“Say ‘cheese’!” is every photographers’ line for a smiling photograph. But it seems that cheese can really make people achieve beautiful smiles as a study shows the benefits of eating cheese to oral health.
What Does Cheese Do to Your Oral Health?
According to the study published in an issue of General Dentistry of the Academy of General Dentistry, the dairy product is useful in the protection of the teeth against acid erosion, or the breakdown of the outer layer of the teeth called enamel.
The study looked at the dental plaque pH of 68 subjects ages 12 to 15 before and after their consumption of milk, sugar-free yogurt, or cheese. The 68 individuals were grouped randomly among different products. They were then asked to consume their assigned product for three minutes and washed away with water. Researchers tested the pH level of each subject’s mouth and measured at 10, 20, and 30 minutes after consumption.
They then found that milk and yogurt showed no changes in the pH levels of the subjects, while cheese showed an increase in pH level at a rapid pace at each time interval.According to the researchers, two factors make cheese beneficial to oral health.
#1 It Causes Salivation.
Saliva is significant in maintaining oral health and in reducing oral health problems like dental caries and oral infections. It functions as a lubricant, for dilution of sugars after food and drinks intake, antimicrobial and cleansing activity and tissue repair.
Saliva also acts as a neutralizing agent and helps in restoring pH levels in the mouth after eating. It also prevents halitosis or bad breath caused by dry mouth or xerostomia.
#2 It Has Casein Phosphate.
Another factor why cheese is good for oral health is because of the teeth-strengthening casein phosphate contained in cheese. Casein phosphate lowers the acidity in the mouth and makes it resistant to decay. Cheese is also rich in calcium, which helps put back minerals in teeth that might have been lost due to other foods.
A whole wheel of cheese is not needed to be devoured to enjoy the benefits of cheese to oral health. It only takes one-third ounce serving or about a third of a slice. The fat content in cheese is not related to its benefits, meaning low-fat varieties will give the same benefits as those high in fat.
Other than Cheese: Foods For Your Healthiest Smile
Aside from cheese, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables are suitable for the teeth. According to the American Dental Association, fiber-rich foods have a detergent effect in the mouth and cause salivation.
Green and black teas have polyphenols that either kill or hold back bacteria, preventing them from growing or producing acid. However, teas can stain teeth that it is advisable to drink water afterward and undergo teeth cleaning regularly. Sugarless gum can also aid in producing saliva to remove food particles from the mouth. Food with fluoride helps the teeth by preventing cavities.
Along with proper diet and avoiding activities like smoking, dentists also recommend brushing teeth, flossing, and regularly visiting the dentist for good oral health.