Can a "Raw" Diet Hurt My Teeth?

Eating "raw" is a popular diet trend designed to help people to lose weight, increase their nutrient intake, and avoid any processed or animal biproducts. The popularity of raw eating has come from the many people who report feeling more energy and losing weight as a result of eating "clean". However, before you consider a raw diet, you may want to consider the consequences raw diets could have on your teeth.

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1.) Raw diets are often high in sugar. Although raw diets exclude the typical sugary treats (sweet cereals, candy, soda, etc.), they can be high in sugar. This is because they include a lot of fresh and dried fruit, and when a majority of your calories come from sugar it can make the fight against tooth decay an uphill battle. Our advice? If you are going to eat "raw", make sure that more of your calories come from nuts and veggies than from dates, raisins, grains, and fruit.

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2.) Raw diets are high in some nutrients, but limit others. Natural foods are high in nutrients, but people on raw diets miss out on the vitamins and minerals you get from dairy products and meat products. Many raw foodists lack the protein and calcium necessary to maintain healthy functions within their body at a normal rate. This can pose a problem for your teeth, because your enamel and teeth need these vitamins to maintain their strength and density. If you are considering a raw diet, be sure to take a dietary supplement to avoid problems.

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3.) Some raw diets are anti-fluoride. Because fluoride does not occur naturally in water, some raw food diets dictate a strict anti-fluoridated wated adherence as part of the diet. This poses a problem for your teeth, which may already be weakened from the loss of nutrients and influx of sugar and bacteria a raw food diet imposes, because fluoride strengthens your body's ability to fight cavities. Taking away fluoride creates a perfect storm for cavities to form.

For these and other reasons, you should talk to your doctor and dentist before jumping into a raw food diet head first. The concern is real when you consider this raw foodist's experience--after two years of eating raw she had 39 cavities, despite implementing a rigorous dental hygiene routine.

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Dr. Dickerson, the best dentist in Sandy, can advise you on how to make a raw food diet more enamel-friendly in your next appointment. He loves healthy eating, and is inspired by his patients' commitment to doing what's best for their body. A raw food diet can do a lot for your figure and well-being. However, a raw diet can also cost you a lot in dental work. So, give Dr. Dickerson, a dentist in Sandy, a call at 801-590-3266 to talk to him or his staff about your raw diet or any other dental concern.