According to a new study in the May/June issue of General Dentistry, consuming cheese and dairy products more often may prevent destructive tooth decay such as cavities.
A group of 68 random subjects were divided into three groups and given milk, sugar-free yogurt, and cheese to consume. The pH levels in the subjects were then tested 10, 20, and 30 minutes after consumption. The pH levels in teeth determine risk for decay- a pH lower than 5.5 puts teeth at major risk, but the higher the pH is over 5.5, the lower the risk for cavities. The subjects who drank milk or ate sugar-free yogurt showed no change in pH, but the subject who consumed cheese showed a rapid increase in pH levels, showing cheese may help prevent cavities. Eating cheese increases the mouth’s production of saliva and compounds in cheese may adhere to tooth enamel- both helping to prevent against acids in the mouth.
So, a diet rich in cheese and dairy products may do the mouth good when fighting off tooth decay.
Other foods that help prevent cavities include:
Green and Black Tea: Frequent consumption of these tea reduces plaque buildup and lowers bacteria levels in the mouth, as long as milk or sugar isn’t mixed in with the tea.
Leafy Greens: These contain high levels of calcium, along with almonds and Brazil nuts, which is important for preventing tooth decay, especially in growing children.
Whole Grains: Foods high in fiber like whole-grain pasta and brown rice are rich in vitamin B and iron, which is important for gum health, and magnesium, which helps build strong bones and teeth.
Scrubbing Foods: Foods with naturally tooth-cleansing properties such as apples, carrots, celery, and pears help keep teeth clean by mechanically scrubbing the surface of teeth while being eaten. These foods are also high in nutrients and water which helps fight off plaque and bacteria in the mouth.