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Say Cheese!

As parents, we often encourage our children to eat right and drink their milk – great advise.  Turns out, even kids that don’t love milk can get some of the same benefits from eating cheese.

Evidence indicates that eating cheese is beneficial for our teeth due to its high calcium level and low carbohydrates. In fact, research suggests that the calcium levels in cheese help strengthen bones and teeth and can help balance acidity levels (pH) in our mouths which helps prevent decay.

One study from The Forsyth Institute* led researchers to conclude that eating cheese stimulates increased saliva flow which may prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth. There is also evidence that eating cheese helps reduce tooth demineralization because it helps raise pH levels that are often lowered when starchy and sugary foods and drinks are consumed. Bottom line, cheese can help maintain a safer pH level for teeth and that is good for teeth.

The benefits of eating cheese are not just for children. For adults, eating cheese may help protect against root cavities, the decay that can occur when gums recede.

Of course, nothing replaces brushing, flossing and regular checkups. And some cheese is high in calories and fat, so use good judgement in the quantity and selection of cheeses for your family.

It’s good to know that a cheesy treat tastes delicious and helps your teeth stay healthy.

*”Cheese Consumption and the Development and Progression of Dental Caries,” appears in the April 2002 Nutrition Reviews. The research was funded by the National Dairy Council.