Can Cheese Help Prevent Cavities?

In homage to National Dairy Month, we thought we’d remind you of the benefits dairy products can bring to your oral health.

PH Levels May Be Important

In a study of 68 young individuals ages 12-15, pH levels were calibrated before and after consuming dairy products like milk, cheese and sugar-free yogurt. As one of the lead authors of the study at the time noted, a pH level below 5.5 would put the individual at risk for tooth decay. The higher the pH level over 5.5, the lower the chance of developing cavities or, if left untreated, gum disease. Consuming dairy products is seen as a healthy alternative to sugary snacks. And subjects who ate cheese showed a quick increase in pH levels, which the authors attributed to anti-cavity properties.

Oral Health Boosters

Drinking milk after consuming sugary snacks or drinks can help lower harmful acidic levels. Cheese eaters in particular seem to see an increase in saliva production which helps our mouths maintain a baseline acidity level. Dairy products like cheese, milk, yogurt and even sour cream in general are high in calcium, an essential “building block” of enamel, the thin, but protective, covering of the crown of our teeth.

Happy National Dairy Month. And don’t forget to “Say Cheese” next time you want a yummy and healthy snack!