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Is dairy good for your teeth?

If you love your food as much as we do then taking care of your teeth is obviously very important (well, unless you particularly like soup and smoothies). We’re all used to being warned off the things we enjoy because they’re bad for our dental hygiene – coffee, sweet stuff, citrus fruits, fizzy drinks, maybe the odd glass of wine. If you’re a fan of dairy though, you’re in for some good news; it can actually be good for your teeth! That’s right, dairy might well be the new flossing. OK, perhaps not quite as important but read on to find out why a little dairy can keep you smiling.

Calcium is key

Dairy products like milk and cheese are a fantastic source of calcium, and given that your teeth and bones store around 99% of the calcium in your body it follows that more dairy equals stronger teeth and bone. In turn, that means that your teeth are less prone to the horrors of decay, it’s as simple as that. Not only are they less vulnerable but calcium can actually help repair damaged enamel. So if you’ve been a little too heavy on the donuts recently there’s no need to feel bad – some of the damage can be undone!

Added extras

Based on research by Nutrition Australia dairy products such as milk and cheese also contain certain proteins called ‘caseins’. Caseins actually bind together to form a protective film on the surface of your teeth, again helping to curb tooth decay and keep your dentist happy.

Sweets first. Dairy after.

According to the American Dental Association, the order in which you consume your sugary treats and dairy could be rather significant in terms of the wellbeing of your teeth. It’s thought that drinking milk AFTER enjoying that sweet treat that’s been tempting you all day is the best way to do it. That’s because milk actually lowers the level of harmful plaque acid produced when we eat sugary foods. Great news, because plaque is the stuff that’s responsible for things like bad breath, gum disease and tooth decay.

So next time you enjoy a nice tall glass of milk or a cheeky slice of cheddar you can do so safe in the knowledge that you’re helping to keep those pearly whites in tip top condition!