To prevent cavities and maintain good dental hygiene, your diet, which includes what you eat and how often you eat, are vital factors. Changes in your mouth start the moment you eat certain foods. The more often you eat and snack, without brushing in between meals, the more frequently you are exposing your teeth to decay.
Certain dairy foods can keep your teeth healthy and clean; can you guess which ones they are?
Did your Mom ever tell you to drink your milk for strong bones and a sparkling white smile? She was right according to research. Milk is beneficial to dental and oral health. One of the 13 essential nutrients that milk contains is calcium. Calcium helps to keep your teeth stronger and healthier. Calcium also helps protect your teeth against gum disease and keeps your jawbone healthy and strong. Milk also contains various bioactive peptides, which is a fancy way of saying organic substances formed by amino acids. These have important functions in the maintenance of dental health through enamel-protective and anticaries effects for adults and kids.1,2
Calcium is also found in one of my favorite foods, cheese! Do you snack on cheese often? That’s a good thing because chewing on cheese prompts production of saliva, which washes away staining food particles. Cheese also increases the concentration of calcium in saliva and plaque which has enamel-protective effects.3 Therefore, cheese helps to strengthen teeth while also whitening them.
Just like milk and cheese, yogurt is a good source of protein and calcium, which is great for the strength and health of your teeth. Probiotics found in yogurt also benefits your gums because the beneficial bacteria crowd out the bacteria that causes cavities.4 Plain varieties with no added sugar is best for your pearly whites.
What other ways do you keep your teeth healthy and clean?
- Merritt J et al. Milk helps build strong teeth and promotes oral health. J Calif Dent Assoc2006;34:361-366.
- Dror DK and Allen LH. Dairy product intake in children and adolescents in developed countries: trends, nutritional contribution, and a review of association with health outcomes. Nutr Rev 2014;72:68-81.
- Kashket S and DePaola DP. Cheese consumption and the development and progression of dental caries. Nutr Rev2002;60:97-103.
- Petti S et al. A randomized clinical trial of the effect of yoghurt on the human salivary microflora. Arch Oral Biol 2001;46:705-712.