Smile and Say CHEESE

When a camera comes out everyone says “smile and say CHEESE!” Have you ever thought about where that saying comes from?

Obviously forming the words CHEESE with your mouth automatically turns into a smile so your teeth can be seen. Perhaps what you didn’t realize there is a health connection between cheese and your teeth.

We know that dairy foods are vital to maintaining good overall health and they are especially important to bone health. But dairy foods also have a specific role to play in dental health — they contain a unique combination of special anti-decay nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus and casein protein.

In fact a study published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), found that eating cheese may help protect teeth against cavities.

How? When your mouth has a more acid (lower pH) content it can wear away the enamel or protective outside layer of teeth.

The study found that eating a small piece of cheese rapidly increased the pH content of your mouth, suggesting that cheese can help reduce the risk of tooth decay. The study also concluded that there are various compounds found in cheese that may adhere to tooth enamel and help further protect teeth from acid and tooth decay.

This study, in addition to earlier ones, support dairy foods beneficial role in dental health. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry acknowledges cheese as a cavity fighter and recommends cheese, chocolate milk, yogurt and vegetables as healthy snacks for children.

To keep your family’s teeth healthy, the American Dental Association’s MouthHealthy recommends:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes to remove sugars and food particles from your teeth.
  • Limiting between-meal snacking.
  • Minimizing added sugar in your diet by making wise food and beverage choices.
  • Including dairy, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and water in your diet — they all play a role in your dental health.

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