If you’re interested in modifying your diet for healthier teeth and gums, we have one word for you to remember: dairy! As it turns out, dairy products are some of the best food and beverage choices you can make to maintain good oral health. Here are a few recommendations of which dairy products to enjoy, and how they can benefit your teeth and gums.
- Milk: Most of us are familiar with how the calcium in milk can help to build stronger bones and teeth. While there’s no doubt about the benefits of calcium, milk also contains phosphates and proteins called caseins, and the combination of these three help to strengthen teeth. If you’re concerned about consuming the full-fat brands, you should know that low-fat milk and even fat-free milk provide the same benefits.
- Cheese: Research conducted over the past few years has shown a surprising benefit in eating cheese. Along with the calcium contained in different cheeses, this delicious dairy product increases saliva production and raise the pH levels inside the mouth. When pH levels are higher, it means the chances of developing cavities are lower. Yet another benefit of cheese seems to be its ability to adhere to the enamel layer of teeth, and that can help protect the enamel from damaging acids contained in other foods.
- Yogurt: Once again, calcium is the primary benefit of eating yogurt, but there are other advantages as well. Even more amazing are the results of recent studies that show how yogurt appears to offer some protection against gum disease. This surprising benefit may be due to the probiotics contained in yogurt, which not only aid in the digestion of food, but also boost immunity in a general sense – and that includes immunity to inflammatory conditions such as gum disease.
There’s no doubt about it: dairy products are an excellent way to help achieve and maintain good oral health. But there are, of course, a few caveats. Avoid products that contain sugar. Milk provides huge benefits, but the sugar contained in chocolate and other flavored milk may do just as much harm as the calcium does good. The same holds true for yogurt: plain yogurt is always a better option than those that are loaded with sugar, and especially those that come with a packet of crunchy additions like chocolate chips! And if you’re concerned about eating too much saturated fat, opt for low-fat options instead.
So enjoy dairy and celebrate that you’re doing something good for your teeth and gums at the same time.