Eat Cheese, Prevent Cavities

Eat Cheese, Prevent Cavities

Finally, an excuse to enjoy a beautiful cheese platter for dessert. It’s true, within the past couple of years several studies have confirmed that eating cheese after dinner can promote healthy teeth and prevent cavities. Here’s why you should make like the French and eat more cheese:

Cheese Provides Calcium Which Can Promote Tooth Health

Our bodies rely on calcium to build strong bones and healthy teeth, but if we’re not getting enough calcium from our diets, our bodies will borrow calcium from our bones. Over the course of our lives, bones are continuously being built back up and broken back down. The trouble is, too little calcium in the diet can mean bones start to be broken down at a greater speed than they can be built back up. This results in an imbalance that can lead to osteoporosis or even tooth loss.

To avoid this, the National Academy of Sciences recommends between 1,000-1,200 milligrams of calcium per day—and cheese is one of the best ways to achieve this. One ounce of cheddar, mozzarella, or parmesan cheese contains between 200 and 300 milligrams of calcium, and it’s one of the most easily absorbed sources available to us.

Cheese Can Balance The Ph Levels In Your Mouth

The pH levels of your mouth can also greatly impact the health of your teeth. pH levels below 5.5 can cause teeth to demineralize resulting in cavities or tooth decay, but pH levels above 7.5 can actually remineralize teeth and prevent cavities. In fact, “The higher the pH level is above 5.5, the lower the chance of developing cavities,” said Vipul Yadav, MDS, who led a study on the subject.

One way to increase pH levels in the body is to eat cheese. A study by the Academy of General Dentistry tested the pH levels of dental plaque before and after eating a variety of dairy products. Though yogurt or milk had no effect, eating cheese resulted in rapidly increased pH levels promoting stronger, healthier, cavity-free teeth.

Cheese Can Increase the Production of Alkaline Saliva

One theory as to why pH levels increase in the mouth after eating cheese could be because doing so increases saliva production. Saliva is the body’s way of neutralizing acidity in the mouth (especially common after eating sugary foods such as soda or sweets). And there may be compounds in cheese that can actually adhere to the teeth, further protecting them from unwanted acids.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry eating aged cheeses in particular—such as aged cheddar, swiss, or monterey jack—can stimulate the flow of saliva, thereby neutralizing the acids that attack the teeth. “Not only are dairy products a healthy alternative to carb- or sugar-filled snacks, they also may be considered as a preventive measure against cavities,” explains Dr. Seung-Hee Rhee.

Cheese Can Prevent Cavities

Because it provides high levels of calcium, balances pH levels, and increases the production of alkaline saliva in the mouth, cheese is a bonafide superfood when it comes to increasing tooth health and preventing cavities. Contact Dr. Dondo to schedule your bi-annual cleaning and further prevent cavities for the decades to come.


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