Here in the United States, milk is a staple in our diets. Humans have been drinking cow’s milk for thousands of years, so it must be doing something right! Milk is packed with proteins and nutrients, and it’s low on sugar, making it a pillar of a healthy diet. Widely known as good for your bones, a glass of milk–hold the cookies–is also a smart choice for your dental health.
What Does Milk Do for Your Teeth?
Milk is low in sugar and high in nutrients. It has long been known as a fantastic source of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D, among other things, which promote bone health and prevent osteoporosis. Thanks to these nutrients, milk can go to work strengthening your teeth too. The calcium in milk strengthens tooth enamel, which protects the tooth against decay. Milk also contains a protein called casein, which creates a film on your teeth that also protects it from tooth decay. And, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), if you’re going to eat something sugary, milk is a great follow up, as it will wash away some of the acids in your mouth that would have otherwise caused damage. Of course, you’ll still want to brush your teeth afterwards.
You probably remember being told to drink your milk as a kid. It’s a great idea to encourage little ones to incorporate milk into their diet, it’ll start serving them early, and it will stick with them as a healthy staple. Kids are prone to tooth decay at a young age, so it’s important to build strong healthy teeth that’ll last them a lifetime.
Don’t want to drink your dairy? Foods like low-fat yogurt, cheese, and egg yolks are great options. All are rich in calcium, and cheese also contains the protective protein casein, so you can feel good about nibbling on that cheese plate at your next gathering!
Have questions about which foods promote a healthy mouth, and which foods to stay away from? Our team at Mission Hills Family Dental is happy to advise!