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As kids we all remember hearing our parents or grandparents remind us that dairy products help build strong bones and teeth. But did you also know that milk and dairy products in general help can assist in improving your oral health and lowering your risk for gum disease?
A Winning Combination: Nutrition and Dental Health
Brushing and flossing in combination with regular visits to your dentist are all effective ways to prevent cavities. But a healthy mouth also requires a balanced diet, especially during orthodontic treatment!. The recommended daily serving of 2 – 4 servings of milk or dairy products per day provides a continuous supply of calcium and other bone building nutrients that aid in protecting tooth enamel and also the prevention of bone and tooth loss.
Amazing Benefits of Dairy Products
Milk is only the tip of the iceberg. Dairy products contain many essential vitamins that affect the overall health of your mouth and body:
- Protein: Dairy products are rich in protein and contain essential amino acids needed by your body to build and repair muscle tissue.
- B vitamins: It’s essential to consume foods rich in B vitamins daily, including riboflavin, niacin and B12; riboflavin helps your body metabolize carbohydrates and make red blood cells, niacin converts food into energy and B12 supports nerve cells and maintains red blood cells that transport oxygen throughout your body.
- Calcium, Vitamin D: Like we’ve been saying all along, these vitamins develop strong bones, reduce the chances for osteoporosis and support muscle and blood vessels.
- Vitamin A: Important to healthy vision; supports skin and cell growth; assists your body in developing and maintaining good oral health.
- Potassium: Vital to maintaining healthy blood pressure; works with sodium to support the body’s fluid balance; lowers risk of developing kidney stones and age-related bone loss; enables muscles to function correctly
Cheese is Your Friend
And let’s not forget cheese. Many studies have shown that eating cheese helps prevent cavities! The calcium and phosphorus found in cheese has been shown to infiltrate the layer of plaque surrounding your teeth which works to protect the tooth enamel and prevent erosion. Additionally, cheese stimulates saliva production and helps clear away food particles. Finally, the protein and fat in cheese products protects teeth from cavity-causing acids that are created as carbohydrates ferment.
Two Glasses a Day is the Only Way
So before turning down a glass of milk in favor of something far less beneficial (like a soft drink) remember that a healthy intake of milk and other dairy products can be beneficial to your gums and teeth also. Studies show that people who consume healthy quantities of milk and cheese have less disease in their gums along with stronger bones. Not only that, individuals who drink milk demonstrate less periodontal disease in comparison with those who consume less. Lactic acid, also in dairy products, may be helping to control the bacteria in our gums and around our teeth. Lactic acid in dairy products can actually kill off the bacteria that causes tooth decay and other periodontal problems.
Go to the Source
If you have questions regarding you dairy product intake or any other questions about dental hygiene or diet, take it to the source…Papandreas Orthodontics is more than happy to answer your questions and get you on the right track to maintain a healthy smile during orthodontic treatment!
Dr. Papandreas is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, Cleveland Dental Society, Ohio Dental Association and the Schulman Study Group of top orthodontic practices nationally.