Did you know that there is a link between dairy products and oral health? Let’s take a look at a few of the ways that dairy products positively impact our oral health and explore the benefits they offer when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy.
How Dairy Fights Tooth Decay
Did you know that calcium is the most common mineral in your body? Milk and dairy are good for our teeth, but why is this the case? According to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry, dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt provide a variety of benefits:
- They contain casein proteins that form a protective film on the surface of your teeth. These proteins protect the hard outer layer of your teeth (known as tooth enamel) from decay.
- Dairy products are rich in calcium and phosphorus, minerals that repair damage to your teeth. When acid from bacteria and food break down your tooth enamel, these minerals are there to restore and repair.
- The dairy products mentioned above are mostly pH-neutral and can help neutralize acidic or sugary foods and drinks. Quick tip: be sure to consume dairy after your snack or meal.
- The dairy products noted above stimulate saliva production. Saliva helps to maintain and repair our teeth, and healthy amounts lead to a better smile!
Remember that consuming dairy is just one part of a mouth-healthy lifestyle; it’s also important to consume a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and mineral-rich items, too.
How To Incorporate Calcium-Rich Foods into Your Diet
There are lots of foods and drinks that contain calcium, but many people find consuming milk and dairy to be the easiest way to meet the recommended daily amount. Even better? Your body easily absorbs the type of calcium found in milk and dairy.
If you’re not a massive fan of drinking big glasses of milk, not to fear; there are plenty of other ways to meet your calcium needs. Unless you’re on a vegan diet, there are ways that we can all find items we love to eat on an extended dairy list. These other calcium-rich dairy options include: yogurt (plain or with fruit), cheeses (particularly mozzarella, cheddar or cottage), meals that contain buttermilk, frozen yogurt or ice cream, and calcium-fortified soy milk.
Quick tip: Let it be known that fat-free and low-fat dairy products typically contain the same amount of calcium content as whole versions.
Oral Health Care Maintenance
While milk and dairy products are a fantastic way to enhance your dental health, they can’t do the job alone! Here are some helpful dental health reminders:
- Brush your teeth for two minutes twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss once a day.
- Use a mouth rinse or mouthwash to help remove debris and other food matter.
- Utilize items containing fluoride like fluoridated toothpaste or most tap water.
As always, feel free to contact us about any oral health-related issues; we’re available and ready to answer your questions or concerns!