While there’s many guides out there for remineralizing your teeth they all too commonly recommend non-vegan toothpastes and products, nonsense like bone-broth or cheese, and generally are just not at all helpful for us vegans.
So we’ve researched the topic and talked with some dentists to confirm our research will lead to effective tooth remineralization and decay prevention. So long as you implement these methods consistently your tooth-health should get a lot better over-all, less translucent, less caveties, etc.
Preventing Decay & Best Practices for Dental Health
Before we get into methods on how to remineralize it’s important to cover what’s actually causing tooth decay in the first place. Largely this is leftover food being in the mouth that small little microorganisms feed on, and in doing so they produce acids that weaken your enamel and teeth over-all.
To prevent this from occurring it’s important to brush your teeth of course, however this is NOT as simple as it sounds and there’s more important things to keep in mind than simply brushing your teeth. In particular you should make sure to:
- Swish with water (or drink) after every meal, snack, or little bite to eat
- Avoid snacking frequently on drier foods with low water content (dates, bread, raisins, oreos, etc).
- Avoid Alcohol/Smoking, every sip or puff is like having an acidic snack
- Brush your teeth ONLY from 40 minutes to 90 minutes after a meal/snack (or considerably longer)
- Make sure you eat hard foods (raw carrots or radish, lightly steamed veggies, etc) occasionally
These are all very important and unless you implement most of these most of the time you’ll likely have trouble maintaining good dental health over the course of your life, as any little bit of damage counts and with age it really adds up.
As it’s a less commonly know issue I’d like to clarify why you shouldn’t brush your teeth right after a meal or snack. This is because foods are generally acidic and will weaken your enamel and very quickly the microorganisms will produce acids to weaken it further. This is fine and natural. The problem occurs when you brush while it’s still in that weakened state you literally end up brushing away the outer bits of your tooth (enamel) and all the minerals it contains. Doing so is disastrous for your dental health, so if you can’t brush later-on or before a meal it’s generally best to skip brushing for that meal/session.
Strengthening Your Teeth
Beyond the above, which protect your teeth from damage, you should also aim to strengthen them. Not necessarily physically, although eating hard foods occasionally as mentioned above is beneficial, but rather strengthening it’s composition.
You can strengthen your teeth’s composition by remineralizing them, which of course is done by eating a healthy diet with generally lots of vegetables, but we all know this. There’s other things you can do to give your teeth the extra “boost” they may if they’re already struggling. Namely these beneficial things are:
- Take certain supplements
- Use certain toothpastes
- Apply certain herbs (Questionable)
- Increase your fat-intake
We’ll go into detail with these below, and I know not all of them are something all of us vegans would be open to, namely because some of us eat high-carb low-fat. I once did as well, and still mostly do, but slightly higher fat intake can help with dental health due to certain nutrients it helps your body absorb. I’d recommend trying to do at least 2 of these things if you are having tooth problems or simply want to make sure your teethies are in tip-top shape.
Supplements That Help Strengthen Your Teeth:
This is the one I’d say is most important if you’re having teeth troubles, beyond the best-practices mentioned before. This is because most people (vegan or not) suffer deficiencies or low-levels of certain nutrients key for bone (and thus teeth) health.
The main supplement that would help your teeth (and bones over-all) is NOT a calcium supplement, but rather a Vitamin D Supplement. We have an article that goes over my favorite vegan-friendly Vitamin D supplements that you can check out, but in choosing one the idea is to get one that’s made from a vegan-friendly source of Vitamin D3, as it’s much more effective than Vitamin D2.
Supplementing Vitamin D is generally a good idea for overall health anyways, so if you didn’t have a Vitamin D supplement I’d recommend one, as it’s a cost-effective way to increase your over-all health.
Now for some more Niche supplements, Vitamin K, particularly Vitamin K2 can be helpful as assuming you have adequate vitamin D it helps bones quite a bit as well as other parts of the body. It’s not as cheap/cost-effective though, and if you’re eating a lot of dark-leafy greens like Kale you wouldn’t benefit much from supplementing with it. This is the one I’d recommend over-all as it contain Vegan D3 as well.
