Dairy Products and Oral Health

Dairy Products and Oral Health

For many people, cheese is something of a guilty pleasure. In fact, mankind has enjoyed a special relationship with cheese for thousands of years. Unfortunately for some of us, recent decades have been plagued with warnings from experts about the impact that eating too much cheese can have on our bodies. Dieters are often told to cut back on their cheese intake, for example, and doctors sometimes advise patients to do the same to reduce their fat intake. From a dental standpoint, however, it may not be wise to eliminate cheese from your diet.

The fact is that cheese offers a variety of oral health benefits. The Academy of General Dentistry has studied its impact on dental health and concluded that cheese may be one of the best foods to eat if you want to protect your teeth from all those acids they meet throughout each day. That can help to protect your enamel from a great deal of wear and tear over time – which may help to extend their longevity and guard against erosion.

Now, you might think, “If cheese can do that, then milk should have the same benefits.” If so, you’re not entirely wrong. When AGD ran its studies, it concluded that other dairy products like milk or yogurt do help to balance out the pH level in your mouth. Unfortunately, the benefits aren’t as great as those provided by cheese. For while milk and other dairy offerings do elevate pH in a way that can aid teeth, the effects last a mere ten minutes. Cheese’s impact on pH lasts three times longer.

There are other benefits as well:

  • Cheese is important for its salivation properties. There are certain foods that cause an increase in salivation, and cheese is one of the top stars in that category. Salivation is important for removing harmful substances that can lead to the formation of cavities. And there are few things more important for oral health than preventing cavities.
  • Researchers also believe that certain compounds present in many cheeses have a natural tendency to coat the enamel on your teeth. That coating serves as a barrier that can provide additional protection against acids that would gradually destroy that enamel. Again, this helps to safeguard teeth from erosion and other oral health concerns.
  • For the health-conscious dental patients, cheese has another great benefit: you can get the same benefits from choosing cheeses that are low in fat. That’s good news for people who are watching their weight or following a low-fat diet for health reasons.
  • Cheese is also a great snack, and that can help ensure that you avoid sweets and other snack foods that might threaten dental health.

At Ebenezer Dental, we know how important it is to adopt a dietary lifestyle that promotes oral health and wellness. The research demonstrates that cheese is one of the best foods you can choose to strengthen and protect your teeth and gums. To learn more about how you can care for your teeth, and to schedule an appointment with the best dentist in midtown Manhattan, call us today!