“Got Milk?” We’re sure that many of our readers have heard about the iconic ad campaign geared to promote the consumption of milk since it first debuted in 1993. More than two decades later and the simple slogan is still just as catchy as ever. Research has even shown that the tagline “Got Milk?” is the most remembered slogan for a beverage in history. The slogan is famous for adding a humorous element to running out of milk when you most need it. This along with their emphasis on the health aspects of milk made milk sales soar. While there’s no doubt that the ad campaign was successful, it had us wondering how true the health pitch of milk really is, specifically when it comes to oral health. In the past and even currently, milk has been marketed as being a great source of calcium, which is good for your teeth and bones. Is this actually true? Or is this a clever marketing ploy that happened to take off with the “Got Milk” campaign? We’re sure that many of our dental implant patients are curious to know whether milk can benefit or harm their teeth. To further explain the pros and cons of milk, Dr. Andrew Mortensen of Fountain Valley, CA explores this subject in depth.
The Importance of Calcium for Your Teeth
Marketing agencies weren’t lying when they mentioned the importance of calcium for your bones and teeth in their ads. In fact, the National Institutes for Health reports that 99% of your body’s calcium is actually stored in your bones and teeth. Calcium is important for your bones and teeth because it helps keep them strong.
How does milk keep your teeth strong? Through the calcium and phosphorus in the beverage. These two components of milk are important because the calcium, phosphorus, and proteins known as caseins combine together to protect the enamel of your teeth. The protective film created help combat potential dangerous acids that can wear away at your enamel.
Protecting the enamel of your teeth is important because it is the protective shield for the inner layers of your teeth. Once plaque begins to form and eats away at your teeth, it will start with enamel. After eating away at the enamel, it will make its way into the next layer, the dentin, and then finally make it’s way to the pulp of the tooth. This is very problematic for your oral health because the pulp of the tooth is where the blood vessels and nerves are located. Individuals with an infected tooth pulp will then experience extreme tooth sensitivity and often need a root canal.
Common acidic attacks on your teeth can come from things we eat or drink daily. Citrus fruits and sugar-filled beverages like soda are particularly dangerous for the health of our tooth enamel. Drinking milk is great because the minerals found in milk can help repair damaged tooth enamel that has begun to wear away because of the acidity of foods and beverages.
The Damaging Side of Milk
While milk does have plenty of benefits for our oral health due its protective nature for tooth enamel, it can also be damaging with too much consumption. Milk is filled with single sugars and it can usually contain 9 to 14 grams of sugar. Of course, we don’t recommend swearing off milk because of the sugar, but we do think it’s important to keep an eye on your level of dairy consumption. Moderation is the most important aspect to not overdoing your consumption of milk and missing out on all of its benefits. We also recommend that adults try eating more cheese instead of milk. Like milk, cheese has plenty of calcium and Vitamin D that is great for your oral health. Children are free to drink plenty of milk because it’s necessary for children’s oral health to build stronger enamel.
Contact our Office in Fountain Valley, CA
We hope that this answered some of our readers questions about milk and its effect on the health of your smile. Again, moderation is key to enjoy the beneficial factors of milk. Despite the advantages of drinking milk for your oral health, it won’t make a difference for your oral health if you’re dealing with severe problems. Serious oral health issues like tooth loss can only be addressed through restorative dentistry. Fortunately, we offer high-quality dental implants right here in Fountain Valley, CA. You can achieve a smile you can confidently show off with the help of dental implants. To get started on your dental implant journey, contact our office today and schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Mortensen.