More than 98% of your body’s calcium is stored in your teeth and bones. Your teeth need calcium for strength. Unlike bones, teeth can not repair themselves as they are not made of living tissue. According to The National Institutes of Health, a child needs between 200 mg and 1,300 mg of calcium per day depending on their age, and an adult needs more than 1,000 mg.
This means milk and dairy are great for your teeth. Let’s take a look at why.
The Benefits Of Milk
Milk contains lactose, which is a form of sugar. However, it is still great for keeping your teeth healthy.
Milk Strengthens Enamel
Milk is a great way to strengthen enamel because it contains calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus. These nutrients work to protect and strengthen the enamel.
Milk Fights Tooth Decay
Milk contains a protein called casein. It creates a protective film over the teeth, which can help prevent tooth decay.
Milk Strengthens Your Jaw Bone and Reduces the Risk Of Gum Disease
Drinking milk will supply your jaw and surrounding gums with the calcium they need to remain strong. If your jaw is strong, it can help to preserve your natural teeth for longer and protect against any bacteria trying to attack them.
Does It Have to Be Cows Milk?
The best milk for strengthening teeth is cow’s milk because it contains calcium and vitamin D. Even though soy milk contains both of these, they are at significantly lower levels. If you are lactose intolerant, have other dietary intolerance or avoid milk for religious or moral reasons, it is important you supplement your diet with other forms of calcium-rich foods such as nuts, seeds, fish, vegetables and possibly a supplement recommended by your doctor. Yogurt, cheese and egg yolks are also rich in calcium.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Although milk is great for teeth, there is one exception — Baby bottle tooth decay happens when a child’s teeth are exposed to prolonged sugar intake. This usually happens if they are given a bottle of milk at night. This is when the lactose in the milk can do the most damage because the teeth are being coated with milk throughout the night. Baby teeth don’t have fully formed enamel to protect them yet. The best way to prevent baby bottle tooth decay is to brush their teeth thoroughly before they go to sleep and avoid giving them a bottle at night, if possible.
Can Milk Preserve Damaged Teeth?
Sometimes, accidents and dental emergencies happen, and a tooth could be knocked out. If this occurs, then it is important to act fast to preserve the tooth. If you can fit it back in the socket, then do so. If not, it is important you keep it moist. Place the tooth in milk and make an emergency appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Keeping Your Teeth Healthy
Milk alone won’t keep your mouth healthy. It should be part of a well-rounded oral health care routine along with visits to your dentist.
To keep your teeth as healthy as possible, it is important to visit your dentist for regular checkups.
You can book an appointment today today with one of our dentists in Orange, Torrance, or just about anywhere else in Los Angeles, where you and your dentist can discuss the best ways to keep your mouth healthy.
National Institutes Of Health — Calcium
Mouth Healthy ADA — Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Mouth Healthy ADA — Dental Emergencies