healthy teeth while sticking religiously to your diet.
Minimise the Acid Bath
To kill of the germs, many vegans will add vinegar as a condiment to their healthy raw diet. However, it is highly acidic and is likely to corrode the enamel. Some fruits and vegetables such as grapes and berries also have very low PH and will likely have a corrosive effect on your teeth. To protect your teeth, you will have to radically minimise the consumption of low PH foods and condiments otherwise you might soon begin noticing a higher degree of sensitivity on your teeth.
However, in case these are a large part of your diet, you can still lessen the damage on the enamel in multiple ways:
- Ensure you rinse your mouth with clean water immediately after chewing on slightly acidic foods. For extreme caution, you can swish your mouth with a water-baking powder mixture that will neutralise the acidic effect in the mouth.
- Don’t brush your teeth immediately after taking an acidic meal. You should give the saliva a little time to remineralise the enamel. Brushing your teeth when the mouth is still too acidic may end up causing more erosion of the enamel as it will still be softer from the acidic effect of some raw foods.
Stick to Fresh Fruits
Try as much as possible to eat fresh and water-rich fruits. Dried fruits are likely to leave particles in the hard-to-reach part of your teeth and this can be a dental nightmare. Food particles in between the teeth may be haven for a bacteria which is likely to cause dental cavities.
Take More Green Leafy Vegetables
Our taste buds are not “wired” for raw green leafy vegetables; we are not rabbits after all! However, these are generally your best bet if you want to replenish the enamel-building minerals in your mouth that will reinforce your enamel. So if you are cutting out these in favour of raw acidic fruits like tomatoes, grapes and berries, you are doing your teeth a great injustice. The darker vegetables are generally richer in these beneficial nutrients.
Dental Hygiene is Still Important
Some people may slacken on their dental routine in the mistaken belief that raw fruits and vegetables are not as “contaminating” as cooked foods. Even if you are snacking on a purely raw food diet, you have to ensure that your dental hygiene is top notch. Brush regularly, floss your teeth and pay a regular visit to the dentist’s.
If you are a vegan or a raw foodist, try as much as possible to be proactive about your dental routine. Put the right nutrients in your diet and maintain the best oral care that will minimise the visits to the dentist’s chair.