Why Is Milk and Dairy Good for Teeth?

Posted on: June 16, 2018

Consuming dairy products like yogurt, cheese, and milk is good for the health of your teeth. These foods play an important role when it comes to dental health. Dairy products contain protective nutrients like phosphorus, calcium, casein – which is a type of protein. These nutrients also have some decay-fighting properties.

How milk re-mineralizes teeth

When combining casein with phosphorus and calcium, it aids in the re-mineralization of teeth enamel. It also forms a protective film over teeth, keeping them safe from the corrosive acids that lead to tooth decay. There is no conclusive research that shows that dairy products cause any damage to the teeth.

If anything, research currently indicates that those who regularly consume dairy products are less likely to deal with tooth decay issues and gum disease. Milk, in particular, has been linked to decreased odds of developing cavities. Drinking milk is just as healthy as drinking water. While milk does contain some sugars like galactose and lactose, these are less acidic than other forms of sugar and the calcium in the milk counters any damage that could be potentially done by them.

Flavored milk, like chocolate or strawberry milk, is a good alternative to sweetened drinks like orange juice or sodas. These drinks are not acidic in nature. Unlike sodas that have no nutritional value, these drinks contain lots of nutrients the teeth and body need.

Other dairy products that help

Yogurt is equally good for teeth as long as the sugar content is less than five percent. When shopping for yogurt, check the label to make sure it has less than 10g of sugar per 100 ml. Yogurt contains all the necessary nutrients for teeth and the casein in it protects the teeth from tooth decay.

There have also been studies that indicate that consuming hard cheese regularly can lead to a decreased risk of enamel erosion and cavities. Some people recommend eating a small piece of cheese after consuming things that you know are bad for your teeth like candies, sodas or desserts. The cheese will help to stimulate saliva production, neutralize any acids in the mouth and form a protective layer that keeps the teeth safe from further erosion.

Despite the many benefits of dairy products when it comes to dental health, the reality is that most people do not consume them frequently enough. A majority of people in the U.S. do not meet the minimum calcium requirement recommended by the American Dental Association. Most people tend to consume less milk as they get older, and this leads to weaker teeth and bones.

Other things you can do to keep your teeth healthy include:

  • See a dentist at least twice a year
  • Brush twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste
  • Avoid foods and beverages with a high concentration of sugars
  • Drink lots of fluoridated water

Want to learn more about how dairy products can make your chompers healthier? Schedule a consultation with one of our dentists today.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Northside Dental Care, PC, request an appointment in our Peabody dental office here: https://www.northside-dentalcare.com. Or call us at (978) 206-7077.

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