What Type of Milk Is Best for Oral Health?
February 5, 2021
When you were a young child, you were told that you had to drink plenty of milk so that you would develop strong bones. These days, you put it in your cereal, use it to bake, and may even have a glass or two of it with your dinner or before going to bed. The good news is that there is definitely truth behind what you were told when you were a kid. But what is the best type of milk for teeth? Whole? 2%? 1%? Cow’s milk? Goat’s milk? Almond milk? There are so many to choose from. Before your next trip to the store, a pediatric dentist in Midland wants you to know more about milk so you can choose the right one for your family.
Plant vs. Animal-Based Milk – Which Is Best?
If you have been to the grocery store recently, you have probably noticed that the milk aisle has been changing. Many people have opted to switch to plant-based milk for one reason or another. But how does this affect your teeth?
- Animal-Based Milk: Cow’s milk and other animal milks contain protein, calcium, riboflavin, and potassium. A lot of the time, it is also fortified with vitamin D, which is a necessary vitamin to help the body absorb calcium.
- Plant-Based Milk: When it comes to plant-based milks, their nutritional value depends on how it was produced. Some plant-based milks are not high in protein. The closest plant-based milk that you can find to cow’s milk is calcium-fortified soy milk, but it is still lower than other nutrients than cow’s milk. If you are looking for a plant-based milk, it is important that you always check the nutritional label so that you can make the best choice for your body and smile.
Why Is Dairy Beneficial for Oral Health?
Milk and other dairy products are excellent for teeth. Here are just some of the many benefits that you can expect:
- Contain Casein Proteins: These proteins form a protective film on the surface of your teeth. They keep your tooth enamel safe from decay.
- Rich in Calcium and Phosphorus: Both of these minerals are necessary in order to repair damage to your teeth. They help when acid from food tries to harm your enamel.
- Neutral pH: Milk helps to neutralize acidic and sugary foods and drinks.
- Stimulate Saliva Production: This liquid helps to maintain and repair your teeth well as wash away harmful bacteria.
What If Your Family Cannot Drink Cow’s Milk?
Lactose intolerance is very common in many places in the world. Lactose is the sugar that is naturally occurring in cow’s milk and other dairy products. If you or your child is unable to digest lactose, you probably already know that drinking dairy milk isn’t the best option. For other families, it is a personal decision not to drink cow’s milk. Either way, try purchasing a calcium-fortified coconut or almond milk to ensure that your family is still getting the calcium they need for strong teeth. Other foods that contain calcium are nuts, seeds, fish, and vegetables.
You want to keep your family’s teeth healthy, and the products you purchase can make a huge difference. Instead of having soda with dinner, encourage your family to enjoy a glass of milk. Our smiles will reap the benefits!
About the Author
At Midland Kid’s Dentist, you have not just one, but two dentist providing quality dental treatment to children of all ages. Dr. Weston Jones earned his dental doctorate from Case Western Reserve School of Dentistry and is a certified pediatric dentist. He works alongside Dr. Thomas Youngblood, who earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School. Both of them are affiliated with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. For more ways to keep your child’s smile healthy or to schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (432) 520-5437.
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