We understand that dairy is not for everyone, but if you CAN drink milk, the benefit to your teeth and gums is significant. Today is National Milk Day – originally started to commemorate the first day milk arrived by delivery in bottles in America! Now we recognize this day because of the important role milk plays in a healthy diet. Many foods contain calcium, but milk and dairy products are considered the best source because they are absorbed easily by our bodies. Besides calcium, milk is also rich in phosphorus and magnesium, and is fortified with Vitamin D – all of which help the body absorb and use calcium more effectively. Not only does the calcium in dairy products build strong teeth and gums from the inside, it also contain proteins (called caseins), which combine together to form a protective film on tooth enamel, helping to prevent the tooth decay caused by common bacterial acids. Calcium and phosphorus are both minerals that strengthen and repair tooth enamel that has started to dissolve due to these acid attacks.
The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that the order in which we eat sugary foods and milk products can also make a difference to our dental health. This is because drinking milk after eating sugary foods can lower harmful acidic levels in your mouth. So – don’t have milk with your chocolate chip cookies – wash them down with milk afterward.
If you and your family are not big milk-drinkers, there are many other dairy products that can help you reach your recommended daily allowance. Yogurts, cheeses and buttermilk are good substitutes – and ice cream too!
Milk Plus Oral Care Basics
Eating and drinking plenty of milk and dairy can make your family’s teeth stronger and more decay-resistant, but incorporating a good oral care routine is key to preventing dental disease. This is especially important when you are wearing braces. Be sure to brush twice a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Keep in mind flossing at least once a day is necessary for cleaning between the teeth, where the toothbrush can’t reach. And of course, remember those regular dental checkups and routine hygiene appointments.
Is milk good for your teeth and gums? Of course, and your family’s healthy teeth and gums are proof of just how good it is.