Dairy Products Can Help Prevent Cavities
Dairy products play an important role in a balanced diet. Milk, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy foods are good sources of calcium, a mineral that is critical for bone health. However, a recent study published in “General Dentistry,” the journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, revealed that some types of dairy might have other protective effects for your teeth that might ultimately help you avoid cavities, fillings, and root canal treatments.
The study evaluated nearly 70 children between 12 and 15 years old. Researchers tested the pH levels of the kids’ plaque, and then offered them a snack of milk, cheese, or sugar-free yogurt. They then tested the oral pH a second time. Higher pH levels are correlated with a reduced risk of cavities, while lower pH levels are more acidic and correlated with enamel erosion and cavities.
The groups that were given milk and sugar-free yogurt had no significant changes in their oral pH level ten, twenty, even thirty minutes after their snacks. However, those who ate cheese had marked increases in their oral pH levels at each interval, which indicates that cheese may help protect teeth from cavities.
According to researchers, cheese could help stimulate saliva flow, which naturally neutralizes oral acids. Cheese also contains certain compounds that stick to teeth and form a protective film between the teeth and acidic substances.
Cheese is not going to replace brushing and flossing any time soon, but it can be a great mid-day snack or a tooth-healthy way to end a meal when you cannot brush. Call us today to learn more or to schedule your next appointment with our team.
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