Have you ever thought of adding cheese to your oral care regimen as a means of prevention? You should. Cheese and other dairy products have not only a high level of calcium, but are capable of changing the pH level of the mouth, reducing the risk of tooth decay.
Tooth decay is by now definitely an epidemic, and with most epidemics, the key to avoiding the negative aspects of disease is prevention. In order to do this, you should go to regular dental check-ups every six months, and to be rigorous in your daily at home oral care routine. The role of diet is immense: you should avoid foods that actively destroy the enamel.
Dairy products against tooth decay
There are foods that are actually good for your teeth, and that aren’t too expensive, which can be consumed on a daily basis to ensure a better oral environment. Dairy products are one such food: they provide the bones and teeth with much needed minerals like calcium, while their high pH level creates an environment that is adverse to bacteria, thus helping to prevent tooth decay from forming.
Research into the oral effects of dairy
During an American study, different types of dairy products were tested for their effect on oral flora and their ability to deal affect the pH of the mouth. The experiments were performed on volunteers between the ages of 12 and 15, who were given cheese, milk and yoghurt, while researchers measured their oral pH, and the participants had to guess which dairy product does the best for their teeth. After eating the dairy products, the participants were asked to rinse their mouths out and more measurements were made 10, 20 and 30 minutes after rinsing.
The pH scale indicates how acidic or basic a material is. Neutral pH is around 5.5, anything lower is acidic, and higher is in the base zones. If the mouth is too acidic, it dissolves the enamel, leaving teeth defenceless.
The tests showed that participants who ate yoghurt or cheese had their pH restored to normal levels, because these products cancel out acidic by products in the mouth. The participants who ate cheese did not just reach the neutral level, but their pH rose to the basic level, which is good news as bacteria cannot survive in such environments. This means that cheese does indeed stop tooth decay.