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Importance of Dairy Foods in Dental Health

Published on May 09, 2018 and last reviewed on Nov 10, 2021   -  2 min read


Our eating and drinking habits influence our oral and dental health to a great extent. Choosing the right food is challenging these days due to our busy lives. In this article, we shall discuss the significance of dairy food on our oral health and how it prevents tooth decay.

Importance of Dairy Foods in Dental Health

We all know that the sugar component in our foods is the biggest enemy of our teeth causing decay in both children and adults. The physical form of sugar is also equally important along with the frequency and type of food we take. When we broadly group food into two categories, such as solid and liquid food, solid ones take more time to get cleansed from the oral cavity compared to the liquid ones. But, that does not mean that sugary drinks do not harm the teeth. In fact, the sugary drinks and the sticky solids are the kings of tooth decay.

In the five major groups of food on the nutrition plate, the carbohydrate-rich foods such as bread, rice, and fresh fruits are most unlikely to cause tooth decay when properly cleansed from the mouth. Saliva helps that job get done easily. Similar are dairy foods, especially cheese, which actually protects the tooth from getting decayed.

The dairy group of food including milk, cheese, and yogurt provides at least 10 essential nutrients including:

  1. Protein
  2. Carbohydrate
  3. Vitamin A, riboflavin and B12
  4. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium.

How Does Dairy Food Protect Teeth?

The dairy foods are rich in minerals such as calcium and phosphorus and this is the component which protects the outermost layer of the tooth called the enamel. Casein is a protein found exclusively in dairy products which forms a protective layer on the enamel and protects the tooth from decay during the acid attacks while the minerals strengthen the teeth at the same time. This is the natural protection cycle of dairy food. In addition, casein, calcium, and phosphorus are the three ingredients that makeup products commercially available in a cream form to prevent tooth decay in patients with high caries risk. This also prevents dental erosion which is another common dental disease after tooth decay.

Is Flavored Milk Good for Dental Health?

Flavored milk is not as acidic as fizzy drinks and fruit juices. The sugar content in milk and flavored milk is lactose, a naturally occurring sugar which is also a tooth-friendly sugar. This sugar has little or no contribution to tooth decay. So, before you buy any flavored milk, ensure that there is no added sugar in it. Also. the percentage of added sugar can vary across brands and the one with the least sugar naturally becomes the best drink for your children, after water and plain milk.

These days, we spend more time at the supermarket aisles than in our own kitchen, trying hard to choose the best food. Having some knowledge of the basics of food and nutrition could help in making your process easy.

For more information consult a dentist online -->


Last reviewed at:
10 Nov 2021  -  2 min read




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