We are aware of the health benefits of milk. But do you know that the milk equally contributes to your oral health? Yes, milk has the potential to make your teeth strong and healthy.

As we know, eat-brush-floss and repeat is the key to keep your oral cavity germ free. But along with this, a healthy and calcium-rich diet is essential for your teeth. Calcium makes your teeth strong and healthy, and milk has a lot of it.

Milk is a rich source of nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, protein, vitamin, etc. These milk contents, help to remineralize tooth enamel and make your jaw bone stronger. Let us move further to know, how milk protects your teeth.

Advantages of milk nutrients

Milk is the rich source of vitamin, calcium, phosphorous, proteins, etc. These nutrients add magic to the milk and provide oral health benefits such as the anti-caries effects and enamel protection.

Following are the various nutrients of the milk and their benefits.

1. Calcium

We all know that milk is the most abundant source of calcium, which is the major component of tooth and bone. Dairy intake of calcium reduces the rate of tooth loss and helps the remineralization of the enamel.

But unfortunately, the strength of the tooth decrease when the tooth losses calcium by wear and tear. To replenish the calcium in the tooth, drinking milk is an excellent solution.

Also, calcium makes jaw bone stronger and increase the bone mass. Low dietary intake of calcium results in periodontal disease and tooth decay. Hence, milk protects oral health as calcium is the key component of milk.

2. Protein

Milk contains a protein, called ‘casein,’ which forms the 80% of total milk protein. Casein acts by following mechanism to prevent the tooth decay.

Prevent demineralization

After the digestion of milk, a complex of casein phosphopeptide and amorphous calcium phosphate forms. This complex enhances the remineralization and decreases the demineralization of enamel.

Inhibition of bacterial attachment

Tooth decay takes place when the harmful bacteria attaches to the hydroxyapatite crystal of tooth enamel. The attached bacteria then start the demineralization of enamel, leading to tooth decay.

Casein phosphopeptide prevents the adherence of oral bacteria to the tooth enamel and protects the tooth from the development of caries. It also stops the bacteria from eating the essential tooth component.

Prevent loss of enamel

The best thing about Casein is that it forms a thin film over the enamel and prevent the loss of calcium when they exposed to acids in the mouth.

3. Lactoferrin

S. mutans is the main salivary bacteria involved in the caries process. Lactoferrin inhibits the adherence and aggregation of S. mutans, thus preventing the tooth decay.

4. Probiotics

Probiotics reduce the count of S. mutans and lactobacillus (1). It also modifies the salivary film and inhibits the adherence of bacteria to tooth enamel, thereby decreasing the chances of caries.

5. Vitamin

Milk is rich in Vitamin D, which is beneficial for the tooth and gum health. Deficiency of Vitamin D leads to tooth loss and bleeding gum.

You can have a lot of vitamin through milk. Vitamin D along with calcium and phosphorus prevent the osteoporosis. (2)

Why is it necessary to incorporate milk in diet?

Having milk rich diet is essential for systemic as well as the oral health. Milk and milk products, such as yogurt, cream, cheese, etc. are beneficial for dental health, as they are rich in calcium (3).

Although you can get the calcium through many food supplements, dairy products best suggested as they are absorbed quickly by your body.

Dentist suggests that, except for the water, milk is the only safe drink to have, as it prevents the tooth decay. Also, children who consume more soft drinks, relative to milk shows the greater risk of caries (4).

Even if you are having the check on your calorie intake, you can use skim milk which will provide an equal amount of calcium as that of the whole milk.

 If you don’t like the glass of white milk, then you can go for chocolate milk or another dairy substitute such as cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, etc. To get the complete health benefit of milk, you should have three servings of 1cup of milk daily.

Milk contains 9-14gms of simple sugar which can damage your teeth if you do not practice good oral hygiene. Hence, it is essential to take aftercare whenever you drink milk. The aftercare include –

  • Do not drink milk right before the bed unless you brush afterward.
  • Do not let the baby sleep with the milk bottle in his mouth. This habit may form the milk pool in the baby’s mouth and can lead to cavity formation. Lactose is the sugar content of the milk which is responsible for caries development. (5)

Even though milk makes your teeth healthy and resistant to caries, it can not replace the traditional cleaning aids.

You need to brush, floss and use mouthwash to have a healthy oral cavity. Also, a regular dental visit is must to have a check on your oral health.

Over to you

Milk with all its essential nutrients makes your teeth and bone stronger. Also, you can have caries free oral cavity with milk and proper oral care.

You can now easily have an ample amount of calcium with each serving of milk. So, whenever you see the glass of milk, go ahead and drink your milk. It is good for you.

Milk is rich in calcium, which is the major component of tooth & bone. Calcium reduces the rate of tooth loss & helps enamel remineralization