Benefits of Dairy Products for the Teeth
While a balanced diet should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, having dairy products are just as important. In fact, a recent study found that eating cheese may help protect your teeth against cavities.
The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of General Dentistry “General Dentistry,” examined children between the ages of 12 and 15 to determine the pH levels of their mouths before and after a dairy snack. A low pH level increases the risk of erosion, and erosion can lead to tooth decay. A pH level above 5.5 can have a protective effect and can significantly reduce the risk of cavities.
The children were divided up into three groups. One group ate cheese, another group ate sugar-free yogurt and the final group drank milk. Their oral pH levels were tested before the snack, and then they were instructed to swish with water after they were finished. The pH levels of their mouth were then tested three times at 10 minute intervals. Whereas the pH levels in the groups that had milk and yogurt remained the same as before the snack, the group that had eaten cheese had marked increases in their pH levels. This indicated that the cheese had a protective effect.
Cheese helps neutralize oral acids, as it contains compounds that attach to dental enamel to protect against acid erosion. Cheese and other dairy products can be excellent alternatives to sweet or starchy snacks, such as candy or chips. Call us today to learn more about how a healthy diet can benefit your smile or to schedule your next checkup with our Dentist.
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