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Vegetarians and Oral Health

Oral health is important for everyone. In addition to giving you healthy gums and teeth, good oral health is good for your overall health. Poor oral hygiene has been associated with heart disease, low birth weight babies, diabetes, osteoporosis and more.

Everyone should be aware of what to do in order to maintain good oral health. In addition to brushing and flossing, eating the right combination of nutrients will help you maintain a healthy smile.

A vegetarian diet has many health benefits. It can be low in fats and cholesterol, and that’s just scratching the surface. A vegetarian does need to be careful however to get the right nutrients to ensure healthy teeth and gums.

Most vegetarians are very aware of what they need to eat in order to maintain good health. A combination of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes can help a vegetarian maintain a healthy diet.

If you are a vegetarian, you need to make sure you are not missing out on some key nutrients. The Academy of General Dentistry says that if you are missing key nutrients for a prolonged period of time it can cause the teeth to soften. This can put you at increased risk for tooth decay and gum disease.

The nutrients that are most important to overall oral health are vitamin D and Calcium. Since vitamin D can be made naturally in the body with sun exposure, deficiencies are rare. Calcium deficiency can be more common in vegetarians, especially those who follow a vegan diet which eliminates the use and consumption of all animal products.

In order to make sure you are getting the proper nutrients for oral health you can eat extra green leafy vegetables and add soy milk and vegetable margarine to your diet. Nutritional yeast and a daily multivitamin are other ways to get the nutrients you need. Many juices are also now fortified with calcium.

Children and teenagers who decide to become vegetarians are at an increased risk for poor oral health because of their lack of nutritional knowledge. Parents should become knowledgeable and teach their children about the importance of a balanced vegetarian diet.

With proper nutrition, vegetarians will have no problem maintaining a healthy smile and good overall oral health.

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