It is extremely important to make sure you are getting an adequate amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients after weight loss surgery, in order to prevent or reduce the chances of getting periodontal disease, cavities, and/or dental erosion. Some of the most important nutrients are protein, iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin K, zinc, and vitamin C. If you develop a deficiency, it could have a negative impact on your immune system, your bones, and your teeth. A lack of adequate nutrients may increase the risk of periodontal disease. Protein and calcium also play an important role in the maintenance of bone and tooth structure.
After bariatric surgery, we know it is important to focus on diet, vitamins, and exercise, but people often forget the importance of good oral hygiene. Since you must now eat smaller portions (patients are instructed to eat three portions of dairy, two portions of meat, and five portions of vegetables, legumes, and fruits every day), you are now eating much more frequently than before, and the pH in your mouth may change. Additionally, you will be regularly bathing your teeth in the natural sugars from the protein shakes, vitamins, and foods you are consuming.
People who have undergone bariatric surgery have special oral health care needs. To reduce the risk of developing cavities and having dental erosion, see your dentist for regular exams. In the first year after surgery, you should have at least two or three dental exams, especially within four months post-surgery.
We recommend the following:
- Dental sealants should be placed in deep pits and fissures that are at risk of decay.
- To prevent plaque buildup, be sure to brush your teeth at least two or three times daily, with a fluoride or anti-plaque toothpaste.
- Floss your teeth at least once daily.
- Buy an electric toothbrush. They now have disposable ones for about $6.00, and they are good for three months.
- Use a mouth rise like Listerine or Biotene to prevent dry mouth.
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Drink at least one cup of water every hour. Dehydration can lead to dry mouth and dental decay.
- Avoid excessive amounts of coffee, alcohol, and marijuana.
- Take your vitamins and supplements daily.
- Eat healthy, lean, green, and clean.
- Get plenty of rest! You should aim for at least seven hours of sleep per night.