Dentist explains 'powerful' health benefit of eating cheese

cheese on a cheese board
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Consuming cheese could aid in the fight against cavities and boost overall oral health, a dental professional has revealed. With our diets often dominated by ultra-processed foods like sweets and acidic drinks, maintaining good dental health can seem quite intimidating.

Dentum's oral surgeon, Dr Andrej Bozic, recommends cheese as a tool to stave off tooth decay whilst sharing additional tips for maintaining a healthy smile.

Why cheese is beneficial for your oral health

"Cheese is more than just a tasty addition to your meal, it's a powerful ally for your teeth," stated Dr Bozic. This dairy gem offers several features that contribute to a healthier mouth, primarily by increasing saliva production and reducing the pH level.

Dr Bozic elaborated: "Saliva plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health. It helps wash away food particles, neutralises acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, and provides disease-fighting substances throughout your mouth."

Eating cheese stimulates the production of saliva, your mouth's essential defence against tooth decay and gum disease. Cheese also naturally lowers the pH level in your mouth creating an environment less conducive to the growth of harmful bacteria, reports Gloucestershire Live.

"When you consume foods or drinks that are high in carbohydrates or sugars, bacteria in your mouth break down these substances and produce acid as a byproduct," explained Dr Bozic. "This acid can erode tooth enamel, leading to cavities. Cheese helps neutralise this acid, protecting your teeth from decay."

Best cheeses for oral health

Not all cheeses are equal when it comes to dental health benefits. "Opt for hard cheeses like cheddar, Swiss or Gouda," recommended Dr Bozic.

"These types are particularly effective because they stimulate more saliva production and are rich in calcium and casein, a protein that strengthens tooth enamel."

The firm texture of hard cheeses not only encourages chewing but also increases saliva flow.

More oral health tips

Dr Bozic emphasises the need for a comprehensive approach to dental care for the best outcomes.

"Brushing twice a day and flossing daily are essential practices," he highlighted. "They help remove plaque and food particles that can lead to cavities and gum disease."

Keeping well-hydrated is vital too, as water helps to rinse away food particles and bacteria, minimising the risk of tooth decay. Dr Bozic suggests cutting down on sugary and acidic foods to prevent the demineralisation of tooth enamel and control harmful bacterial growth.

"Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are also key to catching potential issues early and ensuring your teeth and gums remain healthy," he added.