We bet you all got some festive cheeses in this Christmas. But, did you know all that festive cheese is good for your teeth?
We all know about drinking milk and having strong bones from all the calcium and cheese does something similar. However, cheese promotes oral health in a few ways.
Dairy products are important for good overall health, especially bone health. Eating cheese and other dairy products also might help protect teeth against cavities. Since our mouths are naturally acidic, excess acid can cause tooth decay. A pH level lower than 5.5 puts a person at risk of tooth erosion, which is a process that wears away tooth enamel. The higher the pH level (the more alkaline) on the surface of teeth, the more teeth are protected against dental erosion. This is where the cheese comes in.
Cheese makes your mouth more alkaline, neutralising the acidic nature of the mouth. Research found that cheese elevates pH for 30 minutes after eating (milk and yogurt’s protective effects lasted only 10 minutes). The cheese also promotes the production of saliva. Saliva acts as a neutralising agent and restores pH levels in the mouth after we eat, foods like cheese can assist in the pH-boosting process. All in all making cheese good for your teeth.
The research was conducted in 2013 and the results were published in the journal General Dentistry.
The researchers divided 68 children aged between 12 and 15 into three groups. One group was asked to consume a daily portion of cheddar, another a sugar-free yoghurt, and another a glass of milk, followed by a mouth rinse. The pH levels on their dental plaque were measured both before the test and then ten minutes, 20 minutes and half an hour afterwards. Those who ate the yoghurt or drank the milk showed no changes to the pH levels in their mouths at any of the intervals. But those who ate the cheese showed a ‘rapid’ increase in pH level at each of the time intervals.
The research also demonstrated that cheese releases chemical compounds that can form a protective layer on teeth. Which further protects it against the acids that attack enamel. It doesn’t even take much! All it takes is a 1/3-ounce serving, or about a third of a slice for the biggest mouth-saving effect.
So, to conclude, we think you can keep feasting on your festive dairy since cheese is good for your teeth. We don’t know if we can put the rumour of cheese before sleep causing nightmares to bed though…