DEAR DENTIST, DO MY TEETH NEED DAIRY TO BE HEALTHY?

DEAR DENTIST, DO MY TEETH NEED DAIRY TO BE HEALTHY?

Posted by Timothy M. Lane Jul 19,2018

Dairy products are an important part of a balanced diet. In addition to protein, dairy also provides calcium and other nutrients. For instance, milk is one of the best sources of calcium, and yogurt provides healthy bacteria that aid digestion.

What Is Dairy?

A dairy is a food group that includes milk, cheese, and other dairy products. Dairy products are high in calcium and phosphorus, two substances that help strengthen bones. They are also high in vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, eating three servings of dairy products a day can help prevent tooth decay. 

Calcium plays an important role in oral health because it helps teeth build strong enamel. Enamel is the hard layer that covers the tooth's crown and protects it from decay. When combined with a healthy diet and good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day and flossing once per day, dairy can be an excellent addition to one's diet to maintain optimal dental health. 

General Benefits of Dairy

Good overall health, including a healthy mouth and beautiful smile, depends on a balanced diet and exercise. Diets rich in calcium are especially important for children to prevent tooth decay. Milk, cheese, and yogurt contain large amounts of calcium, as well as vitamin D and protein. These nutrients not only help to build strong bones and teeth but can also reduce the risk of gum disease, which is caused by bacteria in the mouth.

Don't Like Dairy? Don't worry. Here Are Your Alternatives

Are you lactose intolerant? Do you hate dairy? Don't worry! Here are some alternatives for you! There are lots of foods to enjoy that do not have milk, cheese, or milk-based ingredients! Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Rice and beans are both great replacements for dairy products. They're full of protein, fiber, and iron.
  • Almonds make a great snack on their own or as a tasty addition to fruit smoothies. They're also a good source of calcium and vitamin E.
  • Nut butter is a great way to get extra protein and healthy fats in your diet. They also work well as spreads for toast or sugarless crackers.
  • Soy milk and yogurt are delicious substitutes for cow's-milk products. They contain more protein and calcium than skim or low-fat milk.
  • Cheese alternatives include soy cheese and rice mozzarella. These cheeses taste great on sandwiches, in grilled cheese, or crumbled on top of salads.
  • Fruit can be a great substitute for ice cream and other sweet treats. It's naturally sweet, requires no preparation, and provides vitamins and nutrients without added sugars.
  • Smoothies are a delicious breakfast option that provides a quick burst of energy. Try blending your favorite fruits with ice, non-dairy milk, and a scoop of almond butter for an extra healthy kick!
  • Dark chocolate is another dessert alternative. It has less sugar than milk chocolate, providing antioxidants and minerals like magnesium and copper.
  • Canned fish is an affordable source of protein that's easy to prepare and tasty to eat. Tuna salad is a classic lunch dish; try adding dill pickle relish for extra flavor.
  • Beans like black or pinto beans make a great addition to soups, chili, and stews. They're a great source of protein.

Dairy is one of the best foods for your teeth, but it isn't irreplaceable. You can get all of the benefits of dairy by eating a balanced diet.

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