In addition to brushing your teeth regularly, eating cheese can also help prevent tooth decay because it neutralises plaque acid, a new study finds.
A recent study conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry, US has found that eating cheese could increase pH levels, which help fight tooth decay.
The higher the pH levels on the surface of teeth, the more tooth are protected against dental erosion, and therefore decrease the chance of developing cavities and other forms of tooth decay.
For the study, the scientists had 65 adolescent aged between 12 and 15 to measure their dental plaque pH levels both before test and then 10, 20, and 30 minutes after they ate dairy products.
They were divided into three groups and each group was asked either to eat cheddar cheese, sugar-free yogurt, or drink milk, followed by a mouth rinse with water.
Those who consumed the sugar-free yoghurt or milk showed no changes to the pH levels in their mouths, while those who ate the cheese showed a ‘rapid’ increase in pH level.
The researchers believe that eating cheese increases the amount of saliva in the mouth which is the body’s natural way of maintaining a normal acidity level.
Dr. Jeffrey M. Cole, president of the Academy of General Dentistry, points out that cheese also contains pyrophosphates, which is a salt or ester that is commonly found in toothpaste. They can work to re-mineralize a tooth that has been surrounded by acid.
“In a lot of low-carb diets, string cheese is the go-to snack. Not only it fits one of those diets, it’s actually good for your teeth! Cheese makes it all much better,” said Cole as reported in CBS News.
The results were published in the journal General Dentistry.