New Year’s Diet? 3 Diets That Can Be Detrimental To Your Teeth

If you made a New Year's resolution to lose a few pounds, then you may be on a new diet that has you eating completely different foods than you are used to. Whether you chose a healthy new diet or a fad diet, you should be aware of how the new foods you are eating affect your teeth. You can then take steps to ensure that your new eating plan does not lead to tooth decay. 

1. High-carb Vegan

The high-carb, vegan diet goes by many names, such as "The Banana Diet", but they all follow the guidelines of a doctor who wrote a book touting the health benefits of this eating plan. While you have likely decided that this diet is best for your body if you have chosen it, beware of the impact it can have on your teeth. 

Eating a diet composed of 80-percent carbohydrates means you need to be very careful to brush after every meal or snack. Although many followers of this diet munch on fruit all day long, this is a bad idea if you don't want to begin developing cavities. It is a better idea to divide food into no more than 5 small meals each day, so you can brush after each one. Also, don't feast on too many acidic fruits, such as oranges, too often. 

If you are new to being vegan entirely, then be careful to make sure you get the calcium necessary for healthy teeth after you have cut dairy products from your menu. Drink calcium-fortified nut or soy milk and/or eat vegetables high in calcium, such as kale or collard greens daily. 

2. Juice Cleanse

This is the time of year when many people perform a juice cleanse or a similar "cleansing" diet, such as the one where you drink water with lemon juice and cayenne pepper in it. Even though this may be a short-term diet used to jump-start weight loss, you don't want it to jump-start cavity formation, as well. The problem you may have with this diet is remembering that even though you may not be eating solid food, the sugars and acids in your juices still have to be brushed off your teeth after you drink your "meals". 

Unfortunately, the guidelines for many of these diets instruct you to sip on juice all day long. You should instead divide your juice into separate "meals", so you can brush after them. Drinking your juices through a straw in an attempt to save your teeth? Unfortunately, it is a myth that straws protect your teeth from sugars and acids in beverages. While using one can't hurt, it won't keep you from having to brush after drinking your juice. Talk to a specialist at a place like for more information.

3. Low-carbohydrate

If you are following a low-carbohydrate diet, then you will be happy to hear that this diet can actually be great for your teeth. Eating few carbohydrates means your teeth will be in contact with less cavity-causing sugar. Don't use that as an excuse to slack off on brushing and flossing, though, as food can still get stuck in your teeth, and you are likely not cutting out carbs completely. 

One thing you should be aware of, though, is the fact that many people who follow a low-carb diet can develop bad breath. This is due to your body releasing ketones when it is metabolizing the fat and protein you eat. Don't be tempted to use lots of alcohol-filled mouthwash to combat it, because that will dry out your mouth. If your breath gets too bad, either suck on sugar-free mints or add some carbohydrates back into your eating plan. 

If you have decided to try a new eating plan to start the new year, then be aware of how your new diet affects your mouth and teeth. In the end, whether you stick with them or not, you and your dentist will be stuck battling any tooth decay they cause if you don't take steps to prevent it.