What’s the Best Kind of Milk for Your Smile?

Foods & Drinks

  • Author Richard Mullens
  • Published March 20, 2023
  • Word count 517

You may have heard that a refreshing glass of milk can be highly beneficial for your smile. And while this is true, it’s important to remember that there are different types of milk, and some are better for your teeth than others. What kind of milk should you and your loved ones be drinking if you want to protect your smiles? Here’s an overview of some of the most popular milk options and how they can affect your pearly whites.

Cow’s Milk

Many dentists will tell you that cow’s milk is the best choice for your smile, and for good reason. This type of milk contains high levels of calcium and vitamin D, both of which are extremely important for maintaining healthy teeth and bones.

Calcium strengthens the enamel protecting your teeth, making it more resistant to the bacteria that can cause cavities. Meanwhile, vitamin D helps your body absorb and retain calcium so that you can get the full benefits from it.

In short, by drinking cow’s milk on a regular basis, you can ensure that your body receives the vital nutrients it needs to keep the teeth safe from decay.

Soy Milk

Like cow’s milk, soy milk is also a source of calcium and vitamin D. However, it contains much less of these minerals, so while it can still potentially benefit your oral health, it won’t be to the same extent as cow’s milk.

Furthermore, recent studies indicate that soy milk may actually increase your chances of developing cavities. It has been shown that soy milk can cause the bacteria in your mouth to produce five to six times more acid compared to cow’s milk. In general, a higher level of acid in your mouth means you’re more likely to suffer from tooth decay.

More research is needed to fully understand the relationship between soy milk and an individual’s risk for cavities. In the meantime, though, cow’s milk can be seen as the safer option.

Almond Milk

Almond milk that has been fortified with calcium can be a good alternative for people who can’t drink cow’s milk for one reason or another. In particular, if you’re lactose intolerant and thus can’t consume dairy products in general, your dentist might recommend almond milk instead.

Keep in mind that some almond milk has been sweetened with sugar. As with any other kind of sugary beverage, sweetened almond milk can significantly increase your risk for cavities if consumed in excess. You should therefore always choose unsweetened almond milk if your goal is to improve your oral health.

Don’t Forget to Speak to Your Dentist

If you’re not sure whether the kind of milk you’re currently drinking is right for your smile, talk to your dentist at your next appointment. They can go over your available options and point you toward the one that best fits your oral health needs. If necessary, they can also recommend other foods to supplement your calcium intake such as nuts, fish, and certain vegetables.

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