Westchester NY Dentist with Dietary Dilemmas
It is safe to say that all of the different patients your Westchester NY dentist treats have a varied diet they follow. And while we always suggest one high in nutrients and vitamins and low in sugars and acids, everyone can interpret that somewhat differently. Rather you are a vegetarian, vegan or just go with the flow, enjoying your meats and other foods freely, there could be positives and negatives to your choices.
Many of the vegetarian patients we treat have amazing gums and lower levels of periodontal disease than their meat eating counterparts. Much of this can be attributed to the high nutrient levels, saliva stimulating abilities and stiff “brush” effect vegetables and fruits can have on the mouth. Where we do see that some (not all) may have issues with is their actual teeth and decay. Vegetarian patients who are very strict in their practices may choose not to use fluoride, including toothpaste that include it because some can be made with animal fat byproducts. And while this dedication to their cause is strong, the helpful effect fluoride has in protecting the teeth from damage may be stronger.
Another place where those on a meat-less diet could be missing out is with certain amino acids. An acid common in red meat, dairy and poultry called “L-arginine” is proving to have a profound effect in breaking down dental plaque. This acid has proven so effective and easy to replicate that it is now being included in several tubes of toothpaste and mouthwash products to give users that extra benefit. And while this acid is used in higher quantities in these products than found in those foods, studies on its natural ability to not allow bacteria to form and stick to teeth are currently underway as well.
Trying to vary your diet as much as possible with a balance of nutrients and vitamins is essential to whole-mouth health. Round out this practice with a regular at-home regimen and visits to your Westchester NY dentist to maintain a smile you can absolutely love.
To make an appointment at our Port Chester NY dental office, please call (914) 939-2132