Who Ate My Cheese?
Mom said “drink your milk!”“Why?” I would ask and mom always would say “it’s builds strong bones and teeth.”
The same holds true for the other members of the milk family – yogurt, soymilk, kefir and cheese. Milk and milk products are also good sources of protein, and the USDA recommends that we consume 2-3 cups of dairy per day, depending on our age.
All products that are derived from milk are good sources of calcium, which is an essential nutrient for the development of bones and teeth. Cheeses contain a tooth hardening protein called Casein Phosphate, which binds to your teeth’s enamel. Eating a cube of cheese can increase plaque-calcium concentration by up to 112%, helping to harden teeth and discourage softening which leads to decay. It appears that cheese also prevents demineralization and, at the same time, encourages remineralization of the tooth. This is true whether the cheese is eaten raw or has been cooked.
Another advantage of eating cheeses is that they may help reduce the incidence of cavities. Cheeses act as a sialagogue, a compound that promotes salivation. Increasing saliva in your mouth also helps restore the pH levels in your mouth by neutralizing the acid inside. All this helps protect your teeth and ensures your healthy teeth stay cavity free!
For example, when we consume sugars, the pH drops in our mouth causing our mouth to become more acidic. As the pH levels drop, our teeth become sensitive to the acids. It appears that eating cheese helps maintain a pH level in the mouth that is safe for teeth. Research has shown that the pH drop following consumption of a 10% sugar solution was 4.26, but when the sugar solution was eaten after cheese, the pH dropped to only 6.48. Aged cheddar, Swiss, Blue, Monterey Jack, Brie, Gouda, and processed American cheese all have been shown to reduce dental caries.
Interesting Cheese Facts
- Cheese should be stored at or below 4 degrees Celsius
- Many cheeses contain little or no lactose and can be eaten by people who are lactose intolerant. Aged cheeses tend to have less lactose than young cheeses.
- Hard cheeses have a longer shelf live compared to soft cheeses
- Cheddar cheese is the most popular cheese in the United States of America
- Processed cheese is produced by blending one or more natural cheeses, heating and adding emulsifying salts
Open Up and Say Cheese!
The doctors at Prestipino Dental Group encourage you to “Eat More Cheese” because they know that it will benefit your bones and teeth.
1.Jensen, M.E. and Wefel, J.S. 1990. Effects of processed cheese on human plaque pH and deminerialization and remineralization. Am. J. Dent. 3: 217-223
2. Sela, M., Gedalia, I., Shah, L., Skobe, Z., Kashket, S., and Lewinstein, I. 1994. Enamel rehardening with cheese in irradiated parients. Am. J. Dent. 7: 134-136.