May 2, 2021
When you were a child, you were always told that you needed to drink plenty of milk in order to have strong bones. You put it in your cereal, use it to cook, and might even have a glass alongside your dinner. There is definitely some truth behind what you were told when you were a child, but which one is best for your oral health? Cow’s milk? Goat’s milk? Almond milk? There are so many different types to choose from. Read on to learn more about milk so your can choose the best one for your smile.
Which Is Better – Plant or Animal-Based Milk?
Recently, many people have switched from animal-based milk to plant-based milk for one reason or another. Here is how each one affects your teeth:
- Animal-Based Milk: Cow’s milk and other animal-based milks contain protein, calcium, riboflavin, and potassium. A lot of the time, it is also fortified with vitamin D, a necessary vitamin to help the body absorb calcium. All of these are necessary for a healthy smile.
- Plant-Based Milk: When it come 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 when it comes to nutritional value is calcium-fortified soy milk, but it is still lower in 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 you can make the best choice for your body and smile.
How 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 help to keep your tooth enamel safe from decay.
- Rich in Calcium and Phosphorus: Both of these minerals are necessary in order to repair damage from your teeth. They help when acid from food attempts 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 as well as wash away harmful bacteria.
What If You Are Unable to Drink Animal-Based Milk?
Lactose intolerance is common in many different places throughout the world. Lactose is the sugar that is naturally occurring in cow’s milk and other dairy products. If you can’t digest lactose, you know that drinking dairy milk isn’t the best idea. For other people, not drinking cow’s milk is a personal choice. Either way, you have other options. Try choosing a calcium-fortified coconut or almond milk to ensure that you are getting the calcium you need for strong teeth. A few other foods that contain calcium are nuts, seeds, fish, and vegetables.
You want to have a healthy smile, so be sure that you are choosing a milk that helps to promote this. Your oral health will thank you!
About the Author
After graduating with high honors from the University of Pacific with his Bachelor of Science in biology, Dr. Bob Koenitzer earned his dental doctorate from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), the top-rated dental school in the United States. He was voted Best Dentist in Petaluma for six years in a row. For more tips to maintain excellent oral health or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (707) 766-6666.
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