Dairy and Your Dental Health
Many people find foods such as cheese, yogurt, and milk to be a very enjoyable part of their diet. Not only are some of these dairy items tasty and nutritious, did you know they can also help your teeth and gums? Studies show that consuming dairy products regularly can lower the occurrence of dental diseases. Let’s see which dairy items you should consider incorporating into your diet and why.
Reduce gum disease
The primary benefit of dairy to your dental health is lowering your risk of periodontal disease. Also known as gum disease, this condition affects roughly 75 percent of Americans at some level. It may be minor gingivitis or advanced periodontitis. If left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss, contribute to heart disease and stroke, and worsen diseases like diabetes and osteoporosis. Lactic acid is one of the key ingredients in many dairy items, and researchers believe that lactic acid is related to reducing gum disease.
Choose your dairy
Just because a food is identified as a dairy product, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely healthy for you. Here are some tips to help you choose the ideal foods and beverages for your dental health:
- Look for low fat and non-fat options.
- Choose white milk instead of flavored milk, such as chocolate. The added sugars can lead to tooth decay.
- Consider natural and organic products when possible.
- Select unsweetened yogurt without sugar or artificial sweeteners. A good alternative is Greek yogurt which you can add fruit or honey to create an appetizing, healthy snack.
Enjoy additional benefits
Avoiding gum disease isn’t the only benefit of eating dairy. It helps build strong teeth and bones, and is rich in vitamins that are good for your overall health. So the next time you get hungry, try some cheese or a glass of milk because these foods will not only satisfy your hunger but also keep you smiling.
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