Say, “Cheese, Please.”

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CheeseYou know that keeping your teeth healthy has less to do with avoiding foods than it does with daily brushing and flossing. Are there foods that are good for your teeth?

In fact, there are. The best might be cheese.

What makes cheese so good for your smile? Not only does cheese include calcium, it’s also got casein phosphate which makes enamel stronger. But the real power of cheese is how it fights acid.

You know that bacteria in your mouth create acid. Your teeth are constantly under attack by this acid. Saliva helps neutralize that acid. Eating cheese makes you salivate more than most foods. That means there’s lots of saliva to dilute the acid. The cheeses that make you salivate the most are aged cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, and monterey jack.

More than that, though, cheese actively neutralizes some of the acids in your mouth. That means eating cheese gives your teeth a break from the constant fight against the bacteria and their acids.

When’s the best time to get the most from a bite of cheese? Cheese makes a great snack between meals. The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry also recommends cheese at the end of meals. After a meal, cheese can help wash away food particles. It also neutralizes the acids made by the bacteria that have been feasting on the crumbs of your meal.

As always, your pediatric dentist will insist the best things to put in your mouth are floss and a brush with a fluoride toothpaste. There’s no magic food that will keep your teeth healthy all by itself. Still, a bit of cheese can make it easier for the brush and floss to do their best job. Next time you’re hungry for a snack, grab a piece of drool-worthy cheese.

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