If you’re on a raw food diet, you’re doing the best you can for your body. But you may find you’re having trouble with your teeth. Raw food diets draw out toxins in the body, which can temporarily increase the acids and toxins in the mouth and expose underlying oral health issues.
Luckily, there is plenty you can do to protect your tooth health. It comes down to two things: replacing minerals lost during eating and mitigating the effects of sugars and acids in food.
Replacing lost vitamins and minerals
Your teeth need calcium and phosphorus to replace lost minerals. Additionally, you need vitamin D and vitamin K to properly absorb and transport the calcium.
Many raw food-friendly foods provide these, including:
- Nuts in general
- Almonds in particular, which are high in calcium
- Green veggies like spinach and broccoli
- Firm and crunchy fruits like apples and pears. These tend to contain more water, which helps wash away the sugars in the fruits.
In fact, if you are careful about how you consume fruits and vegetables, you shouldn’t need to avoid any fruits or vegetables.
Protecting teeth from acids and sugars
First and foremost, eat a wide variety of foods and brush for two minutes, twice a day. It’s the same thing everyone needs to do, really.
Otherwise, just be mindful of what, when and how you eat. Avoid too much snacking, as eating bombards your teeth with acid and sugars. Limit the amount of acidic foods (oranges and tomatoes) and sticky, sugary foods (dehydrated foods and dried fruits) you eat, and have them in meals to minimise their effects. Have only one juice or smoothie a day. Use a straw, so the sugars can bypass most of your teeth. And finish off meals with a water rinse or a stalk of celery to wash or scrub away the sugars and acids.
Of course, oral health, like all forms of health, are complicated and personal, so if you have any questions or concerns, talk to a dental professional.
Author bio: Jo is a writer for Bhandal Dentistry. She enjoys experimenting with vegan recipes and writing about health.