Likewise, Vitamin A, if you are eating sweet potatoes or carrots once in a while you shouldn’t supplement with it, but if you aren’t eating any at all it would help to remineralize your teeth if you supplemented some into your diet or simply included some foods with it into your diet. I’ve never used Vitamin A and can’t really recommend a supplement at this time, but you can search for one on Amazon or elsewhere if you like.
Use Certain Toothpastes:
I’d say this is less important than supplementing, but if you’re having troubles it would be an idea to use a tooth-paste, and use ones that are more geared to remineralizing your teeth (generally has herbs/seasonings or special chemicals in them).
I personally don’t use fluoridated tooth-paste as I don’t believe it’s very effective, but instead opt to get that poison rubbed on my teeth in it’s concentrated form from the dentist once in awhile. I’d recommend doing so if you also don’t use fluoridated tooth paste, at least if you’re having tooth problems, but it’s not essential if you teeth are relatively healthy already.
I’d personally recommend this powder toothpaste (non-fluoridated) which yielded good results for my brother and a few others I know personally. You don’t need to use non-dairy yogurt to brush your teeth with it, although it’s likely slightly better to do so, but if you do use a very small amount. Otherwise if you want a more traditional toothpaste, this one (non-fluoridated) is good over-all. If you live abroad the almost all of the herbal brands even by big companies (like in India) are 100% Vegan and quite good, so if that’s all that’s available it’s still a good choice. I usually use one of those now, although I used to use the above ones before.
I don’t use fluoridated toothpaste, but the only vegan-friendly one I know of (Colgate isn’t vegan-friendly) is this one from Hello (fluoridated), but I can’t vouch personally for it. My brother now uses it though, and he likes it.
Apply Certain Herbs/Extracts (?):
Alright, I’ll admit I’m a bit skeptical of this one, so tread lightly, but apparently from my research, and what some of the dentists I asked said, you can take strange herbs like Black Walnut to encourage remineralization to occur, but there’s no real science behind it, so while it’s an option I wouldn’t recommend opting for it unless you’re desperate. I’d just stick to the above-mentioned things, as they’re scientifically proven — and I have personal experience with them.
Increase Your Fat Intake:
This predominately helps if you do so when taking one of the fat-soluble vitamins mentioned above, however doing so in general does help tooth-health in most cases according to them any peer-reviewed studies I read when researching this topic.
They generally concluded it’s because the uptake (absorption) of the nutrients beneficial to bone (and teeth) health is increased the more fat you consume, which is why I recommend doing so especially when taking the fat-soluble supplements mentioned above (Vitamin D, K2, and A).
What are some Myths that don't help?
Beyond nonsense like drinking bone-broth that don’t apply to us vegans, a big myth is that you need to drink spring water instead of purified water.
This is nonsense; most spring water is purified and has just as little minerals as reverse-osmosis water, and the minerals in such bottled water is close to non-existent in a dietary sense (less than a few percent of daily recommended intake). I drink and have drank distilled, completely mineral-less water, primarily for over 5 years straight and haven’t had a single cavity. It’s perfectly fine to do so.
Another thing is Calcium; statistically calcium supplementation doesn’t increase bone (and thus teeth) health significantly, and can even decrease the health of bones/teeth due to the extreme up-take (absorption) spike it causes. Unless you have a rare disease and a doctor wants you to supplement it, don’t.
Can You ACTUALLY Remineralize Your Teeth?
My brother used to be one of the nonsense goons that went around saying it’s impossible to remineralize your teeth. That’s also nonsense. He realizes how silly that was now that he’s used the above supplements and methods to repair his teeth (he used to have tons of cavities).
Of course you can remineralize your teeth. They’re just bones and your body is constantly remineralizing them when it has the appropriate nutrients to do so. This guide helps you increase the rate at which your body remineralizes your teeth, but it’d do it slowly anyway, although it’s slow rate may not be enough to keep-up with decay. Doing the above (supplementation, best practices, etc) should cause the remineralization rate/process to increase above the decay rate so you have less cavities in the future and your teeth are less translucent.