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Dairy Defender: Dairy Can Help Protect Your Teeth

Did you know that June is National Dairy Month? Dairy and dentistry go hand in hand- because not only does drinking milk lead to strong bones, but the calcium in milk and other dairy products has great benefits for the teeth, too. Dr. Caracioni encourages patients to get the recommended amount of calcium per day to have strong, healthy teeth.

Calcium is Critical

The recommended daily intake of calcium for adults and children over the age of four is 1000 to 1300 milligrams each day. Calcium keeps the bones and teeth strong. In fact, the teeth and bones store 99 percent of the total calcium of our bodies. Pregnant women pass on their calcium to their unborn babies- which strengthens the teeth forming in the baby’s developing jaw in. Consuming enough calcium and dairy products helps protect patients from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a medical condition that causes brittle bones. The condition can impact the teeth in later life when it causes the jawbone to become weak and teeth to become loose.

Dairy Defender Against Tooth Decay

Researchers believe that dairy products also help fight against tooth decay. Dairy products contain special proteins, called caseins. Caseins, in combination with calcium and phosphorus, form a protective film over the teeth, which prevents bacteria and acid from causing decay. Calcium and phosphorus also help to remineralize or strengthen, the teeth already damaged by decay.

Do Dairy at the Right Time

According to the American Dental Association, consuming dairy products after foods high in sugar can also help protect the teeth. Dairy products help to neutralize the acid in the mouth that is created when the bacteria that live in the mouth meet the sugary foods we eat. The ADA says that the order of how we eat different types of food matters when it comes to dairy. The ADA advises that if you are going to eat foods high in sugar, be sure to wash them down with milk in order to get the protective benefits of acid reduction. Sugary foods aren’t just cookies – but other foods high in carbs, too. Foods like pasta and some fruits can be high in sugar and carbs, although cookies and milk sounds way better than mangos and milk!

Learn more about protecting your teeth! Schedule an appointment with Dr. Caracioni today at 785.783.0741.