Is Milk Good Or Bad For Your Teeth?

As with most things, we see articles supporting some foods as being must-haves, and yet the same day, we read articles offering concern for that same food. Milk has shown to be no exception to this confusion in information. Milk is known to supply calcium to help build strong teeth, yet it’s also said that anything other than water can lead to cavities. You might be wondering, should I be drinking milk or not?

Milk As A Contributor Of Your Health

Dairy products are delicious, but they also contain calcium, an essential substance for your teeth and bones. The National Institute of Health (NIH) recommends a daily intake of 200mg to 1,300 mg of calcium per day. Almost all calcium in your body is found in your bones and teeth, making calcium the most common mineral in your body. Your dentist recommends calcium as an essential factor in keeping your teeth strong and healthy.

How Does Dairy Help Fight Decay?

Cheese, milk, and yogurt provide many benefits, including:

Casein proteins

These proteins form a protective film on the surface of your teeth which helps to protect the enamel layer of your tooth from decay. The enamel layer is the outermost layer of your teeth and it is also the hardest layer which further helps to protect the inside layers of your teeth.

Calcium and phosphorus

These key minerals help to repair the damage that happens to your teeth. Your teeth are constantly undergoing change as they are exposed to acids from consuming food or beverages. These minerals are constantly depleted and then reabsorbed as part of the demineralization and remineralization process.

A neutral environment

Dairy products are primarily pH-neutral. This means they can help to neutralize your mouth if it is in an acidic state. Following sugary foods and drinks, your mouth will be in this cavity-producing state. Consuming dairy at the end of your meal or snack may be helpful in neutralizing your mouth.

Saliva increase

Dairy products help to increase saliva production. Saliva contains calcium and phosphate minerals that can be uptaken by your teeth.

While drinking dairy has many benefits, it is essential to remember that it is only a part of maintaining a healthy smile. Consuming a healthy diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole
grains and other nutrient-dense food is also vital for your teeth.

Getting Milk Into Your Diet

Perhaps you don’t love a big glass of milk, no worries! There are many ways to be sure that you are getting calcium into your teeth and bones. You can choose the items on this list that you like best!

Other calcium-rich dairy sources include:

  • Plain yogurt with fruit
  • Cheese, such as mozzarella, cheddar, or cottage cheese
  • Frozen yogurt and ice cream
  • Calcium-fortified soy milk

If you’re looking for low-fat options, skim milk, and low-fat dairy products may be an option and still contain the calcium you need.

Swap Out The Soda For A Glass Of Milk

Soda can be extra hard on your teeth because it has acidity as well as sugar. Over time, drinking soda leads to cavities, sensitivity, and tooth discoloration. Next time you are craving a cold glass of something, grab the milk instead of the soda! Your teeth and your health will thank you for doing so!

Milk And Good Home Care For The Win!

Consuming milk is a fantastic way to help build strong teeth, but it’s essential to realize that it isn’t the cure-all. Your dentist recommends that you also pair a good diet with these good habits:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Floss once a day.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for routine check-ups.

Research has shown the benefits that calcium has on your smile. Now it’s your turn to consume your favorite dairy products and be proof of how well they work!

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