We all know that consuming dairy products is important to bone health. But, did you also know that dairy plays an important role in keeping your mouth and teeth healthy? The continuous supply of calcium and other bone building nutrients found in your recommended daily servings of dairy products protect your tooth enamel; help protect your teeth against periodontal (gum) disease, and help prevent bone loss (which could also lead to tooth loss if it affects your jawbone.) Women are more likely to get periodontal disease if they don’t absorb enough calcium from their daily diet; so it’s especially important for them to eat and drink plenty of calcium-rich foods.
Many studies, including a study published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry, show that eating cheese helps protect teeth against cavities. This works in many ways:
1) Some of the calcium and phosphorus found in cheese infiltrate the layer of plaque surrounding your teeth to remineralize tooth enamel and prevent erosion.
2) Cheese stimulates saliva production to help clear away food particles.
3) Cheese contains protein and fat that protect teeth from cavity-causing acids created as carbs ferment.
So, enjoy dishes made with cheese or snack on a bite or two after meals. High-protein foods like yogurt, milk and cheese are both nutritious and tooth-friendly… and make fantastic snacks! Another tasty tip: drinking a glass of milk along with your sweets can actually reduce the cavity promoting potential of sugar.