Did you know that over 45 million people go on a diet each year?
While the most common motivation for committing to a popular diet is to lose weight, these diets affect us in more ways than we realize. Some examples of how your food choices can affect you include causing skin issues, helping or hurting your sleeping ability, and impacting the health of your smile. Discover how popular diets affect your oral health and how you can avoid common problems.
Many Ways to Follow a Diet
Before delving into how popular diets affect your teeth, it’s worth noting that the diet may not be entirely to blame. The fact is, even healthy diets can be followed in unhealthy ways. For example, a vegetarian who sticks to raw fruits and veggies is going to see benefits to their health, whereas a vegetarian who regularly eats Oreos and other treats may develop dental problems. It’s important to note that even in the confines of a diet, there are ways to cheat which cancel out the health benefits.
How Do These Three Popular Diets Affect Your Oral Health
Dieting to lose weight is hardly a new concept. Dozens of diets have come and gone, each with promises to shed pounds and take your fitness to the next level. Nonetheless, some diets gain respect from reputable health organizations and become widely established as healthy options. Three of these diets that have stood the test of time are vegetarian, ketogenic, and a general well-balanced diet and each can have a different impact on your smile.
How Does a Vegetarian Diet Affect Your Teeth?
If followed responsibly, a vegetarian diet can be a phenomenal way to lower cholesterol levels, lose weight, and stay all-around healthy. On a vegetarian diet, the only food that is banned are meats, although there are variations which are more strict that ban additional animal products.
Does the Absence of Meat Help Your Teeth?
The banning of meats may be great for animal rights, but it’s not doing any favors for your teeth. Meat is typically excellent for your teeth due to high levels of phosphorous and other key minerals and nutrients. While vegetarians can still find many of these crucial minerals in the form of supplements, avoiding meat is not providing benefits for their teeth.
The Biggest Advantage of the Vegetarian Diet
It may seem obvious, but the best thing about the vegetarian diet for your health and teeth is the variety of fruits and vegetables that are available. Vegetables not only contain important vitamins and minerals that help your smile, but many fruits such as apples and veggies like carrots have a texture that scrubs your teeth as you chew. For those who stick to these fresh, natural options, the vegetarian diet yields many health advantages.
The Pitfall to Be Aware of in the Vegetarian Diet
While it may sound like the vegetarian diet is full-proof when it comes to being healthy, there is one fatal flaw that can ruin your teeth and even lead to obesity. That loophole is that sugar and carbs are freely allowed and available. Vegetarians who make bread, pasta, sugar, and other simple carbs the main part of their diet can cause the benefits to backfire. All of these foods, including bread and pasta, are essentially sugars that are equally bad for your teeth.
How Does the Ketogenic Diet Affect Your Teeth?
Originally developed as a diet to help epileptic kids, the keto diet has quickly become one of the most prominent options for those who want to lose weight. Unlike most diets, the keto diet completely reprograms your body to burn ketones from fat rather than glucose from sugar and carbohydrates. This is done by avoiding all sugar and cutting carbs to a bare minimum, often below 20-50g. That leaves meats, dairy, and veggies as its primary food options.
The Best Thing About Keto for Your Smile
The fact that the keto diet forces followers to avoid sugar products altogether means that it’s excellent for your teeth. While other diets may allow sugars in addition to other healthy foods, the ketogenic diet simply won’t work if you’re eating sugar – sugar or excess carbs will throw you out of ketosis, forcing you to start from scratch and undoing some of your progress. Since sugar is the worst food for your teeth, the keto diet is an excellent choice for your oral health.
What About the Foods that Are Allowed on Keto?
Meats, cheeses, and vegetables are all excellent foods for your teeth, and they’re the main foods you’ll be eating on the keto diet. While all three of these food types are filled with vital nutrients that particularly benefit your smile, cheeses and veggies actually help your teeth while you eat them.
Keto May Be the Healthiest Diet for Your Oral Health
As one of the very few diets that bans your teeth’s worst enemy, sugar, the ketogenic diet may be the healthiest diet in the world for your teeth. Combined with the fact that the foods that are allowed are excellent for your teeth, the ketogenic diet is extremely valuable for weight loss in addition to avoiding dental visits and having to replace missing teeth.
How Does a Balanced Diet Affect Your Teeth?
Many people who’ve never had to limit the foods they eat simply stick to a balanced diet. As annotated in the food pyramid, a balanced diet means just that – you’re filling your plate with a mixture of every food group each day. Not only does the food pyramid dictate the types of food that’s recommended for a balanced diet, but it specifies how much of each food group you should eat as well.
Weakness of The Balanced Diet: Lots of Room for Cheating
Unlike vegetarians or those who are on keto, there’s very little to keep someone following the rules of a so-called balanced diet. Look at how the other diets have a stipulation that keeps people eating the right foods:
Vegetarians are often motivated by a strong belief in animal rights, and when they swear off meat, that dedication is backed by other motivations besides their own health. This extra element of not wanting to harm animals goes a long way to keep vegetarians on track with their diet.
The keto diet requires participants to avoid carbs for the duration of their diet to achieve a state of ketosis. If someone cheats and eats sugar or a high amount of carbs while on the keto diet, it essentially resets their progress and they have to avoid carbs for a week to enter ketosis again. This functions as a fail-safe that encourages people not to cheat when on the keto diet.
Oral Hygiene at Home Makes a Huge Difference
If someone followed the balanced food pyramid to a tee, the biggest factor in how it would affect their teeth would very likely be whether they’re keeping up with their oral hygiene. The reason for this is that bread and sugars don’t have to be harmful in moderation, but the only way they won’t cause plaque and other problems is if you’re brushing and flossing each day.
Diet and Three Major Dental Problems
When most people think of the benefits of a diet they view it in terms of prevention, but what happens when you already have a dental problem that requires professional help? Does your diet make a difference then? Discover how changes in your diet impact these major dental conditions.
If you’re missing teeth, your diet will very likely be impacted and you may have trouble eating certain foods. This can definitely affect your health, as you may resort to less nutritious foods that you’re able to chew and swallow.
What is the Permanent Solution to Your Missing Teeth?
While most patients opt for dentures to replace their missing teeth simply because they’re affordable and highly available, they’re far from the best when it comes to replacing your missing teeth. The superior solution is dental implants, the only restoration that simulates a tooth root as well as the actual tooth. To learn more about this innovative treatment, simply schedule a consultation with an implant specialist like Dr. Dan Rodda from Flagstaff, AZ.
Does Your Diet Affect Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that can affect nearly every aspect of your life. While it begins by waking you up multiple times each night, the ramifications of that can be severe, impacting your relationships, performance, and overall health. Since the majority of sleep apnea sufferers are obese, it’s clear that diet is a major influence on sleep apnea symptoms.
How To Seek Help For Sleep Apnea
If your snoring is severe and keeping you up through the night, it’s vital to seek treatment soon, before symptoms have a chance to get worse. The only way to be diagnosed with sleep apnea is by taking a sleep test, so visit a specialist like Dr. Iregui from SoundBridge Dental Arts and they’ll point you in the right direction.
All Diets Depend on How Well You Follow Them
While various diets may have rules that make them seemingly excellent for your teeth, it really boils down to the decisions of the individual. As with any set of rules, these diets contain loopholes that can circumvent your positive progress and affect your health. Regardless of the diet you choose to follow, simply limiting sugar and carbohydrate intake and eating a balance of fresh, healthy foods is an excellent plan for your teeth and body.