Oral health is as important as your general health, and it depends a lot on what we consume daily. It is true that our foods become our body, and therefore, we need to take care of our diet.
When we discuss oral health, there can be confusion about what to eat. Is milk good for your teeth? And what other nutrients, besides milk, do we need for healthy teeth and to avoid decay?
Why milk is good for your oral health?
A balanced diet is important for our overall health, so we can consume all the nutrients we need. Among those important nutrients, there is calcium, which is key for your teeth. This is because teeth are bones, and bones are made of calcium. Milk contains high amounts of this mineral.
Ingesting enough calcium through dairy products (milk, cheese, and yogurt) can make them healthy and strong, especially for the tooth enamel, which is the protective film on the surface that prevents chipped teeth and bacteria build-up.
However, as with all diets, it is important to not overeat dairy products and to consume other groups of foods, like proteins, vegetables, and fruits. Even though drinking milk is good for our teeth, we also need to take care of our gums and mouth, and to do this it is important to have a proper diet and avoid sugar.
Can drinking milk prevent tooth decay?
Drinking milk helps to make your teeth stronger. Recent studies have shown that ingesting dairy products can prevent tooth decay. The reason is that casein proteins form a protective film over enamel.
Milk also contains calcium and phosphorus, which are critical minerals for strong enamel. If your enamel is healthy and strong, your teeth are stronger too. There are fewer chances that you get a chipped tooth, fewer chances for cavities, and a small probability that you have tooth loss.
Another great reason why milk and dairy products are great is that they stimulate saliva production, which helps to maintain and repair your teeth while cleaning and removing bacteria.
This is why consuming dairy products, like cheese and yogurt, provide you with many benefits for your body and improve your dental health.
Foods alternatives for lactose intolerant patients
Milk is the most popular option for most patients, but it is not the only source high in calcium. Of course, we also have other dairy options, like eating cheese and yogurt. But, what other foods can we consume to reach our calcium needs?
Fortunately, there are fruits, seeds, and vegetables that are also high in calcium, which are great if you are lactose intolerant or for vegetarians:
Seeds like poppy, chia, celery, and sesame are great sources of calcium to improve your daily intake.
Sardines and salmon have a lot of health benefits because of their edible bones.
Almonds are also high in calcium, which lactose intolerant patients can consume as almond milk.
Winged and white beans contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, including calcium.
And lastly, leafy greens, like kale and spinach are great in this mineral too.
Since calcium is a common mineral, if you have a balanced diet, it is possible to achieve all your dental needs, have a strong enamel, and healthy smile, without having one glass of milk.
Recommendations to improve your calcium daily intake
An essential factor that a lot of people don’t know about, is that there are conditions that can affect your nutrient absorption. For your body to absorb calcium it is important that you also consume enough vitamin D, or get enough sun exposure. This is because your organism needs vitamin D to regulate calcium and phosphorus, which is important for your bone health, teeth, and muscles.
A lack of this vitamin not only can cause serious illness, deformities, and can even lead you to a dental emergency, but will also affect the ability of your body to absorb and process correctly calcium and other minerals that are fundamental to your health.
If you want to improve your vitamin intake for your dental health, you need to know that vitamin D is not naturally found in many foods, but there are fortified drinks that do have it. However, a great way to make sure that your body is getting enough of this vitamin is to take the sun as often as you can. Your organism has the ability to produce this vitamin with direct sunlight.
The best recommendations to have healthy tooth enamel
To improve your dental health it is needed more than just milk. The best recommendation is to avoid sugary drinks, even sports drinks since the sugar they contain can cause decay. Instead, a good option can be milk soda.
However, the American Dental Association specified through research that taking milk after consuming sugar lowers the acidic levels in the mouth. This means that a glass of milk after sugary drinks can help to rinse and protect your mouth and teeth against cavities.
Of course, another important piece of advice is to clean and brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove sugar and trapped food, and use products that have fluoride like most toothpaste or even tap water. Using tap water to rinse your mouth not only will flush most bacteria but also will strengthen your enamel.
Lastly, don’t forget your regular dentist appointment. In Dental Solutions, we are prepared to take care of all your dental needs, restore, repair, and maintain your beautiful smile with the best equipment and materials. Contact us now to schedule your visit!