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 automatically turns into your mouth into a smile so your teeth can be seen, but 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 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 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.

For children from birth to age five, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Heart Association have provided beverage recommendations. These leading health authorities all recommend cow’s milk and water as “go-to” beverages 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 (milk, cheese and yogurt), plenty of fruits and vegetables and water in your diet — they all play a role in your dental health.

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