Dental Health Benefits of Dairy Products

Dr. Perlman examines the teeth of a patient at Elevate Smile Design

For generations, milk and dairy products have received a glowing review for their nutritional benefits. Fortunately, there are many delicious, fortified non-cow’s milk options for those who cannot have or do not like dairy products. But for those who do enjoy milk, read on to learn about a few reasons to celebrate cow’s milk!

  1. Dairy Is Good for Your Bones
  2. Calcium is a key nutrient for healthy teeth and bones because it is high in calcium. In fact, one glass of milk contains 300 milligrams of calcium. Getting plenty of calcium in your diet will help fortify your teeth and jawbone, reducing your risk of bone loss and osteoporosis. This is especially important for children, teenagers, expectant mothers, and post-menopausal women to maintain bone density.

  3. Dairy Helps Fight Tooth Decay
  4. Research has shown that dairy products can actually help fight tooth decay. That’s because proteins called caseins form a protective film over enamel, the outermost layer of our teeth. Milk also contains phosphorus and calcium, which are critical minerals for strong enamel.

  5. Milk Acts as a Rinse After Food
  6. The American Dental Association concluded through research that drinking milk after eating sugary foods lowers the acidic levels in the mouth. This means sips of milk after cookies can help to rinse and protect teeth against cavities!

Caution About Milk Before Bed

Remember that although milk is full of nutrients essential for strong teeth, it still contains sugar in the form of lactose. After drinking milk, going to sleep without brushing teeth can lead to cavities. Therefore, we do not recommend giving your child a cup of comfort milk right before bed or allowing your child to fall asleep with a bottle of milk, even breastmilk, which can result in baby bottle tooth decay.

Let us know if you have more questions regarding how your diet affects your teeth. We would be thrilled to help you care for your oral health!

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